Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi that expresses the dharma called "profound illumination," and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, while practicing the profound prajnaparamita, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature. Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, "How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita?" Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, said to venerable Shariputra, "O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature. Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness. Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness. There are no characteristics. There is no birth and no cessation. There is no impurity and no purity. There is no decrease and no increase. Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas, no eye dhatu up to no mind dhatu, no dhatu of dharmas, no mind consciousness dhatu; no ignorance, no end of ignorance up to no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no non-attainment. Therefore, Shariputra, since the bodhisattvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajnaparamita. Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear. They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana. All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajnaparamita, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment. Therefore, the great mantra of prajnaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering, should be known as truth, since there is no deception. The prajnaparamita mantra is said in this way: OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA Thus, Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound prajnaparamita. Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, saying, "Good, good, O son of noble family; thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is. One should practice the profound prajnaparamita just as you have taught and all the tathagatas will rejoice." When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One. 49 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the latter days. 2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; And hearken unto Israel your father. 3 Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength; The pre-eminence of dignity, and the pre-eminence of power. 4 Boiling over as water, thou shalt not have the pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. 5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; Weapons of violence are their swords. 6 O my soul, come not thou into their council; Unto their assembly, my glory, be not thou united; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hocked an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; And their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel. 8 Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise: Thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; Thy father’s sons shall bow down before thee. 9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, thou art gone up: He stooped down, he couched as a lion, And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh come; And unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, And his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; He hath washed his garments in wine, And his vesture in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, And his teeth white with milk. 13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; And he shall be for a haven of ships; And his border shall be upon Sidon. 14 Issachar is a strong ass, Couching down between the sheepfolds: 15 And he saw a resting-place that it was good, And the land that it was pleasant; And he bowed his shoulder to bear, And became a servant under taskwork. 16 Dan shall judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent in the way, An adder in the path, That biteth the horse’s heels, So that his rider falleth backward. 18 I have waited for thy salvation, O Jehovah. 19 Gad, a troop shall press upon him; But he shall press upon their heel. 20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, And he shall yield royal dainties. 21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: He giveth goodly words. 22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a fountain; His branches run over the wall. 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, And shot at him, and persecuted him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong, By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel), 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, And by the Almighty, who shall bless thee, With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that coucheth beneath, Blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. 26 The blessings of thy father Have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors Unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27 Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth: In the morning he shall devour the prey, And at even he shall divide the spoil. 28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them. 29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth. 33 And when Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. 50 And Joseph fell upon his father’s face, and wept upon him, and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of embalming: and the Egyptians wept for him threescore and ten days. 4 And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. 6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. 7 And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. 10 And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan. 12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 13 for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. 14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. 15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are thy servants. 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. 22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph’s knees. 24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. 26 So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. 1. Mencius went to see king Hûi of Liang. 2. The king said, 'Venerable sir, since you have not counted it far to come here, a distance of a thousand lî, may I presume that you are provided with counsels to profit my kingdom?' 3. Mencius replied, 'Why must your Majesty use that word "profit?" What I am provided with, are counsels to benevolence and righteousness, and these are my only topics. 4. 'If your Majesty say, "What is to be done to profit my kingdom?" the great officers will say, "What is to be done to profit our families?" and the inferior officers and the common people will say, "What is to be done to profit our persons?" Superiors and inferiors will try to snatch this profit the one from the other, and the kingdom will be endangered. In the kingdom of ten thousand chariots, the murderer of his sovereign shall be the chief of a family of a thousand chariots. In the kingdom of a thousand chariots, the murderer of his prince shall be the chief of a family of a hundred chariots. To have a thousand in ten thousand, and a hundred in a thousand, cannot be said not to be a large allotment, but if righteousness be put last, and profit be put first, they will not be satisfied without snatching all. 5. 'There never has been a benevolent man who neglected his parents. There never has been a righteous man who made his sovereign an after consideration. 6. 'Let your Majesty also say, "Benevolence and righteousness, and let these be your only themes." Why must you use that word -- "profit?". 1. Mencius, another day, saw King Hûi of Liang. The king went and stood with him by a pond, and, looking round at the large geese and deer, said, 'Do wise and good princes also find pleasure in these things?' 2. Mencius replied, 'Being wise and good, they have pleasure in these things. If they are not wise and good, though they have these things, they do not find pleasure. 3. 'It is said in the Book of Poetry, He measured out and commenced his marvellous tower; He measured it out and planned it. The people addressed themselves to it, And in less than a day completed it. When he measured and began it, he said to them -- Be not so earnest: But the multitudes came as if they had been his children. The king was in his marvellous park; The does reposed about, The does so sleek and fat: And the white birds came glistening. The king was by his marvellous pond; How full was it of fishes leaping about!" 'King Wan used the strength of the people to make his tower and his pond, and yet the people rejoiced to do the work, calling the tower "the marvellous tower," calling the pond "the marvellous pond," and rejoicing that he had his large deer, his fishes, and turtles. The ancients caused the people to have pleasure as well as themselves, and therefore they could enjoy it. 4. 'In the Declaration of T'ang it is said, "O sun, when wilt thou expire? We will die together with thee." The people wished for Chieh's death, though they should die with him. Although he had towers, ponds, birds, and animals, how could he have pleasure alone?' 1. King Hûi of Liang said, 'Small as my virtue is, in the government of my kingdom, I do indeed exert my mind to the utmost. If the year be bad on the inside of the river, I remove as many of the people as I can to the east of the river, and convey grain to the country in the inside. When the year is bad on the east of the river, I act on the same plan. On examining the government of the neighboring kingdoms, I do not find that there is any prince who exerts his mind as I do. And yet the people of the neighboring kingdoms do not decrease, nor do my people increase. How is this?' 2. Mencius replied, 'Your majesty is fond of war; -- let me take an illustration from war. -- The soldiers move forward to the sound of the drums; and after their weapons have been crossed, on one side they throw away their coats of mail, trail their arms behind them, and run. Some run a hundred paces and stop; some run fifty paces and stop. What would you think if those who run fifty paces were to laugh at those who run a hundred paces?' The kind said, 'They should not do so. Though they did not run a hundred paces, yet they also ran away.' 'Since your Majesty knows this,' replied Mencius, 'you need not hope that your people will become more numerous than those of the neighboring kingdoms. 3. 'If the seasons of husbandry be not interfered with, the grain will be more than can be eaten. If close nets are not allowed to enter the pools and ponds, the fishes and turtles will be more than can be consumed. If the axes and bills enter the hills and forests only at the proper time, the wood will be more than can be used. When the grain and fish and turtles are more than can be eaten, and there is more wood than can be used, this enables the people to nourish their living and mourn for their dead, without any feeling against any. This condition, in which the people nourish their living and bury their dead without any feeling against any, is the first step of royal government. 4. 'Let mulberry trees be planted about the homesteads with their five mâu, and persons of fifty years may be clothed with silk. In keeping fowls, pigs, dogs, and swine, let not their times of breeding be neglected, and persons of seventy years may eat flesh. Let there not be taken away the time that is proper for the cultivation of the farm with its hundred mâ, and the family of several mouths that is supported by it shall not suffer from hunger. Let careful attention be paid to education in schools, inculcating in it especially the filial and fraternal duties, and grey-haired men will not be seen upon the roads, carrying burdens on their backs or on their heads. It never has been that the ruler of a State, where such results were seen, -- persons of seventy wearing silk and eating flesh, and the black-haired people suffering neither from hunder nor cold, -- did not attain to the royal dignity. 5. 'Your dogs and swine eat the food of men, and you do not make any restrictive arrangements. There are people dying from famine on the roads, and you do not issue the stores of your granaries for them. When people die, you say, "It is not owing to me; it is owing to the year." In what does this differ from stabbing a man and killing him, and then saying -- "It was not I; it was the weapon?" Let your Majesty cease to lay the blame on the year, and instantly from all the nation the people will come to you.' 1. King Hûi of Liang said, 'I wish quietly to receive your instructions.' 2. Mencius replied, 'Is there any difference between killing a man with a stick and with a sword ?' The king said, 'There is no difference! 3. 'Is there any difference between doing it with a sword and with the style of government? 'There is no difference,' was the reply. 4. Mencius then said, 'In your kitchen there is fat meat; in your stables there are fat horses. But your people have the look of hunger, and on the wilds there are those who have died of famine. This is leading on beasts to devour men. 5. 'Beasts devour one another, and men hate them for doing so. When a prince, being the parent of his people, administers his government so as to be chargeable with leading on beasts to devour men, where is his parental relation to the people?' 6. Chung-nî said, 'Was he not without posterity who first made wooden images to bury with the dead? So he said, because that man made the semblances of men, and used them for that purpose:-- what shall be thought of him who causes his people to die of hunger?' 1. King Hûi of Liang said, 'There was not in the nation a stronger State than Tsin, as you, venerable Sir, know. But since it descended to me, on the east we have been defeated by Ch'i, and then my eldest son perished; on the west we have lost seven hundred lî of territory to Ch'in; and on the south we have sustained disgrace at the hands of Ch'û. I have brought shame on my departed predecessors, and wish on their account to wipe it away, once for all. What course is to be pursued to accomplish this?' 2. Mencius replied, 'With a territory which is only a hundred lî square, it is possible to attain to the royal dignity. 3. 'If Your Majesty will indeed dispense a benevolent government to the people, being sparing in the use of punishments and fines, and making the taxes and levies light, so causing that the fields shall be ploughed deep, and the weeding of them be carefully attended to, and that the strong-bodied, during their days of leisure, shall cultivate their filial piety, fraternal respectfulness, sincerity, and truthfulness, serving thereby, at home, their fathers and elder brothers, and, abroad, their elders and superiors,-- you will then have a people who can be employed, with sticks which they have prepared, to oppose the strong mail and sharp weapons of the troops of Ch'in and Ch'û. 4. 'The rulers of those States rob their people of their time, so that they cannot plough and weed their fields, in order to support their parents. Their parents suffer from cold and hunger. Brothers, wives, and children are separated and scattered abroad. 5. 'Those rulers, as it were, drive their people into pit-falls, or drown them. Your Majesty will go to punish them. In such a case, who will oppose your Majesty? 6. 'In accordance with this is the saying,-- "The benevolent has no enemy." I beg your Majesty not to doubt what I say.' 1. Mencius went to see the king Hsiang of Liang. 2. On coming out from the interview, he said to some persons, 'When I looked at him from a distance, he did not appear like a sovereign; when I drew near to him, I saw nothing venerable about him. Abruptly he asked me, "How can the kingdom be settled?" I replied, "It will be settled by being united under one sway." 3. '"Who can so unite it?" 4. 'I replied, "He who has no pleasure in killing men can so unite it." 5. "'Who can give it to him?" 6. 'I replied, " All the people of the nation will unanimously give it to him. Does your Majesty understand the way of the growing grain? During the seventh and eighth months, when drought prevails, the plants become dry. Then the clouds collect densely in the heavens, they send down torrents of rain, and the grain erects itself, as if by a shoot. When it does so, who can keep it back? Now among the shepherds of men throughout the nation, there is not one who does not find pleasure in killing men. If there were one who did not find pleasure in killing men, all the people in the nation would look towards him with outstretched necks. Such being indeed the case, the people would flock to him, as water flows downwards with a rush, which no one can repress."' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î asked, saying, 'May I be informed by you of the transactions of Hwan of Ch'î, and Wan of Tsin?' 2. Mencius replied, 'There were none of the disciples of Chuncg-nî who spoke about the affairs of Hwan and WAn, and therefore they have not been transmitted to these after-ages ;-- your servant has not heard them. If you will have me speak, let it be about royal government.' 3. The king said, 'What virtue must there be in order to attain to royal sway?' Mencius answered, 'The love and protection of the people; with this there is no power which can prevent a ruler from attaining to it.' 4. The king asked again, 'Is such an one as I competent to love and protect the people?' Mencius said, 'Yes.' 'How do you know that I am competent for that?' 'I heard the following incident from Hû Ho:-- "The king," said he, "was sitting aloft in the hall, when a man appeared, leading an ox past the lower part of it. The king saw him, and asked, Where is the ox going? The man replied, We are going to consecrate a bell with its blood. The king said, Let it go. I cannot bear its frightened appearance, as if it were an innocent person going to the place of death. The man answered, Shall we then omit the consecration of the bell ? The king said, How can that be omitted? Change it for a sheep." I do not know whether this incident really occurred.' 5. The king replied, 'It did,' and then Mencius said, 'The heart seen in this is sufficient to carry you to the royal sway. The people all supposed that your Majesty grudged the animal, but your servant knows surely, that it was your Majesty's not being able to bear the sight, which made you do as you did.' 6. The king said, 'You are right. And yet there really was an appearance of what the people condemned. But though Chî be a small and narrow State, how should I grudge one ox? Indeed it was because I could not bear its frightened appearance, as if it were an innocent person going to the place of death, that therefore I changed it for a sheep.' 7. Mencius pursued, 'Let not your Majesty deem it strange that the people should think you were grudging the animal. When you changed a large one for a small, how should they know the true reason? If you felt pained by its being led without guilt to the place of death, what was there to choose between an ox and a sheep? The king laughed and said, 'What really was my mind in the matter? I did not grudge the expense of it, and changed it for a sheep!-- There was reason in the people's saying that I grudged it.' 8. 'There is no harm in their saying so,' said Mencius. 'Your conduct was an artifice of benevolence. You saw the ox, and had not seen the sheep. So is the superior man affected towards animals, that, having seen them alive, he cannot bear to see them die; having heard their dying cries, he cannot bear to eat their flesh. Therefore he keeps away from his slaughter-house and cook-room.' 9. The king was pleased, and said, 'It is said in the Book of Poetry, "The minds of others, I am able by reflection to measure;" -- this is verified, my Master, in your discovery of my motive. I indeed did the thing, but when I turned my thoughts inward, and examined into it, I could not discover my own mind. When you, Master, spoke those words, the movements of compassion began to work in my mind. How is it that this heart has in it what is equal to the royal sway?' 10. Mencius replied, 'Suppose a man were to make this statement to your Majesty:-- "My strength is sufficient to lift three thousand catties, but it is not sufficient to lift one feather;-- my eyesight is sharp enough to examine the point of an autumn hair, but I do not see a waggon-load of faggots;-- "would your Majesty allow what he said?' 'No,' was the answer, on which Mencius proceeded, 'Now here is kindness sufficient to reach to animals, and no benefits are extended from it to the people.-- How is this? Is an exception to be made here? The truth is, the feather is not lifted , because strength is not used; the waggon-load of firewood is not seen, because the eyesight is not used; and the people are not loved and protected, because kindness is not employed. Therefore your Majesty's not exercising the royal sway, is because you do not do it, not because you are not able to do it.' 11. The king asked, 'How may the difference between the not doing a thing, and the not being able to do it, be represented? Mencius replied,'In such a thing as taking the T'âi mountain under your arm, and leaping over the north sea with it, if you say to people-- "I am not able to do it," that is a real case of not being able. In such a matter as breaking off a branch from a tree at the order of a superior, if you say to people-- "I am not able to do it," that is a case of not doing it, it is not a case of not being able to do it. Therefore your Majesty's not exercising the royal sway, is not such a case as that of taking the T'âi mountain under your arm, and leaping over the north sea with it. Your Majesty's not exercising the royal sway is a case like that of breaking off a branch from a tree. 12. 'Treat with the reverence due to age the elders in your own family, so that the elders in the families of others shall be similarly treated; treat with the kindness due to youth the young in your own family, so that the young in the families of others shall be similarly treated:-- do this, and the kingdom may be made to go round in your palm. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "His example affected his wife. It reached to his brothers, and his family of the State was governed by it."-- The language shows how king Wan simply took his kindly heart, and exercised it towards those parties. Therefore the carrying out his kindness of heart by a prince will suffice for the love and protection of all within the four seas, and if he do not carry it out, he will not be able to protect his wife and children. The way in which the ancients came greatly to surpass other men, was no other but this:-- simply that they knew well how to carry out, so as to affect others, what they themselves did. Now your kindness is sufficient to reach to animals, and no benefits are extended from it to reach the people.-- How is this? Is an exception to be made here? 13. 'By weighing, we know what things are light, and what heavy. By measuring, we know what things are long, and what short. The relations of all things may be thus determined, and it is of the greatest importance to estimate the motions of the mind. I beg your Majesty to measure it. 14. 'You collect your equipments of war, endanger your soldiers and officers, and excite the resentment of the other princes;-- do these things cause you pleasnre in your mind?' 15. The king replied, 'No. How should I derive pleasure from these things? My object in them is to seek for what I greatly desire.' 16. Mencius said, 'May I hear from you what it is that you greatly desire?' The king laughed and did not speak. Mencius resumed, 'Are you led to desire it, because you have not enough of rich and sweet food for your mouth? Or because you have not enough of light and warm clothing for your body? Or because you have not enough of beautifully coloured objects to delight your eyes? Or because you have not voices and tones enough to please your ears? Or because you have not enough of attendants and favourites to stand before you and receive your orders? Your Majesty's various officers are sufficient to supply you with those things. How can your Majesty be led to entertain such a desire on account of them?' 'No,' said the king; 'my desire is not on account of them.' Mencius added, 'Then, what your Majesty greatly desires may be known. You wish to enlarge your territories, to have Ch'in and Ch'û wait at your court, to rule the Middle Kingdom, and to attract to you the barbarous tribes that surround it. But doing what you do to seek for what you desire is like climbing a tree to seek for fish.' 17. The king said, 'Is it so bad as that?' 'It is even worse,' was the reply. 'If you climb a tree to seek for fish, although you do not get the fish, you will not suffer any subsequent calamity. But doing what you do to seek for what you desire, doing it moreover with all your heart, you will assuredly afterwards meet with calamities.' The king asked, 'May I hear from you the proof of that?' Mencius said, 'If the people of Tsâu should fight with the people of Ch'û, which of them does your Majesty think would conquer?' 'The people of Ch'û would conquer.' 'Yes;-- and so it is certain that a small country cannot contend with a great, that few cannot contend with many, that the weak cannot contend with the strong. The territory within the four seas embraces nine divisions, each of a thousand lî square. All Ch'î together is but one of them. If with one part you try to subdue the other eight, what is the difference between that and Tsâu's contending with Ch'û? For, with such a desire, you must turn back to the proper course for its attainment. 18. 'Now if your Majesty will institute a government whose action shall be benevolent, this will cause all the officers in the kingdom to wish to stand in your Majesty's court, and all the farmers to wish to plough in your Majesty's fields, and all the merchants, both travelling and stationary, to wish to store their goods in your Majesty's market-places, and all travelling strangers to wish to make their tours on your Majesty's roads, and all throughout the kingdom who feel aggrieved by their rulers to wish to come and complain to your Majesty. And when they are so bent, who will be able to keep them back?' 19. The king said, 'I am stupid, and not able to advance to this. I wish you, my Master, to assist my intentions. Teach me clearly; although I am deficient in intelligence and vigour, I will essay and try to carry your instructions into effect.' 20. Mencius replied, 'They are only men of education, who, without a certain livelihood, are able to maintain a fixed heart. As to the people, if they have not a certain livelihood, it follows that they will not have a fixed heart. And if they have not a fixed heart, there is nothing which they will not do, in the way of self-abandonment, of moral deflection, of depravity, and of wild license. When they thus have been involved in crime, to follow them up and punish them;-- this is to entrap the people. How can such a thing as entrapping the people be done under the rule of a benevolent man? 21. 'Therefore an intelligent ruler will regulate the livelihood of the people, so as to make sure that, for those above them, they shall have sufficient wherewith to serve their parents, and, for those below them, sufficient wherewith to support their wives and children; that in good years they shall always be abundantly satisfied, and that in bad years they shall escape the danger of perishing. After this he may urge them, and they will proceed to what is good, for in this case the people will follow after it with ease. 22. 'Now, the livelihood of the people is so regulated, that, above, they have not sufficient wherewith to serve their parents, and, below, they have not sufficient wherewith to support their wives and children. Notwithstanding good years, their lives are continually embittered, and, in bad years, they do not escape perishing. In such circumstances they only try to save themselves from death, and are afraid they will not succeed. What leisure have they to cultivate propriety and righteousness?' 23. 'If your Majesty wishes to effect this regulation of the livelihood of the people, why not turn to that which is the essential step to it? 24. 'Let mulberry-trees be planted about the homesteads with their five mâu, and persons of fifty years may be clothed with silk. In keeping fowls, pigs, dogs, and swine, let not their times of breeding be neglected, and persons of seventy years may eat flesh. Let there not be taken away the time that is proper for the cultivation of the farm with its hundred mâu, and the family of eight mouths that is supported by it shall not suffer from hunger. Let careful attention be paid to educatlon in schools,-- the inculcation in it especially of the filial and fraternal duties, and grey-haired men will not be seen upon the roads, carrying burdens on their backs or on their heads. It never has been that the ruler of a State where such results were seen,-- the old wearing silk and eating flesh, and the black-haired people suffering neither from hunger nor cold,-- did not attain to the royal dignity.' 1. Chwang Pâ'o, seeing Mencius, said to him, 'I had an interview with the king. His Majesty told me that he loved music, and I was not prepared with anything to reply to him. What do you pronounce about that love of music?' Mencius replied, 'If the king's love of music were very great, the kingdom of Ch'î would be near to a state of good government!' 2. Another day, Mencius, having an interview with the king, said, 'Your Majesty, I have heard, told the officer Chwang, that you love music;-- was it so?' The king changed colour, and said, 'I am unable to love the music of the ancient sovereigns; I only love the music that suits the manners of the present age.' 3. Mencius said, 'If your Majesty's love of music were very great, Ch'î would be near to a state of good government! The music of the present day is just like the music of antiquity, as regards effecting that.' 4. The king said, 'May I hear from you the proof of that?' Mencius asked, 'Which is the more pleasant,-- to enjoy music by yourself alone, or to enjoy it with others?' 'To enjoy it with others,' was the reply. 'And which is the more pleasant,-- to enjoy music with a few, or to enjoy it with many?' 'To enjoy it with many.' 5. Mencius proceeded, 'Your servant begs to explain what I have said about music to your Majesty. 6. 'Now, your Majesty is having music here.-- The people hear the noise of your bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, "That's how our king likes his music! But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress?-- Fathers and sons cannot see one another. Elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad." Now, your Majesty is hunting here.-- The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and streamers, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, "That's how our king likes his hunting! But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress?-- Fathers and sons cannot see one another. Elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad." Their feeling thus is from no other reason but that you do not allow the people to have pleasure as well as yourself. 7. 'Now, your Majesty is having music here. The people hear the noise of your bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and they all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another, "That sounds as if our king were free from all sickness! If he were not, how could he enjoy this music?" Now, your Majesty is hunting here.-- The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and streamers, and they all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another, "That looks as if our king were free from all sickness! If he were not, how could he enjoy this hunting?" Their feeling thus is from no other reason but that you cause them to have their pleasure as you have yours. 8. 'If your Majesty now will make pleasure a thing common to the people and yourself, the royal sway awaits you.' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î asked, 'Was it so, that the park of king Wan contained seventy square lî?' Mencius replied, 'It is so in the records.' 2. 'Was it so large as that?' exclaimed the king. 'The people,' said Mencius, 'still looked on it as small.' The king added, 'My park contains only forty square lî, and the people still look on it as large. How is this?' 'The park of king Wan,' was the reply, 'contained seventy square lî, but the grass-cutters and fuel-gatherers had the privilege of entrance into it; so also had the catchers of pheasants and hares. He shared it with the people, and was it not with reason that they looked on it as small? 3. 'When I first arrived at the borders of your kingdom, I inquired about the great prohibitory regulations, before I would venture to enter it; and I heard, that inside the barrier-gates there was a park of forty square lî, and that he who killed a deer in it, was held guilty of the same crime as if he had killed a man.-- Thus those forty square lî are a pitfall in the middle of the kingdom. Is it not with reason that the people look upon them as large?' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î asked, saying, 'Is there any way to regulate one's maintenance of intercourse with neighbouring kingdoms?' Mencius replied, 'There is. But it requires a perfectly virtuous prince to be able, with a great country, to serve a small one,-- as, for instance, T'ang served Ko, and king Wan served the Kwan barbarians. And it requires a wise prince to be able, with a small country, to serve a large one,-- as the king T'âi served the Hsün-yü, and Kâu-ch'ien served Wû. 2. 'He who with a areat State serves a small one, delights in Heaven. He who with a small State serves a large one, stands in awe of Heaven. He who delights in Heaven, will affect with his love and protection the whole kingdom. He who stands in awe of Heaven, will affect with his love and protection his own kingdom. 3. 'It is said in the Book of Poetry, "I fear the Majesty of Heaven, and will thus preserve its favouring decree."' 4. The king said,'A great saying! But I have an infirmity;-- I love valour.' 5. I beg your Majesty,' was the reply, 'not to love small valour. If a man brandishes his sword, looks fiercely, and says, "How dare he withstand me?"-- this is the valour of a common man, who can be the opponent only of a single individual. I beg your Majesty to greaten it. 6. 'It is said in the Book of Poetry, "The king blazed with anger, And he marshalled his hosts, To stop the march to Chü, To consolidate the prosperity of Châu, To meet the expectations of the nation." This was the valour of king Wan. King Wan, in one burst of his anger, gave repose to all the people of the kingdom. 7. 'In the Book of History it is said, "Heaven having produced the inferior people, made for them rulers and teachers, with the purpose that they should be assisting to God, and therefore distinguished them throughout the four quarters of the land. Whoever are offenders, and whoever are innocent, here am I to deal with them. How dare any under heaven give indulgence to their refractory wills?" There was one man pursuing a violent and disorderly course in the kingdom, and king Wû was ashamed of it. This was the valour of king Wû. He also, by one display of his anger, gave repose to all the people of the kingdom. 8. 'Let now your Majesty also, in one burst of anger, give repose to all the people of the kingdom. The people are only afraid that your Majesty does not love valour.' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î had an interview with Mencius in the Snow palace, and said to him, 'Do men of talents and worth likewise find pleasure in these things?' Mencius replied, 'They do; and if people generally are not able to enjoy themselves, they condemn their superiors. 2. 'For them, when they cannot enjoy themselves, to condemn their superiors is wrong, but when the superiors of the people do not make enjoyment a thing common to the people and themselves, they also do wrong. 3. 'When a ruler rejoices in the joy of his people, they also rejoice in his joy; when he grieves at the sorrow of his people, they also grieve at his sorrow. A sympathy of joy will pervade the kingdom ; a sympathy of sorrow will do the same:-- in such a state of things, it cannot be but that the ruler attain to the royal dignity. 4. 'Formerly, the duke Ching of Ch'î asked the minister Yen, saying, "I wish to pay a visit of inspection to Chwan-fû, and Cbâo-wû, and then to bend my course southward along the shore, till I come to Lang-yê. What shall I do that my tour may be fit to be compared with the visits of inspection made by the ancient sovereigns?" 5. 'The minister Yen replied, "An excellent inquiry! When the Son of Heaven visited the princes, it was called a tour of inspection, that is, be surveyed the States under their care. When the princes attended at the court of the Son of Heaven, it was called a report of office, that is, they reported their administration of their offices. Thus, neither of the proceedings was without a purpose. And moreover, in the spring they examined the ploughing, and supplied any deficiency of seed; in the autumn they examined the reaping, and supplied any deficiency of yield. There is the saying of the Hsiâ dynasty,-- If our king do not take his ramble, what will become of our happiness? If our king do not make his excursion, what will become of our help? That ramble, and that excursion, were a pattern to the princes. 6. '"Now, the state of things is different.-- A host marches in attendance on the ruler, and stores of provisions are consumed. The hungry are deprived of their food, and there is no rest for those who are called to toil. Maledictions are uttered by one to another with eyes askance, and the people proceed to the commission of wickedness. Thus the royal ordinances are violated, and the people are oppressed, and the supplies of food and drink flow away like water. The rulers yield themselves to the current, or they urge their way against it; they are wild; they are utterly lost:-- these things proceed to the grief of the inferior princes. 7. '"Descending along with the current, and forgetting to return, is what I call yielding to it. Pressing up against it, and forgetting to return, is what I call urging their way against it. Pursuing the chase without satiety is what I call being wild. Delighting in wine without satiety is what I call being lost. 8. '"The ancient sovereigns had no pleasures to which they gave themselves as on the flowing stream; no doings which might be so characterized as wild and lost. 9. '"It is for you, my prince, to pursue your course."' 10. 'The duke Ching was pleased. He issued a proclamation throughout his State, and went out and occupied a shed in the borders. From that time he began to open his granaries to supply the wants of the people, and calling the Grand music-master, he said to him-- "Make for me music to suit a prince and his minister pleased with each other." And it was then that the Chî-shâo and Chio-shâo were made, in the words to which it was said, "Is it a fault to restrain one's prince?" He who restrains his prince loves his prince.' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î said, 'People all tell me to pull down and remove the Hall of Distinction. Shall I pull it down, or stop the movement for that object?' 2. Mencius replied, 'The Hall of Distinction is a Hall appropriate to the sovereigns. If your Majesty wishes to practise the true royal government, then do not pull it down.' 3. The king said, 'May I hear from you what the true royal government is?' 'Formerly,' was the reply, 'king Wan's government of Ch'î was as follows:-- The husbandmen cultivated for the government one-ninth of the land; the descendants of officers were salaried; at the passes and in the markets, strangers were inspected, but goods were not taxed: there were no prohibitions respecting the ponds and weirs; the wives and children of criminals were not involved in their guilt. There were the old and wifeless, or widowers; the old and husbandless, or widows; the old and childless, or solitaries ; the young and fatherless, or orphans:-- these four classes are the most destitute of the people, and have none to whom they can tell their wants, and king Wan, in the institution of his government with its benevolent action, made them the first objects of his regard, as it is said in the Book of Poetry, "The rich may get through life well; But alas! for the miserable and solitary!"' 4. The king said, 'O excellent words!' Mencius said, 'Since your Majesty deems them excellent, why do you not practise them?' 'I have an infirmity,' said the king; 'I am fond of wealth.' The reply was, 'Formerly, Kung-lîu was fond of wealth. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "He reared his ricks, and filled his granaries, He tied up dried provisions and grain, In bottomless bags, and sacks, That he might gather his people together, and glorify his State. With bows and arrows all-displayed, With shields, and spears, and battle-axes, large and small, He commenced his march." In this way those who remained in their old seat had their ricks and granaries, and those who marched had their bags of provisions. It was not till after this that he thought he could begin his march. If your Majesty loves wealth, give the people power to gratify the same feeling, and what difficulty will there be in your attaining the royal sway?' 5. The king said, 'I have an infirmity; I am fond of beauty.' The reply was, 'Formerly, king T'âi was fond of beauty, and loved his wife. It is said in the Book of Poetry, Kû-kung T'an-fû Came in the morning, galloping his horse, By the banks of the western waters, As far as the foot of Ch'î hill, Along with the lady of Chiang; They came and together chose the site for their settlement." At that time, in the seclusion of the house, there were no dissatisfied women, and abroad, there were no unmarried men. If your Majesty loves beauty, let the people be able to gratify the same feeling, and what difficulty will there be in your attaining the royal sway?' 1. Mencius said to the king Hsüan of Ch'î, 'Suppose that one of your Majesty's ministers were to entrust his wife and children to the care of his friend, while he himself went into Ch'û to travel, and that, on his return, he should find that the friend had let his wife and children suffer from cold and hunger;-- how ought he to deal with him?' The king said, 'He should cast him off.' 2. Mencius proceeded, 'Suppose that the chief criminal judge could not regulate the officers under him, how would you deal with him?' The king said, 'Dismiss him.' 3. Mencius again said, 'If within the four borders of your kingdom there is not good government, what is to be done?' The king looked to the right and left, and spoke of other matters. 1. Mencius, having an interview with the king Hsüan of Ch'î, said to him, 'When men speak of "an ancient kingdom," it is not meant thereby that it has lofty trees in it, but that it has ministers sprung from families which have been noted in it for generations. Your Majesty has no intimate ministers even. Those whom you advanced yesterday are gone to-day, and you do not know it.' 2. The king said, 'How shall I know that they have not ability, and so avoid employing them at all?' 3. The reply was, 'The ruler of a State advances to office men of talents and virtue only as a matter of necessity. Since he will thereby cause the low to overstep the honourable, and distant to overstep his near relatives, ought he to do so but with caution? 4. 'When all those about you say,-- "This is a man of talents and worth," you may not therefore believe it. When your great officers all say,-- "This is a man of talents and virtue," neither may you for that believe it. When all the people say,-- "This is a man of talents and virtue," then examine into the case, and when you find that the man is such, employ him. When all those about you say,-- "This man won't do," don't listen to them. When all your great officers say,-- "This man won't do," don't listen to them. When the people all sav,-- "This man won't do," then examine into the case, and when you find that the man won't do, send him away. 5. 'When all those about you say,-- "This man deserves death," don't listen to them. When all your great officers say,-- "This man deserves death," don't listen to them. When the people all say,"This man deserves death," then inquire into the case, and when you see that the man deserves death, put him to death. In accordance with this we have the saying, "The people killed him." 6. 'You must act in this way in order to be the parent of the people.' 1. The king Hsüan of Ch'î asked, saying, 'Was it so, that T'ang banished Chieh, and that king Wû smote Châu?' Mencius replied, 'It is so in the records.' 2. The king said, 'May a minister then put his sovereign to death?' 3. Mencius said, 'He who outrages the benevolence proper to his nature, is called a robber; he who outrages righteousness, is called a ruffian. The robber and ruffian we call a mere fellow. I have heard of the cutting off of the fellow Châu, but I have not heard of the putting a sovereign to death, in his case.' 1. Mencius, having an interview with the king Hsüan of Ch'î, said to him, 'If you are going to build a large mansion, you will surely cause the Master of the workmen to look out for large trees, and when he has found such large trees, you will be glad, thinking that they will answer for the intended object. Should the workmen hew them so as to make them too small, then your Majesty will be angry, thinking that they will not answer for the purpose. Now, a man spends his youth in learning the principles of right government, and, being grown up to vigour, he wishes to put them in practice;-- if your Majesty says to him, "For the present put aside what you have learned, and follow me," what shall we say? 2. 'Here now you have a gem unwrought, in the stone. Although it may be worth 240,000 taels, you will surely employ a lapidary to cut and polish it. But when you come to the government of the State, then you say,-- "For the present put aside what you have learned, and follow me." How is it that you herein act so differently from your conduct in calling in the lapidary to cut the gem?' 1. The people of Ch'î attacked Yen, and conquered it. 2. The king Hsüan asked, saying, 'Some tell me not to take possession of it for myself, and some tell me to take possession of it. For a kingdom of ten thousand chariots, attacking another of ten thousand chariots, to complete the conquest of it in fifty days, is an achievement beyond mere human strength. If I do not take possession of it, calamities from Heaven will surely come upon me. What do you say to my taking possession of it?' 3. Mencius replied, 'If the people of Yen will be pleased with your taking possession of it, then do so.-- Among the ancients there was one who acted on this principle, namely king Wû. If the people of Yen will not be pleased with your taking possession of it, then do not do so.-- Among the ancients there was one who acted on this principle, namely king Wan. 4. 'When, with all the strength of your country of ten thousand chariots, you attacked another country of ten thousand chariots, and the people brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host, was there any other reason for this but that they hoped to escape out of fire and water ? If you make the water more deep and the fire more fierce, they will in like manner make another revolution.' 1. The people of Ch'î, having smitten Yen, took possession of it, and upon this, the princes of the various States deliberated together, and resolved to deliver Yen from their power. The king Hsüan said to Mencius, 'The princes have formed many plans to attack me:-- how shall I prepare myself for them?' Mencius replied, 'I have heard of one who with seventy lî exercised all the functions of government throughout the kingdom. That was T'ang. I have never heard of a prince with a thousand lî standing in fear of others.' 2. 'It is said in the Book of History, As soon as T'ang began his work of executing justice, he commenced with Ko. The whole kingdom had confidence in him. When he pursued his work in the east, the rude tribes on the west murmured. So did those on the north, when he was engaged in the south. Their cry was-- "Why does he put us last?" Thus, the people looked to him, as we look in a time of great drought to the clouds and rainbows. The frequenters of the markets stopped not. The husbandmen made no change in their operations. While he punished their rulers, he consoled the people. His progress was like the falling of opportune rain, and the people were delighted. It is said again in the Book of History, "We have waited for our prince long; the prince's coming will be our reviving!" 3. 'Now the ruler of Yen was tyrannizing over his people, and your Majesty went and punished him. The people supposed that you were going to deliver them out of the water and the fire, and brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host. But you have slain their fathers and elder brothers, and put their sons and younger brothers in confinement. You have pulled down the ancestral temple of the State, and are removing to Ch'î its precious vessels. How can such a course be deemed proper? The rest of the kingdom is indeed jealously afraid of the strength of Ch'î; and now, when with a doubled territory you do not put in practice a benevolent government;-- it is this which sets the arms of the kingdom in in motion. 4. 'If your Majesty will make haste to issue an ordinance, restoring your captives, old and young, stopping the removal of the precious vessels, and saying that, after consulting with the people of Yen, you will appoint them a ruler, and withdraw from the country;-- in this way you may still be able to stop the threatened attack.' 1. There had been a brush between Tsâu and Lû, when the duke Mû asked Mencius, saying,'Of my officers there were killed thirty-three men, and none of the people would die in their defence. Though I sentenced them to death for their conduct, it is impossible to put such a multitude to death. If I do not put them to death, then there is the crime unpunished of their looking angrily on at the death of their officers, and not saving them. How is the exigency of the case to be met?' 2. Mencius replied, 'In calamitous years and years of famine, the old and weak of your people, who have been found lying in the ditches and water-channels, and the able-bodied who have been scattered about to the four quarters, have amounted to several thousands. All the while, your granaries, 0 prince, have been stored with grain, and your treasuries and arsenals have been full, and not one of your officers has told you of the distress. Thus negligent have the superiors in your State been, and cruel to their inferiors. The philosopher Tsang said, "Beware, beware. What proceeds from you, will return to you again." Now at length the people have paid back the conduct of their officers to them. Do not you, 0 prince, blame them. 3. 'If you will put in practice a benevolent government, this people will love you and all above them, and will die for their officers.' 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Mencius, saying, 'T'ang is a small kingdom, and lies between Ch'î and Ch'û. Shall I serve Ch'î? Or shall I serve Chû?' 2. Mencius replied, 'This plan which you propose is beyond me. If you will have me counsel you, there is one thing I can suggest. Dig deeper your moats; build higher your walls; guard them as well as your people. In case of attack, be prepared to die in your defence, and have the people so that they will not leave you;-- this is a proper course. 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Mencius, saying, 'The people of Ch'î are going to fortify Hsieh. The movement occasions me great alarm. What is the proper course for me to take in the case?' 2. Mencius replied, 'Formerly, when king T'âi dwelt in Pin, the barbarians of the north were continually making incursions upon it. He therefore left it, went to the foot of mount Ch'î, and there took up his residence. He did not take that situation, as having selected it. It was a matter of necessity with him. 3. 'If you do good, among your descendants, in after generations, there shall be one who will attain to the royal dignity. A prince lays the foundation of the inheritance, and hands down the beginning which he has made, doing what may be continued by his successors. As to the accomplishment of the great result, that is with Heaven. What is that Ch'î to you, 0 prince? Be strong to do good. That is all your business.' 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Mencius, saying, 'T'ang is a small State. Though I do my utmost to serve those large kingdoms on either side of it, we cannot escape suffering from them. What course shall I take that we may do so?' Mencius replied, 'Formerly, when king T'âi dwelt in Pin, the barbarians of the north were constantly making incursions upon it. He served them with skins and silks, and still he suffered from them. He served them with dogs and horses, and still he suffered from them. He served them with pearls and gems, and still he suffered from them. Seeing this, he assembled the old men, and announced to them, saying, "What the barbarians want is my territory. I have heard this,-- that a ruler does not injure his people with that wherewith he nourishes them. My children, why should you be troubled about having no prince? I will leave this." Accordingly, he left Pin, crossed the mountain Liang, built a town at the foot of mount Ch'î, and dwelt there. The people of Pin said, "He is a benevolent man. We must not lose him." Those who followed him looked like crowds hastening to market. 2. 'On the other hand, some say, "The kingdom is a thing to be kept from generation to generation. One individual cannot undertake to dispose of it in his own person. Let him be prepared to die for it. Let him not quit it." 3. 'I ask you, prince, to make your election between these two courses.' 1. The duke P'ing of Lû was about to leave his palace, when his favourite, one Tsang Ts'ang, made a request to him, saying, 'On other days, when you have gone out, you have given instructions to the officers as to where you were going. But now, the horses have been put to the carriage, and the officers do not yet know where you are going. I venture to ask.' The duke said, 'I am going to see the scholar Mang.' ' How is this?' said the other. 'That you demean yourself, prince, in paying the honour of the first visit to a common man, is, I suppose, because you think that he is a man of talents and virtue. By such men the rules of ceremonial proprieties and right are observed. But on the occasion of this Mang's second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former. Do not go to see him, my prince.' The duke said, 'I will not.' 2. The officer Yo-chang entered the court, and had an audience. He said, 'Prince, why have you not gone to see Mang K'o?' the duke said, 'One told me that, on the occasion of the scholar Mang's second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former. It is on that account that I have not gone to see him.' 'How is this!' answered Yo-chang. 'By what you call "exceeding," you mean, I suppose, that, on the first occasion, he used the rites appropriate to a scholar, and, on the second, those appropriate to a great officer; that he first used three tripods, and afterwards five tripods.' The duke said, 'No; I refer to the greater excellence of the coffin, the shell, the grave-clothes, and the shroud.' Yo-chAng said, 'That cannot be called "exceeding." That was the difference between being poor and being rich.' 3. After this, Yo-chang saw Mencius, and said to him, 'I told the prince about you, and he was consequently coming to see you, when one of his favourites, named Tsang Ts'ang, stopped him, and therefore he did not come according to his purpose.' Mencius said, 'A man's advancement is effected, it may be, by others, and the stopping him is, it may be, from the efforts of others. But to advance a man or to stop his advance is really beyond the power of other men. My not finding in the prince of Lû a ruler who would confide in me, and put my counsels into practice, is from Heaven. How could that scion of the Tsang family cause me not to find the ruler that would suit me?' 1. Kung-sun Ch'âu asked Mencius, saying, 'Master, if you were to obtain the ordering of the government in Ch'î, could you promise yourself to accomplish anew such results as those realized by Kwan Chung and Yen?' 2. Mencius said, 'You are indeed a true man of Ch'î. You know about Kwan Chung and Yen, and nothing more, 3. 'Some one asked Tsang Hsî, saying, "Sir, to which do you give the superiority,-- to yourself or to Tsze-lû?" Tsang Hsî looked uneasy, and said, "He was an object of veneration to my grandfather." "Then," pursued the other, "Do you give the superiority to yourself or to Kwan Chung?" Tsang Hsî, flushed with anger and displeased, said, "How dare you compare me with Kwan Chung? Considering how entirely Kwan Chung possessed the confidence of his prince, how long he enjoyed the direction of the government of the State, and how low, after all, was what he accomplished,-- how is it that you liken me to him?" 4. 'Thus,' concluded Mencius, 'Tsang Hsî would not play Kwan Chung, and is it what you desire for me that I should do so?' 5. Kung-sun Ch'âu said, 'Kwan Chung raised his prince to be the leader of all the other princes, and Yen made his prince illustrious, and do you still think it would not be enough for you to do what they did?' 6. Mencius answered, 'To raise Ch'î to the royal dignity would be as easy as it is to turn round the hand.' 7. 'So!' returned the other. 'The perplexity of your disciple is hereby very much increased. There was king Wan, moreover, with all the virtue which belonged to him; and who did not die till he had reached a hundred years:-- and still his influence had not penetrated throughout the kingdom. It required king Wû and the duke of Châu to continue his course, before that influence greatly prevailed. Now you say that the royal dignity might be so easily obtained:-- is king Wan then not a sufficient object for imitation?' 8. Mencius said, 'How can king Wan be matched? From T'ang to Wû-ting there had appeared six or seven worthy and sage sovereigns. The kingdom had been attached to Yin for a long time, and this length of time made a change difficult. Wû-ting had all the princes coming to his court, and possessed the kingdom as if it had been a thing which he moved round in his palm. Then, Châu was removed from Wû-ting by no great interval of time. There were still remaining some of the ancient families and of the old manners, of the influence also which had emanated from the earlier sovereigns, and of their good government. Moreover, there were the viscount of Wei and his second son, their Royal Highnesses Pî-kan and the viscount of Ch'î, and Kâo-ko, all men of ability and virtue, who gave their joint assistance to Châu in his government. In consequence of these things, it took a long time for him to lose the throne. There was not a foot of ground which he did not possess. There was not one of all the people who was not his subject. So it was on his side, and king Wan at his beginning had only a territory of one hundred square lî. On all these accounts, it was difficult for him immediately to attain to the royal dignity. 9. 'The people of Ch'î have a saying-- "A man may have wisdom and discernment, but that is not like embracing the favourable opportunity. A man may have instruments of husbandry, but that is not like waiting for the farming seasons." The present time is one in which the royal dignity may be easily attained. 10. 'In the flourishing periods of the Hsiâ, Yin, and Châu dynasties, the royal domain did not exceed a thousand lî, and Ch'î embraces so much territory. Cocks crow and dogs bark to one another, all the way to the four borders of the State:-- so Ch'î possesses the people. No change is needed for the enlarging of its territory: no change is needed for the collecting of a population. If its ruler will put in practice a benevolent government, no power will be able to prevent his becoming sovereign. 11. 'Moreover, never was there a time farther removed than the present from the rise of a true sovereign: never was there a time when the sufferings of the people from tyrannical government were more intense than the present. The hungry readily partake of any food, and the thirsty of any drink.' 12. 'Confucius said, "The flowing progress of virtue is more rapid than the transmission of royal orders by stages and couriers." 13. 'At the present time, in a country of ten thousand chariots, let benevolent government be put in practice, and the people will be delighted with it, as if they were relieved from hanging by the heels. With half the merit of the ancients, double their achievements is sure to be realized. It is only at this time that such could be the case.' 1. Kung-sun Ch'âu asked Mencius, saying, 'Master, if you were to be appointed a high noble and the prime minister of Ch'î, so as to be able to carry your principles into practice, though you should thereupon raise the ruler to the headship of all the other princes, or even to the royal dignity, it would not be to be wondered at.-- In such a position would your mind be perturbed or not?' Mencius replied, 'No. At forty, I attained to an unperturbed mind.' 2. Ch'âu said, 'Since it is so with you, my Master, you are far beyond Mang Pan.' 'The mere attainment,' said Mencius, 'is not difficult. The scholar Kâo had attained to an unperturbed mind at an earlier period of life than I did.' 3. Ch'âu asked, 'Is there any way to an unperturbed mind?' The answer was, 'Yes. 4. 'Pî-kung Yû had this way of nourishing his valour:-- He did not flinch from any strokes at his body. He did not turn his eyes aside from any thrusts at them. He considered that the slightest push from any one was the same as if he were beaten before the crowds in the market-place, and that what he would not receive from a common man in his loose large garments of hair, neither should he receive from a prince of ten thousand chariots. He viewed stabbing a prince of ten thousand chariots just as stabbing a fellow dressed in cloth of hair. He feared not any of all the princes. A bad word addressed to him be always returned. 5. 'Mang Shih-shê had this way of nourishing his valour:-- He said, "I look upon not conquering and conquering in the same way. To measure the enemy and then advance; to calculate the chances of victory and then engage:-- this is to stand in awe of the opposing force. How can I make certain of conquering? I can only rise superior to all fear." 6. 'Mang Shih-shê resembled the philosopher Tsang. Pî-kung Yû resembled Tsze-hsiâ. I do not know to the valour of which of the two the superiority should be ascribed, but yet Mang Shih-shê attended to what was of the greater importance. 7. 'Formerly, the philosopher Tsang said to Tsze-hsiang, "Do you love valour? I heard an account of great valour from the Master. It speaks thus:-- 'If, on self-examination, I find that I am not upright, shall I not be in fear even of a poor man in his loose garments of hair-cloth? If, on self-examination, I find that I am upright, I will go forward against thousands and tens of thousands.'" 8. Yet, what Mang Shih-shê maintained, being merely his physical energy, was after all inferior to what the philosopher Tsang maintained, which was indeed of the most importance.' 9. Kung-sun Ch'âu said, 'May I venture to ask an explanation from you, Master, of how you maintain an unperturbed mind, and how the philosopher Kâo does the same?' Mencius answered,'Kâo says,-- "What is not attained in words is not to be sought for in the mind; what produces dissatisfaction in the mind, is not to be helped by passion-effort." This last,-- when there is unrest in the mind, not to seek for relief from passion-effort, may be conceded. But not to seek in the mind for what is not attained in words cannot be conceded. The will is the leader of the passion-nature. The passion-nature pervades and animates the body. The will is first and chief, and the passion-nature is subordinate to it. Therefore I say,-- Maintain firm the will, and do no violence to the passion-nature.' 10. Ch'âu observed, 'Since you say-- "The will is chief, and the passion-nature is subordinate," how do you also say, "Maintain firm the will, and do no violence to the passion-nature?"' Mencius replied, 'When it is the will alone which is active, it moves the passion-nature. When it is the passion-nature alone which is active, it moves the will. For instance now, in the case of a man falling or running, that is from the passion-nature, and yet it moves the mind.' 11. 'I venture to ask,' said Ch'âu again, 'wherein you, Master, surpass Kâo.' Mencius told him, 'I understand words. I am skilful in nourishing my vast, flowing passion-nature.' 12. Ch'âu pursued, 'I venture to ask what you mean by your vast, flowing passion-nature!' The reply was, 'It is difficult to describe it. 13. 'This is the passion-nature:-- It is exceedingly great, and exceedingly strong. Being nourished by rectitude, and sustaining no injury, it fills up all between heaven and earth. 14. 'This is the passion-nature:-- It is the mate and assistant of righteousness and reason. Without it, man is in a state of starvation. 15. 'It is produced by the accumulation of righteous deeds; it is not to be obtained by incidental acts of righteousness. If the mind does not feel complacency in the conduct, the nature becomes starved. I therefore said, "Kâo has never understood righteousness, because he makes it something external." 16. 'There must be the constant practice of this righteousness, but without the object of thereby nourishing the passion-nature. Let not the mind forget its work, but let there be no assisting the growth of that nature. Let us not be like the man of Sung. There was a man of Sung, who was grieved that his growing corn was not longer, and so he pulled it up. Having done this, he returned home, looking very stupid, and said to his people, "I am tired to-day. I have been helping the corn to grow long." His son ran to look at it, and found the corn all withered. There are few in the world, who do not deal with their passion-nature, as if they were assisting the corn to grow long. Some indeed consider it of no benefit to them, and let it alone:-- they do not weed their corn. They who assist it to grow long, pull out their corn. What they do is not only of no benefit to the nature, but it also injures it.' 17. Kung-sun Ch'âu further asked, 'What do you mean by saying that you understand whatever words you hear?' Mencius replied, 'When words are one-sided, I know how the mind of the speaker is clouded over. When words are extravagant, I know how the mind is fallen and sunk. When words are all-depraved, I know how the mind has departed from principle. When words are evasive, I know how the mind is at its wit's end. These evils growing in the mind, do injury to government, and, displayed in th government, are hurtful to the conduct of affairs. When a Sage shall again arise, he will certainly follow my words.' 18. On this Ch'âu observed, 'Tsâi Wo and Tsze-kung were skilful in speaking. Zan Niû, the disciple Min, and Yen Yüan, while their words were good, were distinguished for their virtuous conduct. Confucius united the qualities of the disciples in himself, but still he said, "In the matter of speeches, I am not competent."-- Then, Master, have you attained to be a Sage?' 19. Mencius said, 'Oh! what words are these? Formerly Tsze-kung asked Confucius, saying, "Master, are you a Sage?" Confucius answered him, "A Sage is what I cannot rise to. I learn without satiety, and teach without being tired." Tsze-kung said, "You learn without satiety:-- that shows your wisdom. You teach without being tired:-- that shows your benevolence. Benevolent and wise:-- Master, you ARE a Sage." Now, since Confucius would not allow himself to be regarded as a Sage, what words were those?' 20. Ch'âu said, 'Formerly, I once heard this:-- Tsze-hsiâ, Tsze-yû, and Tsze-chang had each one member of the Sage. Zan Niû, the disciple Min, and Yen Yüan had all the members, but in small proportions. I venture to ask,-- With which of these are you pleased to rank yourself?' 21. Mencius replied, 'Let us drop speaking about these, if you please.' 22. Ch'âu then asked, 'What do you say of Po-î and Î Yin?' 'Their ways were different from mine,' said Mencius. 'Not to serve a prince whom he did not esteem, nor command a people whom he did not approve; in a time of good government to take office, and on the occurrence of confusion to retire:-- this was the way of Po-î. To say-- "Whom may I not serve? My serving him makes him my ruler. What people may I not command? My commanding them makes them my people." In a time of good government to take office, and when disorder prevailed, also to take office:-- that was the way of Î Yin. When it was proper to go into office, then to go into it; when it was proper to keep retired from office, then to keep retired from it; when it was proper to continue in it long, then to continue in it long - when it was proper to withdraw from it quickly, then to withdraw quickly:-- that was the way of Confucius. These were all sages of antiquity, and I have not attained to do what they did. But what I wish to do is to learn to be like Confucius.' 23. Ch'âu said, 'Comparing Po-î and Î Yin with Confucius, are they to be placed in the same rank?' Mencius replied, 'No. Since there were living men until now, there never was another Confucius.' 24. Ch'âu said, 'Then, did they have any points of agreement with him?' The reply was,-- 'Yes. If they had been sovereigns over a hundred lî of territory, they would, all of them, have brought all the princes to attend in their court, and have obtained the throne. And none of them, in order to obtain the throne, would have committed one act of unrighteousness, or put to death one innocent person. In those things they agreed with him.' 25. Ch'âu said, 'I venture to ask wherein he differed from them.' Mencius replied, 'Tsâi Wo, Tsze-kung, and Yû Zo had wisdom sufficient to know the sage. Even had they been ranking themselves low, they would not have demeaned themselves to flatter their favourite. 26. 'Now, Tsâi Wo said, "According to my view of our Master, he was far superior to Yâo and Shun." 27. 'Tsze-kung said, "By viewing the ceremonial ordinances of a prince, we know the character of his government. By hearing his music, we know the character of his virtue. After the lapse of a hundred ages I can arrange, according to their merits, the kings of a hundred ages;-- not one of them can escape me. From the birth of mankind till now, there has never been another like our Master." 28. 'Yû Zo said, "Is it only among men that it is so? There is the Ch'î-lin among quadrupeds, the Fang-hwang among birds, the T'âi mountain among mounds and ant-hills, and rivers and seas among rain-pools. Though different in degree, they are the same in kind. So the sages among mankind are also the same in kind. But they stand out from their fellows, and rise above the level, and from the birth of mankind till now, there never has been one so complete as Confucius."' 1 The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name. (Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things. Always without desire we must be found, If its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, Its outer fringe is all that we shall see. Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful. 2 All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; they all know the skill of the skilful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what the want of skill is. So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another. Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his instructions without the use of speech. All things spring up, and there is not one which declines to show itself; they grow, and there is no claim made for their ownership; they go through their processes, and there is no expectation (of a reward for the results). The work is accomplished, and there is no resting in it (as an achievement). The work is done, but how no one can see; 'Tis this that makes the power not cease to be. 3 Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder. Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones. He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal. 4 The Tao is (like) the emptiness of a vessel; and in our employment of it we must be on our guard against all fulness. How deep and unfathomable it is, as if it were the Honoured Ancestor of all things! We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should attemper our brightness, and bring ourselves into agreement with the obscurity of others. How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue! I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God. 5 Heaven and earth do not act from (the impulse of) any wish to be benevolent; they deal with all things as the dogs of grass are dealt with. The sages do not act from (any wish to be) benevolent; they deal with the people as the dogs of grass are dealt with. May not the space between heaven and earth be compared to a bellows? 'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power; 'Tis moved again, and sends forth air the more. Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see; Your inner being guard, and keep it free. 6 The valley spirit dies not, aye the same; The female mystery thus do we name. Its gate, from which at first they issued forth, Is called the root from which grew heaven and earth. Long and unbroken does its power remain, Used gently, and without the touch of pain. 7 Heaven is long-enduring and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of, or for, themselves. This is how they are able to continue and endure. Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in the foremost place; he treats his person as if it were foreign to him, and yet that person is preserved. Is it not because he has no personal and private ends, that therefore such ends are realised? 8 The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao. The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability of) the place; that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; that of associations is in their being with the virtuous; that of government is in its securing good order; that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability; and that of (the initiation of) any movement is in its timeliness. And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him. 9 It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full. If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness. When gold and jade fill the hall, their possessor cannot keep them safe. When wealth and honours lead to arrogancy, this brings its evil on itself. When the work is done, and one's name is becoming distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven. 10 When the intelligent and animal souls are held together in one embrace, they can be kept from separating. When one gives undivided attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe. When he has cleansed away the most mysterious sights (of his imagination), he can become without a flaw. In loving the people and ruling the state, cannot he proceed without any (purpose of) action? In the opening and shutting of his gates of heaven, cannot he do so as a female bird? While his intelligence reaches in every direction, cannot he (appear to) be without knowledge? (The Tao) produces (all things) and nourishes them; it produces them and does not claim them as its own; it does all, and yet does not boast of it; it presides over all, and yet does not control them. This is what is called 'The mysterious Quality' (of the Tao). 11 The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends. Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends. The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within), that its use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive) existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for (actual) usefulness. 12 Colour's five hues from th' eyes their sight will take; Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make; The flavours five deprive the mouth of taste; The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste Make mad the mind; and objects rare and strange, Sought for, men's conduct will to evil change. Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy (the craving of) the belly, and not the (insatiable longing of the) eyes. He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former. 13 Favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared; honour and great calamity, to be regarded as personal conditions (of the same kind). What is meant by speaking thus of favour and disgrace? Disgrace is being in a low position (after the enjoyment of favour). The getting that (favour) leads to the apprehension (of losing it), and the losing it leads to the fear of (still greater calamity):--this is what is meant by saying that favour and disgrace would seem equally to be feared. And what is meant by saying that honour and great calamity are to be (similarly) regarded as personal conditions? What makes me liable to great calamity is my having the body (which I call myself); if I had not the body, what great calamity could come to me? Therefore he who would administer the kingdom, honouring it as he honours his own person, may be employed to govern it, and he who would administer it with the love which he bears to his own person may be entrusted with it. 14 We look at it, and we do not see it, and we name it 'the Equable.' We listen to it, and we do not hear it, and we name it 'the Inaudible.' We try to grasp it, and do not get hold of it, and we name it 'the Subtle.' With these three qualities, it cannot be made the subject of description; and hence we blend them together and obtain The One. Its upper part is not bright, and its lower part is not obscure. Ceaseless in its action, it yet cannot be named, and then it again returns and becomes nothing. This is called the Form of the Formless, and the Semblance of the Invisible; this is called the Fleeting and Indeterminable. We meet it and do not see its Front; we follow it, and do not see its Back. When we can lay hold of the Tao of old to direct the things of the present day, and are able to know it as it was of old in the beginning, this is called (unwinding) the clue of Tao. 15 The skilful masters (of the Tao) in old times, with a subtle and exquisite penetration, comprehended its mysteries, and were deep (also) so as to elude men's knowledge. As they were thus beyond men's knowledge, I will make an effort to describe of what sort they appeared to be. Shrinking looked they like those who wade through a stream in winter; irresolute like those who are afraid of all around them; grave like a guest (in awe of his host); evanescent like ice that is melting away; unpretentious like wood that has not been fashioned into anything; vacant like a valley, and dull like muddy water. Who can (make) the muddy water (clear)? Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear. Who can secure the condition of rest? Let movement go on, and the condition of rest will gradually arise. They who preserve this method of the Tao do not wish to be full (of themselves). It is through their not being full of themselves that they can afford to seem worn and not appear new and complete. 16 The (state of) vacancy should be brought to the utmost degree, and that of stillness guarded with unwearying vigour. All things alike go through their processes of activity, and (then) we see them return (to their original state). When things (in the vegetable world) have displayed their luxuriant growth, we see each of them return to its root. This returning to their root is what we call the state of stillness; and that stillness may be called a reporting that they have fulfilled their appointed end. The report of that fulfilment is the regular, unchanging rule. To know that unchanging rule is to be intelligent; not to know it leads to wild movements and evil issues. The knowledge of that unchanging rule produces a (grand) capacity and forbearance, and that capacity and forbearance lead to a community (of feeling with all things). From this community of feeling comes a kingliness of character; and he who is king-like goes on to be heaven-like. In that likeness to heaven he possesses the Tao. Possessed of the Tao, he endures long; and to the end of his bodily life, is exempt from all danger of decay. 17 In the highest antiquity, (the people) did not know that there were (their rulers). In the next age they loved them and praised them. In the next they feared them; in the next they despised them. Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers) a want of faith in them ensued (in the people). How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words! Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!' 18 When the Great Tao (Way or Method) ceased to be observed, benevolence and righteousness came into vogue. (Then) appeared wisdom and shrewdness, and there ensued great hypocrisy. When harmony no longer prevailed throughout the six kinships, filial sons found their manifestation; when the states and clans fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared. 19 If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold. If we could renounce our benevolence and discard our righteousness, the people would again become filial and kindly. If we could renounce our artful contrivances and discard our (scheming for) gain, there would be no thieves nor robbers. Those three methods (of government) Thought olden ways in elegance did fail And made these names their want of worth to veil; But simple views, and courses plain and true Would selfish ends and many lusts eschew. 20 When we renounce learning we have no troubles. The (ready) 'yes,' and (flattering) 'yea;'-- Small is the difference they display. But mark their issues, good and ill;-- What space the gulf between shall fill? What all men fear is indeed to be feared; but how wide and without end is the range of questions (asking to be discussed)! The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased; as if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem listless and still, my desires having as yet given no indication of their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos. Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrimination, while I alone am dull and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer. (Thus) I alone am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao). 21 The grandest forms of active force From Tao come, their only source. Who can of Tao the nature tell? Our sight it flies, our touch as well. Eluding sight, eluding touch, The forms of things all in it crouch; Eluding touch, eluding sight, There are their semblances, all right. Profound it is, dark and obscure; Things' essences all there endure. Those essences the truth enfold Of what, when seen, shall then be told. Now it is so; 'twas so of old. Its name--what passes not away; So, in their beautiful array, Things form and never know decay. How know I that it is so with all the beauties of existing things? By this (nature of the Tao). 22 The partial becomes complete; the crooked, straight; the empty, full; the worn out, new. He whose (desires) are few gets them; he whose (desires) are many goes astray. Therefore the sage holds in his embrace the one thing (of humility), and manifests it to all the world. He is free from self- display, and therefore he shines; from self-assertion, and therefore he is distinguished; from self-boasting, and therefore his merit is acknowledged; from self-complacency, and therefore he acquires superiority. It is because he is thus free from striving that therefore no one in the world is able to strive with him. That saying of the ancients that 'the partial becomes complete' was not vainly spoken:--all real completion is comprehended under it. 23 Abstaining from speech marks him who is obeying the spontaneity of his nature. A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day. To whom is it that these (two) things are owing? To Heaven and Earth. If Heaven and Earth cannot make such (spasmodic) actings last long, how much less can man! Therefore when one is making the Tao his business, those who are also pursuing it, agree with him in it, and those who are making the manifestation of its course their object agree with him in that; while even those who are failing in both these things agree with him where they fail. Hence, those with whom he agrees as to the Tao have the happiness of attaining to it; those with whom he agrees as to its manifestation have the happiness of attaining to it; and those with whom he agrees in their failure have also the happiness of attaining (to the Tao). (But) when there is not faith sufficient (on his part), a want of faith (in him) ensues (on the part of the others). 24 He who stands on his tiptoes does not stand firm; he who stretches his legs does not walk (easily). (So), he who displays himself does not shine; he who asserts his own views is not distinguished; he who vaunts himself does not find his merit acknowledged; he who is self- conceited has no superiority allowed to him. Such conditions, viewed from the standpoint of the Tao, are like remnants of food, or a tumour on the body, which all dislike. Hence those who pursue (the course) of the Tao do not adopt and allow them. 25 There was something undefined and complete, coming into existence before Heaven and Earth. How still it was and formless, standing alone, and undergoing no change, reaching everywhere and in no danger (of being exhausted)! It may be regarded as the Mother of all things. I do not know its name, and I give it the designation of the Tao (the Way or Course). Making an effort (further) to give it a name I call it The Great. Great, it passes on (in constant flow). Passing on, it becomes remote. Having become remote, it returns. Therefore the Tao is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; and the (sage) king is also great. In the universe there are four that are great, and the (sage) king is one of them. Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is. 26 Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of movement. Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far from his baggage waggons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to them. How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly before the kingdom? If he do act lightly, he has lost his root (of gravity); if he proceed to active movement, he will lose his throne. 27 The skilful traveller leaves no traces of his wheels or footsteps; the skilful speaker says nothing that can be found fault with or blamed; the skilful reckoner uses no tallies; the skilful closer needs no bolts or bars, while to open what he has shut will be impossible; the skilful binder uses no strings or knots, while to unloose what he has bound will be impossible. In the same way the sage is always skilful at saving men, and so he does not cast away any man; he is always skilful at saving things, and so he does not cast away anything. This is called 'Hiding the light of his procedure.' Therefore the man of skill is a master (to be looked up to) by him who has not the skill; and he who has not the skill is the helper of (the reputation of) him who has the skill. If the one did not honour his master, and the other did not rejoice in his helper, an (observer), though intelligent, might greatly err about them. This is called 'The utmost degree of mystery.' 28 Who knows his manhood's strength, Yet still his female feebleness maintains; As to one channel flow the many drains, All come to him, yea, all beneath the sky. Thus he the constant excellence retains; The simple child again, free from all stains. Who knows how white attracts, Yet always keeps himself within black's shade, The pattern of humility displayed, Displayed in view of all beneath the sky; He in the unchanging excellence arrayed, Endless return to man's first state has made. Who knows how glory shines, Yet loves disgrace, nor e'er for it is pale; Behold his presence in a spacious vale, To which men come from all beneath the sky. The unchanging excellence completes its tale; The simple infant man in him we hail. The unwrought material, when divided and distributed, forms vessels. The sage, when employed, becomes the Head of all the Officers (of government); and in his greatest regulations he employs no violent measures. 29 If any one should wish to get the kingdom for himself, and to effect this by what he does, I see that he will not succeed. The kingdom is a spirit-like thing, and cannot be got by active doing. He who would so win it destroys it; he who would hold it in his grasp loses it. The course and nature of things is such that What was in front is now behind; What warmed anon we freezing find. Strength is of weakness oft the spoil; The store in ruins mocks our toil. Hence the sage puts away excessive effort, extravagance, and easy indulgence. 30 He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return. Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years. A skilful (commander) strikes a decisive blow, and stops. He does not dare (by continuing his operations) to assert and complete his mastery. He will strike the blow, but will be on his guard against being vain or boastful or arrogant in consequence of it. He strikes it as a matter of necessity; he strikes it, but not from a wish for mastery. When things have attained their strong maturity they become old. This may be said to be not in accordance with the Tao: and what is not in accordance with it soon comes to an end. 31 Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures. Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them. The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honourable place, but in time of war the right hand. Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom. On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in battle has his place (rightly) according to those rites. 32 The Tao, considered as unchanging, has no name. Though in its primordial simplicity it may be small, the whole world dares not deal with (one embodying) it as a minister. If a feudal prince or the king could guard and hold it, all would spontaneously submit themselves to him. Heaven and Earth (under its guidance) unite together and send down the sweet dew, which, without the directions of men, reaches equally everywhere as of its own accord. As soon as it proceeds to action, it has a name. When it once has that name, (men) can know to rest in it. When they know to rest in it, they can be free from all risk of failure and error. The relation of the Tao to all the world is like that of the great rivers and seas to the streams from the valleys. 33 He who knows other men is discerning; he who knows himself is intelligent. He who overcomes others is strong; he who overcomes himself is mighty. He who is satisfied with his lot is rich; he who goes on acting with energy has a (firm) will. He who does not fail in the requirements of his position, continues long; he who dies and yet does not perish, has longevity. 34 All-pervading is the Great Tao! It may be found on the left hand and on the right. All things depend on it for their production, which it gives to them, not one refusing obedience to it. When its work is accomplished, it does not claim the name of having done it. It clothes all things as with a garment, and makes no assumption of being their lord;--it may be named in the smallest things. All things return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it which presides over their doing so;--it may be named in the greatest things. Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great achievements. It is through his not making himself great that he can accomplish them. 35 To him who holds in his hands the Great Image (of the invisible Tao), the whole world repairs. Men resort to him, and receive no hurt, but (find) rest, peace, and the feeling of ease. Music and dainties will make the passing guest stop (for a time). But though the Tao as it comes from the mouth, seems insipid and has no flavour, though it seems not worth being looked at or listened to, the use of it is inexhaustible. 36 When one is about to take an inspiration, he is sure to make a (previous) expiration; when he is going to weaken another, he will first strengthen him; when he is going to overthrow another, he will first have raised him up; when he is going to despoil another, he will first have made gifts to him:--this is called 'Hiding the light (of his procedure).' The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong. Fishes should not be taken from the deep; instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people. 37 The Tao in its regular course does nothing (for the sake of doing it), and so there is nothing which it does not do. If princes and kings were able to maintain it, all things would of themselves be transformed by them. If this transformation became to me an object of desire, I would express the desire by the nameless simplicity. Simplicity without a name Is free from all external aim. With no desire, at rest and still, All things go right as of their will. 38 (Those who) possessed in highest degree the attributes (of the Tao) did not (seek) to show them, and therefore they possessed them (in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in a lower degree those attributes (sought how) not to lose them, and therefore they did not possess them (in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing (with a purpose), and had no need to do anything. (Those who) possessed them in a lower degree were (always) doing, and had need to be so doing. (Those who) possessed the highest benevolence were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so. (Those who) possessed the highest righteousness were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had need to be so doing. (Those who) possessed the highest (sense of) propriety were (always seeking) to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared the arm and marched up to them. Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared; when its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared; when benevolence was lost, righteousness appeared; and when righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared. Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder; swift apprehension is (only) a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity. Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower. It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other. 39 The things which from of old have got the One (the Tao) are-- Heaven which by it is bright and pure; Earth rendered thereby firm and sure; Spirits with powers by it supplied; Valleys kept full throughout their void All creatures which through it do live Princes and kings who from it get The model which to all they give. All these are the results of the One (Tao). If heaven were not thus pure, it soon would rend; If earth were not thus sure, 'twould break and bend; Without these powers, the spirits soon would fail; If not so filled, the drought would parch each vale; Without that life, creatures would pass away; Princes and kings, without that moral sway, However grand and high, would all decay. Thus it is that dignity finds its (firm) root in its (previous) meanness, and what is lofty finds its stability in the lowness (from which it rises). Hence princes and kings call themselves 'Orphans,' 'Men of small virtue,' and as 'Carriages without a nave.' Is not this an acknowledgment that in their considering themselves mean they see the foundation of their dignity? So it is that in the enumeration of the different parts of a carriage we do not come on what makes it answer the ends of a carriage. They do not wish to show themselves elegant-looking as jade, but (prefer) to be coarse-looking as an (ordinary) stone. 40 The movement of the Tao By contraries proceeds; And weakness marks the course Of Tao's mighty deeds. All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named); that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named). 41 Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao, earnestly carry it into practice. Scholars of the middle class, when they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it. Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh greatly at it. If it were not (thus) laughed at, it would not be fit to be the Tao. Therefore the sentence-makers have thus expressed themselves:-- 'The Tao, when brightest seen, seems light to lack; Who progress in it makes, seems drawing back; Its even way is like a rugged track. Its highest virtue from the vale doth rise; Its greatest beauty seems to offend the eyes; And he has most whose lot the least supplies. Its firmest virtue seems but poor and low; Its solid truth seems change to undergo; Its largest square doth yet no corner show A vessel great, it is the slowest made; Loud is its sound, but never word it said; A semblance great, the shadow of a shade.' The Tao is hidden, and has no name; but it is the Tao which is skilful at imparting (to all things what they need) and making them complete. 42 The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things. All things leave behind them the Obscurity (out of which they have come), and go forward to embrace the Brightness (into which they have emerged), while they are harmonised by the Breath of Vacancy. What men dislike is to be orphans, to have little virtue, to be as carriages without naves; and yet these are the designations which kings and princes use for themselves. So it is that some things are increased by being diminished, and others are diminished by being increased. What other men (thus) teach, I also teach. The violent and strong do not die their natural death. I will make this the basis of my teaching. 43 The softest thing in the world dashes against and overcomes the hardest; that which has no (substantial) existence enters where there is no crevice. I know hereby what advantage belongs to doing nothing (with a purpose). There are few in the world who attain to the teaching without words, and the advantage arising from non-action. 44 Or fame or life, Which do you hold more dear? Or life or wealth, To which would you adhere? Keep life and lose those other things; Keep them and lose your life:--which brings Sorrow and pain more near? Thus we may see, Who cleaves to fame Rejects what is more great; Who loves large stores Gives up the richer state. Who is content Needs fear no shame. Who knows to stop Incurs no blame. From danger free Long live shall he. 45 Who thinks his great achievements poor Shall find his vigour long endure. Of greatest fulness, deemed a void, Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide. Do thou what's straight still crooked deem; Thy greatest art still stupid seem, And eloquence a stammering scream. Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven. 46 When the Tao prevails in the world, they send back their swift horses to (draw) the dung-carts. When the Tao is disregarded in the world, the war-horses breed in the border lands. There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition; no calamity greater than to be discontented with one's lot; no fault greater than the wish to be getting. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is an enduring and unchanging sufficiency. 47 Without going outside his door, one understands (all that takes place) under the sky; without looking out from his window, one sees the Tao of Heaven. The farther that one goes out (from himself), the less he knows. Therefore the sages got their knowledge without travelling; gave their (right) names to things without seeing them; and accomplished their ends without any purpose of doing so. 48 He who devotes himself to learning (seeks) from day to day to increase (his knowledge); he who devotes himself to the Tao (seeks) from day to day to diminish (his doing). He diminishes it and again diminishes it, till he arrives at doing nothing (on purpose). Having arrived at this point of non-action, there is nothing which he does not do. He who gets as his own all under heaven does so by giving himself no trouble (with that end). If one take trouble (with that end), he is not equal to getting as his own all under heaven. 49 The sage has no invariable mind of his own; he makes the mind of the people his mind. To those who are good (to me), I am good; and to those who are not good (to me), I am also good;--and thus (all) get to be good. To those who are sincere (with me), I am sincere; and to those who are not sincere (with me), I am also sincere;--and thus (all) get to be sincere. The sage has in the world an appearance of indecision, and keeps his mind in a state of indifference to all. The people all keep their eyes and ears directed to him, and he deals with them all as his children. 50 Men come forth and live; they enter (again) and die. Of every ten three are ministers of life (to themselves); and three are ministers of death. There are also three in every ten whose aim is to live, but whose movements tend to the land (or place) of death. And for what reason? Because of their excessive endeavours to perpetuate life. But I have heard that he who is skilful in managing the life entrusted to him for a time travels on the land without having to shun rhinoceros or tiger, and enters a host without having to avoid buff coat or sharp weapon. The rhinoceros finds no place in him into which to thrust its horn, nor the tiger a place in which to fix its claws, nor the weapon a place to admit its point. And for what reason? Because there is in him no place of death. 51 All things are produced by the Tao, and nourished by its outflowing operation. They receive their forms according to the nature of each, and are completed according to the circumstances of their condition. Therefore all things without exception honour the Tao, and exalt its outflowing operation. This honouring of the Tao and exalting of its operation is not the result of any ordination, but always a spontaneous tribute. Thus it is that the Tao produces (all things), nourishes them, brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures them, maintains them, and overspreads them. It produces them and makes no claim to the possession of them; it carries them through their processes and does not vaunt its ability in doing so; it brings them to maturity and exercises no control over them;--this is called its mysterious operation. 52 (The Tao) which originated all under the sky is to be considered as the mother of them all. When the mother is found, we know what her children should be. When one knows that he is his mother's child, and proceeds to guard (the qualities of) the mother that belong to him, to the end of his life he will be free from all peril. Let him keep his mouth closed, and shut up the portals (of his nostrils), and all his life he will be exempt from laborious exertion. Let him keep his mouth open, and (spend his breath) in the promotion of his affairs, and all his life there will be no safety for him. The perception of what is small is (the secret of clear- sightedness; the guarding of what is soft and tender is (the secret of) strength. Who uses well his light, Reverting to its (source so) bright, Will from his body ward all blight, And hides the unchanging from men's sight. 53 If I were suddenly to become known, and (put into a position to) conduct (a government) according to the Great Tao, what I should be most afraid of would be a boastful display. The great Tao (or way) is very level and easy; but people love the by-ways. Their court(-yards and buildings) shall be well kept, but their fields shall be ill-cultivated, and their granaries very empty. They shall wear elegant and ornamented robes, carry a sharp sword at their girdle, pamper themselves in eating and drinking, and have a superabundance of property and wealth;--such (princes) may be called robbers and boasters. This is contrary to the Tao surely! 54 What (Tao's) skilful planter plants Can never be uptorn; What his skilful arms enfold, From him can ne'er be borne. Sons shall bring in lengthening line, Sacrifices to his shrine. Tao when nursed within one's self, His vigour will make true; And where the family it rules What riches will accrue! The neighbourhood where it prevails In thriving will abound; And when 'tis seen throughout the state, Good fortune will be found. Employ it the kingdom o'er, And men thrive all around. In this way the effect will be seen in the person, by the observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighbourhood; in the state; and in the kingdom. How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the sky? By this (method of observation). 55 He who has in himself abundantly the attributes (of the Tao) is like an infant. Poisonous insects will not sting him; fierce beasts will not seize him; birds of prey will not strike him. (The infant's) bones are weak and its sinews soft, but yet its grasp is firm. It knows not yet the union of male and female, and yet its virile member may be excited;--showing the perfection of its physical essence. All day long it will cry without its throat becoming hoarse;--showing the harmony (in its constitution). To him by whom this harmony is known, (The secret of) the unchanging (Tao) is shown, And in the knowledge wisdom finds its throne. All life-increasing arts to evil turn; Where the mind makes the vital breath to burn, (False) is the strength, (and o'er it we should mourn.) When things have become strong, they (then) become old, which may be said to be contrary to the Tao. Whatever is contrary to the Tao soon ends. 56 He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it. He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals (of his nostrils). He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called 'the Mysterious Agreement.' (Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or meanness:--he is the noblest man under heaven. 57 A state may be ruled by (measures of) correction; weapons of war may be used with crafty dexterity; (but) the kingdom is made one's own (only) by freedom from action and purpose. How do I know that it is so? By these facts:--In the kingdom the multiplication of prohibitive enactments increases the poverty of the people; the more implements to add to their profit that the people have, the greater disorder is there in the state and clan; the more acts of crafty dexterity that men possess, the more do strange contrivances appear; the more display there is of legislation, the more thieves and robbers there are. Therefore a sage has said, 'I will do nothing (of purpose), and the people will be transformed of themselves; I will be fond of keeping still, and the people will of themselves become correct. I will take no trouble about it, and the people will of themselves become rich; I will manifest no ambition, and the people will of themselves attain to the primitive simplicity.' 58 The government that seems the most unwise, Oft goodness to the people best supplies; That which is meddling, touching everything, Will work but ill, and disappointment bring. Misery!--happiness is to be found by its side! Happiness!--misery lurks beneath it! Who knows what either will come to in the end? Shall we then dispense with correction? The (method of) correction shall by a turn become distortion, and the good in it shall by a turn become evil. The delusion of the people (on this point) has indeed subsisted for a long time. Therefore the sage is (like) a square which cuts no one (with its angles); (like) a corner which injures no one (with its sharpness). He is straightforward, but allows himself no license; he is bright, but does not dazzle. 59 For regulating the human (in our constitution) and rendering the (proper) service to the heavenly, there is nothing like moderation. It is only by this moderation that there is effected an early return (to man's normal state). That early return is what I call the repeated accumulation of the attributes (of the Tao). With that repeated accumulation of those attributes, there comes the subjugation (of every obstacle to such return). Of this subjugation we know not what shall be the limit; and when one knows not what the limit shall be, he may be the ruler of a state. He who possesses the mother of the state may continue long. His case is like that (of the plant) of which we say that its roots are deep and its flower stalks firm:--this is the way to secure that its enduring life shall long be seen. 60 Governing a great state is like cooking small fish. Let the kingdom be governed according to the Tao, and the manes of the departed will not manifest their spiritual energy. It is not that those manes have not that spiritual energy, but it will not be employed to hurt men. It is not that it could not hurt men, but neither does the ruling sage hurt them. When these two do not injuriously affect each other, their good influences converge in the virtue (of the Tao). 61 What makes a great state is its being (like) a low-lying, down- flowing (stream);--it becomes the centre to which tend (all the small states) under heaven. (To illustrate from) the case of all females:--the female always overcomes the male by her stillness. Stillness may be considered (a sort of) abasement. Thus it is that a great state, by condescending to small states, gains them for itself; and that small states, by abasing themselves to a great state, win it over to them. In the one case the abasement leads to gaining adherents, in the other case to procuring favour. The great state only wishes to unite men together and nourish them; a small state only wishes to be received by, and to serve, the other. Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase itself. 62 Tao has of all things the most honoured place. No treasures give good men so rich a grace; Bad men it guards, and doth their ill efface. (Its) admirable words can purchase honour; (its) admirable deeds can raise their performer above others. Even men who are not good are not abandoned by it. Therefore when the sovereign occupies his place as the Son of Heaven, and he has appointed his three ducal ministers, though (a prince) were to send in a round symbol-of-rank large enough to fill both the hands, and that as the precursor of the team of horses (in the court-yard), such an offering would not be equal to (a lesson of) this Tao, which one might present on his knees. Why was it that the ancients prized this Tao so much? Was it not because it could be got by seeking for it, and the guilty could escape (from the stain of their guilt) by it? This is the reason why all under heaven consider it the most valuable thing. 63 (It is the way of the Tao) to act without (thinking of) acting; to conduct affairs without (feeling the) trouble of them; to taste without discerning any flavour; to consider what is small as great, and a few as many; and to recompense injury with kindness. (The master of it) anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things. He who lightly promises is sure to keep but little faith; he who is continually thinking things easy is sure to find them difficult. Therefore the sage sees difficulty even in what seems easy, and so never has any difficulties. 64 That which is at rest is easily kept hold of; before a thing has given indications of its presence, it is easy to take measures against it; that which is brittle is easily broken; that which is very small is easily dispersed. Action should be taken before a thing has made its appearance; order should be secured before disorder has begun. The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine storeys rose from a (small) heap of earth; the journey of a thousand li commenced with a single step. He who acts (with an ulterior purpose) does harm; he who takes hold of a thing (in the same way) loses his hold. The sage does not act (so), and therefore does no harm; he does not lay hold (so), and therefore does not lose his bold. (But) people in their conduct of affairs are constantly ruining them when they are on the eve of success. If they were careful at the end, as (they should be) at the beginning, they would not so ruin them. Therefore the sage desires what (other men) do not desire, and does not prize things difficult to get; he learns what (other men) do not learn, and turns back to what the multitude of men have passed by. Thus he helps the natural development of all things, and does not dare to act (with an ulterior purpose of his own). 65 The ancients who showed their skill in practising the Tao did so, not to enlighten the people, but rather to make them simple and ignorant. The difficulty in governing the people arises from their having much knowledge. He who (tries to) govern a state by his wisdom is a scourge to it; while he who does not (try to) do so is a blessing. He who knows these two things finds in them also his model and rule. Ability to know this model and rule constitutes what we call the mysterious excellence (of a governor). Deep and far-reaching is such mysterious excellence, showing indeed its possessor as opposite to others, but leading them to a great conformity to him. 66 That whereby the rivers and seas are able to receive the homage and tribute of all the valley streams, is their skill in being lower than they;--it is thus that they are the kings of them all. So it is that the sage (ruler), wishing to be above men, puts himself by his words below them, and, wishing to be before them, places his person behind them. In this way though he has his place above them, men do not feel his weight, nor though he has his place before them, do they feel it an injury to them. Therefore all in the world delight to exalt him and do not weary of him. Because he does not strive, no one finds it possible to strive with him. 67 All the world says that, while my Tao is great, it yet appears to be inferior (to other systems of teaching). Now it is just its greatness that makes it seem to be inferior. If it were like any other (system), for long would its smallness have been known! But I have three precious things which I prize and hold fast. The first is gentleness; the second is economy; and the third is shrinking from taking precedence of others. With that gentleness I can be bold; with that economy I can be liberal; shrinking from taking precedence of others, I can become a vessel of the highest honour. Now-a-days they give up gentleness and are all for being bold; economy, and are all for being liberal; the hindmost place, and seek only to be foremost;--(of all which the end is) death. Gentleness is sure to be victorious even in battle, and firmly to maintain its ground. Heaven will save its possessor, by his (very) gentleness protecting him. 68 He who in (Tao's) wars has skill Assumes no martial port; He who fights with most good will To rage makes no resort. He who vanquishes yet still Keeps from his foes apart; He whose hests men most fulfil Yet humbly plies his art. Thus we say, 'He ne'er contends, And therein is his might.' Thus we say, 'Men's wills he bends, That they with him unite.' Thus we say, 'Like Heaven's his ends, No sage of old more bright.' 69 A master of the art of war has said, 'I do not dare to be the host (to commence the war); I prefer to be the guest (to act on the defensive). I do not dare to advance an inch; I prefer to retire a foot.' This is called marshalling the ranks where there are no ranks; baring the arms (to fight) where there are no arms to bare; grasping the weapon where there is no weapon to grasp; advancing against the enemy where there is no enemy. There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war. To do that is near losing (the gentleness) which is so precious. Thus it is that when opposing weapons are (actually) crossed, he who deplores (the situation) conquers. 70 My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practise; but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practise them. There is an originating and all-comprehending (principle) in my words, and an authoritative law for the things (which I enforce). It is because they do not know these, that men do not know me. They who know me are few, and I am on that account (the more) to be prized. It is thus that the sage wears (a poor garb of) hair cloth, while he carries his (signet of) jade in his bosom. 71 To know and yet (think) we do not know is the highest (attainment); not to know (and yet think) we do know is a disease. It is simply by being pained at (the thought of) having this disease that we are preserved from it. The sage has not the disease. He knows the pain that would be inseparable from it, and therefore he does not have it. 72 When the people do not fear what they ought to fear, that which is their great dread will come on them. Let them not thoughtlessly indulge themselves in their ordinary life; let them not act as if weary of what that life depends on. It is by avoiding such indulgence that such weariness does not arise. Therefore the sage knows (these things) of himself, but does not parade (his knowledge); loves, but does not (appear to set a) value on, himself. And thus he puts the latter alternative away and makes choice of the former. 73 He whose boldness appears in his daring (to do wrong, in defiance of the laws) is put to death; he whose boldness appears in his not daring (to do so) lives on. Of these two cases the one appears to be advantageous, and the other to be injurious. But When Heaven's anger smites a man, Who the cause shall truly scan? On this account the sage feels a difficulty (as to what to do in the former case). It is the way of Heaven not to strive, and yet it skilfully overcomes; not to speak, and yet it is skilful in (obtaining a reply; does not call, and yet men come to it of themselves. Its demonstrations are quiet, and yet its plans are skilful and effective. The meshes of the net of Heaven are large; far apart, but letting nothing escape. 74 The people do not fear death; to what purpose is it to (try to) frighten them with death? If the people were always in awe of death, and I could always seize those who do wrong, and put them to death, who would dare to do wrong? There is always One who presides over the infliction death. He who would inflict death in the room of him who so presides over it may be described as hewing wood instead of a great carpenter. Seldom is it that he who undertakes the hewing, instead of the great carpenter, does not cut his own hands! 75 The people suffer from famine because of the multitude of taxes consumed by their superiors. It is through this that they suffer famine. The people are difficult to govern because of the (excessive) agency of their superiors (in governing them). It is through this that they are difficult to govern. The people make light of dying because of the greatness of their labours in seeking for the means of living. It is this which makes them think light of dying. Thus it is that to leave the subject of living altogether out of view is better than to set a high value on it. 76 Man at his birth is supple and weak; at his death, firm and strong. (So it is with) all things. Trees and plants, in their early growth, are soft and brittle; at their death, dry and withered. Thus it is that firmness and strength are the concomitants of death; softness and weakness, the concomitants of life. Hence he who (relies on) the strength of his forces does not conquer; and a tree which is strong will fill the out-stretched arms, (and thereby invites the feller.) Therefore the place of what is firm and strong is below, and that of what is soft and weak is above. 77 May not the Way (or Tao) of Heaven be compared to the (method of) bending a bow? The (part of the bow) which was high is brought low, and what was low is raised up. (So Heaven) diminishes where there is superabundance, and supplements where there is deficiency. It is the Way of Heaven to diminish superabundance, and to supplement deficiency. It is not so with the way of man. He takes away from those who have not enough to add to his own superabundance. Who can take his own superabundance and therewith serve all under heaven? Only he who is in possession of the Tao! Therefore the (ruling) sage acts without claiming the results as his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it:--he does not wish to display his superiority. 78 There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it;--for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed. Every one in the world knows that the soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong, but no one is able to carry it out in practice. Therefore a sage has said, 'He who accepts his state's reproach, Is hailed therefore its altars' lord; To him who bears men's direful woes They all the name of King accord.' Words that are strictly true seem to be paradoxical. 79 When a reconciliation is effected (between two parties) after a great animosity, there is sure to be a grudge remaining (in the mind of the one who was wrong). And how can this be beneficial (to the other)? Therefore (to guard against this), the sage keeps the left-hand portion of the record of the engagement, and does not insist on the (speedy) fulfilment of it by the other party. (So), he who has the attributes (of the Tao) regards (only) the conditions of the engagement, while he who has not those attributes regards only the conditions favourable to himself. In the Way of Heaven, there is no partiality of love; it is always on the side of the good man. 80 In a little state with a small population, I would so order it, that, though there were individuals with the abilities of ten or a hundred men, there should be no employment of them; I would make the people, while looking on death as a grievous thing, yet not remove elsewhere (to avoid it). Though they had boats and carriages, they should have no occasion to ride in them; though they had buff coats and sharp weapons, they should have no occasion to don or use them. I would make the people return to the use of knotted cords (instead of the written characters). They should think their (coarse) food sweet; their (plain) clothes beautiful; their (poor) dwellings places of rest; and their common (simple) ways sources of enjoyment. There should be a neighbouring state within sight, and the voices of the fowls and dogs should be heard all the way from it to us, but I would make the people to old age, even to death, not have any intercourse with it. 81 Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere. Those who are skilled (in the Tao) do not dispute (about it); the disputatious are not skilled in it. Those who know (the Tao) are not extensively learned; the extensively learned do not know it. The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that he gives to others, the more does he have himself. With all the sharpness of the Way of Heaven, it injures not; with all the doing in the way of the sage he does not strive. Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude) PART ONE IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD, THE EXALTED, THE MOST HIGH. No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth. Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayan. THE essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets. Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times, yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they expected His coming, how frequently have they prayed that the breeze of divine mercy might blow, and the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of concealment, and be made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face—the face of God Himself. Refer ye, to verify this truth, to that which hath been recorded in every sacred Book. Ponder for a moment, and reflect upon that which hath been the cause of such denial on the part of those who have searched with such earnestness and longing. Their attack hath been more fierce than tongue or pen can describe. Not one single Manifestation of Holiness hath appeared but He was afflicted by the denials, the repudiation, and the vehement opposition of the people around Him. Thus it hath been revealed: "O the misery of men! No Messenger cometh unto them but they laugh Him to scorn."[Qur’an 36:30.] Again He saith: "Each nation hath plotted darkly against their Messenger to lay violent hold on Him, and disputed with vain words to invalidate the truth."[Qur’an 40:5.] In like manner, those words that have streamed forth from the source of power and descended from the heaven of glory are innumerable and beyond the ordinary comprehension of man. To them that are possessed of true understanding and insight the Surah of Hud surely sufficeth. Ponder a while those holy words in your heart, and, with utter detachment, strive to grasp their meaning. Examine the wondrous behaviour of the Prophets, and recall the defamations and denials uttered by the children of negation and falsehood, perchance you may cause the bird of the human heart to wing its flight away from the abodes of heedlessness and doubt unto the nest of faith and certainty, and drink deep from the pure waters of ancient wisdom, and partake of the fruit of the tree of divine knowledge. Such is the share of the pure in heart of the bread that hath descended from the realms of eternity and holiness. Should you acquaint yourself with the indignities heaped upon the Prophets of God, and apprehend the true causes of the objections voiced by their oppressors, you will surely appreciate the significance of their position. Moreover, the more closely you observe the denials of those who have opposed the Manifestations of the divine attributes, the firmer will be your faith in the Cause of God. Accordingly, a brief mention will be made in this Tablet of divers accounts relative to the Prophets of God, that they may demonstrate the truth that throughout all ages and centuries the Manifestations of power and glory have been subjected to such heinous cruelties that no pen dare describe them. Perchance this may enable a few to cease to be perturbed by the clamour and protestations of the divines and the foolish of this age, and cause them to strengthen their confidence and certainty. Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace. None, however, heeded His call. Each day they inflicted on His blessed person such pain and suffering that no one believed He could survive. How frequently they denied Him, how malevolently they hinted their suspicion against Him! Thus it hath been revealed: "And as often as a company of His people passed by Him, they derided Him. To them He said: ‘Though ye scoff at us now, we will scoff at you hereafter even as ye scoff at us. In the end ye shall know.’"[Qur’an 11:38.] Long afterward, He several times promised victory to His companions and fixed the hour thereof. But when the hour struck, the divine promise was not fulfilled. This caused a few among the small number of His followers to turn away from Him, and to this testify the records of the best-known books. These you must certainly have perused; if not, undoubtedly you will. Finally, as stated in books and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His followers. At last from the depth of His being He cried aloud: "Lord! Leave not upon the land a single dweller from among the unbelievers."[Qur’an 71:26.] And now, consider and reflect a moment upon the waywardness of this people. What could have been the reason for such denial and avoidance on their part? What could have induced them to refuse to put off the garment of denial, and to adorn themselves with the robe of acceptance? Moreover, what could have caused the nonfulfilment of the divine promise which led the seekers to reject that which they had accepted? Meditate profoundly, that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that you may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns. Even as He hath revealed: "Do men think when they say ‘We believe’ they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?"[Qur’an 29:2.] And after Noah the light of the countenance of Hud shone forth above the horizon of creation. For well-nigh seven hundred years, according to the sayings of men, He exhorted the people to turn their faces and draw nearer unto the Ridvan of the divine presence. What showers of afflictions rained upon Him, until at last His adjurations bore the fruit of increased rebelliousness, and His assiduous endeavours resulted in the wilful blindness of His people. "And their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers their own perdition."[Qur’an 35:39.] And after Him there appeared from the Ridvan of the Eternal, the Invisible, the holy person of Salih, Who again summoned the people to the river of everlasting life. For over a hundred years He admonished them to hold fast unto the commandments of God and eschew that which is forbidden. His admonitions, however, yielded no fruit, and His pleading proved of no avail. Several times He retired and lived in seclusion. All this, although that eternal Beauty was summoning the people to no other than the city of God. Even as it is revealed: "And unto the tribe of Thamud We sent their brother Salih. ‘O my people,’ said He, ‘Worship God, ye have none other God beside Him....’ They made reply: ‘O Salih, our hopes were fixed on thee until now; forbiddest thou us to worship that which our fathers worshipped? Truly we misdoubt that whereunto thou callest us as suspicious.’"[Qur’an 11:61, 62.] All this proved fruitless, until at last there went up a great cry, and all fell into utter perdition. Later, the beauty of the countenance of the Friend of God [Abraham.] appeared from behind the veil, and another standard of divine guidance was hoisted. He invited the people of the earth to the light of righteousness. The more passionately He exhorted them, the fiercer waxed the envy and waywardness of the people, except those who wholly detached themselves from all save God, and ascended on the wings of certainty to the station which God hath exalted beyond the comprehension of men. It is well known what a host of enemies besieged Him, until at last the fires of envy and rebellion were kindled against Him. And after the episode of the fire came to pass, He, the lamp of God amongst men, was, as recorded in all books and chronicles, expelled from His city. And when His day was ended, there came the turn of Moses. Armed with the rod of celestial dominion, adorned with the white hand of divine knowledge, and proceeding from the Paran of the love of God, and wielding the serpent of power and everlasting majesty, He shone forth from the Sinai of light upon the world. He summoned all the peoples and kindreds of the earth to the kingdom of eternity, and invited them to partake of the fruit of the tree of faithfulness. Surely you are aware of the fierce opposition of Pharaoh and his people, and of the stones of idle fancy which the hands of infidels cast upon that blessed Tree. So much so that Pharaoh and his people finally arose and exerted their utmost endeavor to extinguish with the waters of falsehood and denial the fire of that sacred Tree, oblivious of the truth that no earthly water can quench the flame of divine wisdom, nor mortal blasts extinguish the lamp of everlasting dominion. Nay, rather, such water cannot but intensify the burning of the flame, and such blasts cannot but ensure the preservation of the lamp, were ye to observe with the eye of discernment, and walk in the way of God’s holy will and pleasure. How well hath a believer of the kindred of Pharaoh, whose story is recounted by the All-Glorious in His Book revealed unto His beloved One, observed: "And a man of the family of Pharaoh who was a believer and concealed his faith said: ‘Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord is God, when He hath already come to you with signs from your Lord? If he be a liar, on him will be his lie, but if he be a man of truth, part of what he threateneth will fall upon you. In truth God guideth not him who is a transgressor, a liar.’"[Qur’an 40:28.] Finally, so great was their iniquity that this self-same believer was put to a shameful death. "The curse of God be upon the people of tyranny." [Qur’an 11:21.] And now, ponder upon these things. What could have caused such contention and conflict? Why is it that the advent of every true Manifestation of God hath been accompanied by such strife and tumult, by such tyranny and upheaval? This notwithstanding the fact that all the Prophets of God, whenever made manifest unto the peoples of the world, have invariably foretold the coming of yet another Prophet after them, and have established such signs as would herald the advent of the future Dispensation. To this the records of all sacred books bear witness. Why then is it that despite the expectation of men in their quest of the Manifestations of Holiness, and in spite of the signs recorded in the sacred books, such acts of violence, of oppression and cruelty, should have been perpetrated in every age and cycle against all the Prophets and chosen Ones of God? Even as He hath revealed: "As oft as an Apostle cometh unto you with that which your souls desire not, ye swell with pride, accusing some of being impostors and slaying others." [Qur’an 2:87.] Reflect, what could have been the motive for such deeds? What could have prompted such behaviour towards the Revealers of the beauty of the All-Glorious? Whatever in days gone by hath been the cause of the denial and opposition of those people hath now led to the perversity of the people of this age. To maintain that the testimony of Providence was incomplete, that it hath therefore been the cause of the denial of the people, is but open blasphemy. How far from the grace of the All-Bountiful and from His loving providence and tender mercies it is to single out a soul from amongst all men for the guidance of His creatures, and, on one hand, to withhold from Him the full measure of His divine testimony, and, on the other, inflict severe retribution on His people for having turned away from His chosen One! Nay, the manifold bounties of the Lord of all beings have, at all times, through the Manifestations of His divine Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell therein. Not for a moment hath His grace been withheld, nor have the showers of His loving-kindness ceased to rain upon mankind. Consequently, such behaviour can be attributed to naught save the petty-mindedness of such souls as tread the valley of arrogance and pride, are lost in the wilds of remoteness, walk in the ways of their idle fancy, and follow the dictates of the leaders of their faith. Their chief concern is mere opposition; their sole desire is to ignore the truth. Unto every discerning observer it is evident and manifest that had these people in the days of each of the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth sanctified their eyes, their ears, and their hearts from whatever they had seen, heard, and felt, they surely would not have been deprived of beholding the beauty of God, nor strayed far from the habitations of glory. But having weighed the testimony of God by the standard of their own knowledge, gleaned from the teachings of the leaders of their faith, and found it at variance with their limited understanding, they arose to perpetrate such unseemly acts. Leaders of religion, in every age, have hindered their people from attaining the shores of eternal salvation, inasmuch as they held the reins of authority in their mighty grasp. Some for the lust of leadership, others through want of knowledge and understanding, have been the cause of the deprivation of the people. By their sanction and authority, every Prophet of God hath drunk from the chalice of sacrifice, and winged His flight unto the heights of glory. What unspeakable cruelties they that have occupied the seats of authority and learning have inflicted upon the true Monarchs of the world, those Gems of divine virtue! Content with a transitory dominion, they have deprived themselves of an everlasting sovereignty. Thus, their eyes beheld not the light of the countenance of the Well-Beloved, nor did their ears hearken unto the sweet melodies of the Bird of Desire. For this reason, in all sacred books mention hath been made of the divines of every age. Thus He saith: "O people of the Book! Why disbelieve the signs of God to which ye yourselves have been witnesses?" [Qur’an 3:70.] And also He saith: "O people of the Book! Why clothe ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly hide the truth?" [Qur’an 3:71.] Again, He saith: "Say, O people of the Book! Why repel believers from the way of God?"[Qur’an 3:99.] It is evident that by the "people of the Book," who have repelled their fellow-men from the straight path of God, is meant none other than the divines of that age, whose names and character have been revealed in the sacred books, and alluded to in the verses and traditions recorded therein, were you to observe with the eye of God. With fixed and steady gaze, born of the unerring eye of God, scan for a while the horizon of divine knowledge, and contemplate those words of perfection which the Eternal hath revealed, that haply the mysteries of divine wisdom, hidden ere now beneath the veil of glory and treasured within the tabernacle of His grace, may be made manifest unto you. The denials and protestations of these leaders of religion have, in the main, been due to their lack of knowledge and understanding. Those words uttered by the Revealers of the beauty of the one true God, setting forth the signs that should herald the advent of the Manifestation to come, they never understood nor fathomed. Hence they raised the standard of revolt, and stirred up mischief and sedition. It is obvious and manifest that the true meaning of the utterances of the Birds of Eternity is revealed to none except those that manifest the Eternal Being, and the melodies of the Nightingale of Holiness can reach no ear save that of the denizens of the everlasting realm. The Copt of tyranny can never partake of the cup touched by the lips of the Sept of justice, and the Pharaoh of unbelief can never hope to recognize the hand of the Moses of truth. Even as He saith: "None knoweth the meaning thereof except God and them that are well-grounded in knowledge."[Qur’an 3:7.] And yet, they have sought the interpretation of the Book from those that are wrapt in veils, and have refused to seek enlightenment from the fountain-head of knowledge. And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining forth from the dayspring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamoured that He Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the law of divorce and of the sabbath day—the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of Holiness, how many Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the time of Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and false imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid hold of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness. In unfolding these mysteries, We have, in Our former Tablets which were addressed to a friend in the melodious language of Hijaz, cited a few of the verses revealed unto the Prophets of old. And now, responding to your request, We again shall cite, in these pages, those same verses, uttered this time in the wondrous accents of Iraq, that haply the sore athirst in the wilds of remoteness may attain unto the ocean of the divine presence, and they that languish in the wastes of separation be led unto the home of eternal reunion. Thus the mists of error may be dispelled, and the all-resplendent light of divine guidance dawn forth above the horizon of human hearts. In God We put Our trust, and to Him We cry for help, that haply there may flow from this pen that which shall quicken the souls of men, that they may all arise from their beds of heedlessness and hearken unto the rustling of the leaves of Paradise, from the tree which the hand of divine power hath, by the permission of God, planted in the Ridvan of the All-Glorious. To them that are endowed with understanding, it is clear and manifest that when the fire of the love of Jesus consumed the veils of Jewish limitations, and His authority was made apparent and partially enforced, He the Revealer of the unseen Beauty, addressing one day His disciples, referred unto His passing, and, kindling in their hearts the fire of bereavement, said unto them: "I go away and come again unto you." And in another place He said: "I go and another will come Who will tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfil all that I have said." Both these sayings have but one meaning, were you to ponder upon the Manifestations of the Unity of God with divine insight. Every discerning observer will recognize that in the Dispensation of the Qur’an both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter of names, Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I am Jesus." He recognized the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that they were all of God. In this sense, neither the person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed from that of Muhammad and of His holy Book, inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of God, uttered His praise, and revealed His commandments. Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared: "I go away and come again unto you." Consider the sun. Were it to say now, "I am the sun of yesterday," it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character. Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation, and unity characteristic of the various Manifestations of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the allusions made by the creator of all names and attributes to the mysteries of distinction and unity, and discover the answer to thy question as to why that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry times, called Himself by different names and titles. Afterwards, the companions and disciples of Jesus asked Him concerning those signs that must needs signalize the return of His manifestation. When, they asked, shall these things be? Several times they questioned that peerless Beauty, and, every time He made reply, He set forth a special sign that should herald the advent of the promised Dispensation. To this testify the records of the four Gospels. This wronged One will cite but one of these instances, thus conferring upon mankind, for the sake of God, such bounties as are yet concealed within the treasury of the hidden and sacred Tree, that haply mortal men may not remain deprived of their share of the immortal fruit, and attain to a dewdrop of the waters of everlasting life which, from Baghdad, the "Abode of Peace," are being vouchsafed unto all mankind. We ask for neither meed nor reward. "We nourish your souls for the sake of God; we seek from you neither recompense nor thanks."[Qur’an 76:9.] This is the food that conferreth everlasting life upon the pure in heart and the illumined in spirit. This is the bread of which it is said: "Lord, send down upon us Thy bread from heaven."[Qur’an 5:117.] This bread shall never be withheld from them that deserve it, nor can it ever be exhausted. It groweth everlastingly from the tree of grace; it descendeth at all seasons from the heavens of justice and mercy. Even as He saith: "Seest thou not to what God likeneth a good word? To a good tree; its root firmly fixed, and its branches reaching unto heaven: yielding its fruit in all seasons." [Qur’an 14:24.] O the pity! that man should deprive himself of this goodly gift, this imperishable bounty, this everlasting life. It behooveth him to prize this food that cometh from heaven, that perchance, through the wondrous favours of the Sun of Truth, the dead may be brought to life, and withered souls be quickened by the infinite Spirit. Make haste, O my brother, that while there is yet time our lips may taste of the immortal draught, for the breeze of life, now blowing from the city of the Well-Beloved, cannot last, and the streaming river of holy utterance must needs be stilled, and the portals of the Ridvan cannot for ever remain open. The day will surely come when the Nightingale of Paradise will have winged its flight away from its earthly abode unto its heavenly nest. Then will its melody be heard no more, and the beauty of the rose cease to shine. Seize the time, therefore, ere the glory of the divine springtime hath spent itself, and the Bird of Eternity ceased to warble its melody, that thy inner hearing may not be deprived of hearkening unto its call. This is My counsel unto thee and unto the beloved of God. Whosoever wisheth, let him turn thereunto; whosoever wisheth, let him turn away. God, verily, is independent of him and of that which he may see and witness. These are the melodies, sung by Jesus, Son of Mary, in accents of majestic power in the Ridvan of the Gospel, revealing those signs that must needs herald the advent of the Manifestation after Him. In the first Gospel according to Matthew it is recorded: And when they asked Jesus concerning the signs of His coming, He said unto them: "Immediately after the oppression [Matthew 24:29-31.] of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the earth shall be shaken: and then [Matthew 24:29-31.] (The Greek word used (Thlipsis) has two meanings: pressure [Matthew 24:29-31.] and oppression) shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet." [Matthew 24:29-31.] Rendered into the Persian tongue, [The passage is quoted by Baha’u’llah in Arabic and interpreted in Persian.] the purport of these words is as follows: When the oppression and afflictions that are to befall mankind will have come to pass, then shall the sun be withheld from shining, the moon from giving light, the stars of heaven shall fall upon the earth, and the pillars of the earth shall quake. At that time, the signs of the Son of man shall appear in heaven, that is, the promised Beauty and Substance of life shall, when these signs have appeared, step forth out of the realm of the invisible into the visible world. And He saith: at that time, all the peoples and kindreds that dwell on earth shall bewail and lament, and they shall see that divine Beauty coming from heaven, riding upon the clouds with power, grandeur, and magnificence, sending His angels with a great sound of a trumpet. Similarly, in the three other Gospels, according to Luke, Mark, and John, the same statements are recorded. As We have referred at length to these in Our Tablets revealed in the Arabic tongue, We have made no mention of them in these pages, and have confined Ourselves to but one reference. Inasmuch as the Christian divines have failed to apprehend the meaning of these words, and did not recognize their object and purpose, and have clung to the literal interpretation of the words of Jesus, they therefore became deprived of the streaming grace of the Muhammadan Revelation and its showering bounties. The ignorant among the Christian community, following the example of the leaders of their faith, were likewise prevented from beholding the beauty of the King of glory, inasmuch as those signs which were to accompany the dawn of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation did not actually come to pass. Thus, ages have passed and centuries rolled away, and that most pure Spirit hath repaired unto the retreats of its ancient sovereignty. Once more hath the eternal Spirit breathed into the mystic trumpet, and caused the dead to speed out of their sepulchres of heedlessness and error unto the realm of guidance and grace. And yet, that expectant community still crieth out: When shall these things be? When shall the promised One, the object of our expectation, be made manifest, that we may arise for the triumph of His Cause, that we may sacrifice our substance for His sake, that we may offer up our lives in His path? In like manner, have such false imaginings caused other communities to stray from the Kawthar of the infinite mercy of Providence, and to be busied with their own idle thoughts. Beside this passage, there is yet another verse in the Gospel wherein He saith: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away." [Luke 21:33.] Thus it is that the adherents of Jesus maintained that the law of the Gospel shall never be annulled, and that whensoever the promised Beauty is made manifest and all the signs are revealed, He must needs re-affirm and establish the law proclaimed in the Gospel, so that there may remain in the world no faith but His faith. This is their fundamental belief. And their conviction is such that were a person to be made manifest with all the promised signs and to promulgate that which is contrary to the letter of the law of the Gospel, they must assuredly renounce him, refuse to submit to his law, declare him an infidel, and laugh him to scorn. This is proved by that which came to pass when the sun of the Muhammadan Revelation was revealed. Had they sought with a humble mind from the Manifestations of God in every Dispensation the true meaning of these words revealed in the sacred books—words the misapprehension of which hath caused men to be deprived of the recognition of the Sadratu’l-Muntaha, the ultimate Purpose—they surely would have been guided to the light of the Sun of Truth, and would have discovered the mysteries of divine knowledge and wisdom. This servant will now share with thee a dewdrop out of the fathomless ocean of the truths treasured in these holy words, that haply discerning hearts may comprehend all the allusions and the implications of the utterances of the Manifestations of Holiness, so that the overpowering majesty of the Word of God may not prevent them from attaining unto the ocean of His names and attributes, nor deprive them of recognizing the Lamp of God which is the seat of the revelation of His glorified Essence. As to the words—"Immediately after the oppression of those days"—they refer to the time when men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and the fruit of the Tree of knowledge and wisdom will have vanished from the midst of men, when the reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp of the foolish and ignorant, when the portals of divine unity and understanding—the essential and highest purpose in creation—will have been closed, when certain knowledge will have given way to idle fancy, and corruption will have usurped the station of righteousness. Such a condition as this is witnessed in this day when the reins of every community have fallen into the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire. On their tongue the mention of God hath become an empty name; in their midst His holy Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires, that the lamp of conscience and reason hath been quenched in their hearts, and this although the fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals of the knowledge of God, and the light of divine knowledge and heavenly grace hath illumined and inspired the essence of all created things, in such wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge hath been opened, and within every atom traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet, in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine knowledge, which have encompassed the world, they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled. Clinging unto idle fancy, they have strayed far from the Urvatu’l-Vuthqa of divine knowledge. Their hearts seem not to be inclined to knowledge and the door thereof, neither think they of its manifestations, inasmuch as in idle fancy they have found the door that leadeth unto earthly riches, whereas in the manifestation of the Revealer of knowledge they find naught but the call to self-sacrifice. They therefore naturally hold fast unto the former, and flee from the latter. Though they recognize in their hearts the Law of God to be one and the same, yet from every direction they issue a new command, and in every season proclaim a fresh decree. No two are found to agree on one and the same law, for they seek no God but their own desire, and tread no path but the path of error. In leadership they have recognized the ultimate object of their endeavour, and account pride and haughtiness as the highest attainments of their heart’s desire. They have placed their sordid machinations above the divine decree, have renounced resignation unto the will of God, busied themselves with selfish calculation, and walked in the way of the hypocrite. With all their power and strength they strive to secure themselves in their petty pursuits, fearful lest the least discredit undermine their authority or blemish the display of their magnificence. Were the eye to be anointed and illumined with the collyrium of the knowledge of God, it would surely discover that a number of voracious beasts have gathered and preyed upon the carrion of the souls of men. What "oppression" is greater than that which hath been recounted? What "oppression" is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This "oppression" is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text of these traditions. Were this "oppression" (which literally meaneth pressure) to be interpreted that the earth is to become contracted, or were men’s idle fancy to conceive similar calamities to befall mankind, it is clear and manifest that no such happenings can ever come to pass. They will assuredly protest that this pre-requisite of divine revelation hath not been made manifest. Such hath been and still is their contention. Whereas, by "oppression" is meant the want of capacity to acquire spiritual knowledge and apprehend the Word of God. By it is meant that when the Day-star of Truth hath set, and the mirrors that reflect His light have departed, mankind will become afflicted with "oppression" and hardship, knowing not whither to turn for guidance. Thus We instruct thee in the interpretation of the traditions, and reveal unto thee the mysteries of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest comprehend the meaning thereof, and be of them that have quaffed the cup of divine knowledge and understanding. And now, concerning His words—"The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." By the terms "sun" and "moon," mentioned in the writings of the Prophets of God, is not meant solely the sun and moon of the visible universe. Nay rather, manifold are the meanings they have intended for these terms. In every instance they have attached to them a particular significance. Thus, by the "sun" in one sense is meant those Suns of Truth Who rise from the dayspring of ancient glory, and fill the world with a liberal effusion of grace from on high. These Suns of Truth are the universal Manifestations of God in the worlds of His attributes and names, even as the visible sun that assisteth, as decreed by God, the true One, the Adored, in the development of all earthly things, such as the trees, the fruits, and colours thereof, the minerals of the earth, and all that may be witnessed in the world of creation, so do the divine Luminaries, by their loving care and educative influence, cause the trees of divine unity, the fruits of His oneness, the leaves of detachment, the blossoms of knowledge and certitude, and the myrtles of wisdom and utterance, to exist and be made manifest. Thus it is that through the rise of these Luminaries of God the world is made new, the waters of everlasting life stream forth, the billows of loving-kindness surge, the clouds of grace are gathered, and the breeze of bounty bloweth upon all created things. It is the warmth that these Luminaries of God generate, and the undying fires they kindle, which cause the light of the love of God to burn fiercely in the heart of humanity. It is through the abundant grace of these Symbols of Detachment that the Spirit of life everlasting is breathed into the bodies of the dead. Assuredly the visible sun is but a sign of the splendour of that Day-star of Truth, that Sun Which can never have a peer, a likeness, or rival. Through Him all things live, move, and have their being. Through His grace they are made manifest, and unto Him they all return. From Him all things have sprung, and unto the treasuries of His revelation they all have repaired. From Him all created things did proceed, and to the depositories of His law they did revert. That these divine Luminaries seem to be confined at times to specific designations and attributes, as you have observed and are now observing, is due solely to the imperfect and limited comprehension of certain minds. Otherwise, they have been at all times, and will through eternity continue to be, exalted above every praising name, and sanctified from every descriptive attribute. The quintessence of every name can hope for no access unto their court of holiness, and the highest and purest of all attributes can never approach their kingdom of glory. Immeasurably high are the Prophets of God exalted above the comprehension of men, who can never know them except by their own Selves. Far be it from His glory that His chosen Ones should be magnified by any other than their own persons. Glorified are they above the praise of men; exalted are they above human understanding! The term "suns" hath many a time been applied in the writings of the "immaculate Souls" unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the "Prayer of Nudbih": [Qur’an 55:5.] "Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and [Qur’an 55:5.] "Lamentation" attributed to the Twelfth Imam. sparkling Stars?" Thus, it hath become evident that the terms "sun," "moon," and "stars" primarily signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the invisible. In another sense, by these terms is intended the divines of the former Dispensation, who live in the days of the subsequent Revelations, and who hold the reins of religion in their grasp. If these divines be illumined by the light of the latter Revelation they will be acceptable unto God, and will shine with a light everlasting. Otherwise, they will be declared as darkened, even though to outward seeming they be leaders of men, inasmuch as belief and unbelief, guidance and error, felicity and misery, light and darkness, are all dependent upon the sanction of Him Who is the Day-star of Truth. Whosoever among the divines of every age receiveth, in the Day of Reckoning, the testimony of faith from the Source of true knowledge, he verily becometh the recipient of learning, of divine favour, and of the light of true understanding. Otherwise, he is branded as guilty of folly, denial, blasphemy, and oppression. It is evident and manifest unto every discerning observer that even as the light of the star fadeth before the effulgent splendour of the sun, so doth the luminary of earthly knowledge, of wisdom, and understanding vanish into nothingness when brought face to face with the resplendent glories of the Sun of Truth, the Day-star of divine enlightenment. That the term "sun" hath been applied to the leaders of religion is due to their lofty position, their fame, and renown. Such are the universally recognized divines of every age, who speak with authority, and whose fame is securely established. If they be in the likeness of the Sun of Truth, they will surely be accounted as the most exalted of all luminaries; otherwise, they are to be recognized as the focal centres of hellish fire. Even as He saith: "Verily, the sun and the moon are both condemned to the torment of infernal fire." [Qur’an 55:5.] You are no doubt familiar with the interpretation of the term "sun" and "moon" mentioned in this verse; no need therefore to refer unto it. And whosoever is of the element of this "sun" and "moon", that is, followeth the example of these leaders in setting his face towards falsehood and in turning away from the truth he undoubtedly cometh out of infernal gloom and returneth thereunto. And now, O seeker, it behooveth us firmly to cling unto the Urvatu’l-Vuthqa, that perchance we may leave behind the darksome night of error, and embrace the dawning light of divine guidance. Shall we not flee from the face of denial, and seek the sheltering shadow of certitude? Shall we not free ourselves from the horror of satanic gloom, and hasten towards the rising light of the heavenly Beauty? In such wise, we bestow upon you the fruit of the Tree of divine knowledge, that ye may gladly and joyously abide in the Ridvan of divine wisdom. In another sense, by the terms ‘sun’, ‘moon’, and ‘stars’ are meant such laws and teachings as have been established and proclaimed in every Dispensation, such as the laws of prayer and fasting. These have, according to the law of the Qur’an, been regarded, when the beauty of the Prophet Muhammad had passed beyond the veil, as the most fundamental and binding laws of His dispensation. To this testify the texts of the traditions and chronicles, which, on account of their being widely known, need not be referred to here. Nay rather, in every Dispensation the law concerning prayer hath been emphasized and universally enforced. To this testify the recorded traditions ascribed to the lights that have emanated from the Day-star of Truth, the essence of the Prophet Muhammad. The traditions established the fact that in all Dispensations the law of prayer hath constituted a fundamental element of the Revelation of all the Prophets of God—a law the form and the manner of which hath been adapted to the varying requirements of every age. Inasmuch as every subsequent Revelation hath abolished the manners, habits, and teachings that have been clearly, specifically, and firmly established by the former Dispensation, these have accordingly been symbolically expressed in terms of ‘sun’ and ‘moon’. "That He might prove you, which of you excel in deeds." [Qur’an 67:2.] Moreover, in the traditions the terms "sun" and "moon" have been applied to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: "Fasting is illumination, prayer is light." One day, a well-known divine came to visit Us. While We were conversing with him, he referred to the above-quoted tradition. He said: "Inasmuch as fasting causeth the heat of the body to increase, it hath therefore been likened unto the light of the sun; and as the prayer of the night-season refresheth man, it hath been compared unto the radiance of the moon." Thereupon We realized that that poor man had not been favoured with a single drop of the ocean of true understanding, and had strayed far from the burning Bush of divine wisdom. We then politely observed to him saying: "The interpretation your honour hath given to this tradition is the one current amongst the people. Could it not be interpreted differently?" He asked Us: "What could it be?" We made reply: "Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished of God’s chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur’an unto heaven, by reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the fact that it comprehendeth all religions. And as the sun and moon constitute the brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens, similarly in the heaven of the religion of God two shining orbs have been ordained—fasting and prayer. ‘Islam is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer, its moon.’" This is the purpose underlying the symbolic words of the Manifestations of God. Consequently, the application of the terms "sun" and "moon" to the things already mentioned hath been demonstrated and justified by the text of the sacred verses and the recorded traditions. Hence, it is clear and manifest that by the words "the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven" is intended the waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of laws firmly established by divine Revelation, all of which, in symbolic language, have been foreshadowed by the Manifestation of God. None except the righteous shall partake of this cup, none but the godly can share therein. "The righteous shall drink of a cup tempered at the camphor fountain." [Qur’an 76:5.] It is unquestionable that in every succeeding Revelation the "sun" and "moon" of the teachings, laws, commandments, and prohibitions which have been established in the preceding Dispensation, and which have overshadowed the people of that age, become darkened, that is, are exhausted, and cease to exert their influence. Consider now, had the people of the Gospel recognized the meaning of the symbolic terms "sun" and "moon," had they sought, unlike the froward and perverse, enlightenment from Him Who is the Revealer of divine knowledge, they would have surely comprehended the purpose of these terms, and would not have become afflicted and oppressed by the darkness of their selfish desires. Yea, but since they have failed to acquire true knowledge from its very Source, they have perished in the perilous vale of waywardness and misbelief. They still have not awakened to perceive that all the signs foretold have been made manifest, that the promised Sun hath risen above the horizon of divine Revelation, and that the "sun" and "moon" of the teachings, the laws, and learning of a former Dispensation have darkened and set. And now, with fixed gaze and steady wings enter thou the way of certitude and truth. "Say: It is God; then leave them to entertain themselves with their cavilings." [Qur’an 6:91.] Thus, wilt thou be accounted of those companions of whom He saith: "They that say ‘Our Lord is God,’ and continue steadfast in His way, upon them, verily, shall the angels descend." [Qur’an 41:30.] Then shalt thou witness all these mysteries with thine own eyes. O my brother! Take thou the step of the spirit, so that, swift as the twinkling of an eye, thou mayest flash through the wilds of remoteness and bereavement, attain the Ridvan of everlasting reunion, and in one breath commune with the heavenly Spirits. For with human feet thou canst never hope to traverse these immeasurable distances, nor attain thy goal. Peace be upon him whom the light of truth guideth unto all truth, and who, in the name of God, standeth in the path of His Cause, upon the shore of true understanding. This is the meaning of the sacred verse: "But nay! I swear by the Lord of the Easts and the Wests," [Qur’an 70:40.] inasmuch as the "Suns" referred to have each their own particular rising and setting place. And as the commentators of the Qur’an have failed to grasp the symbolic meaning of these "Suns," they therefore were at pains to interpret the above-quoted verse. Some of them maintained that owing to the fact that the sun each day rises from a different point, the terms "easts" and "wests" have been mentioned in the plural. Others have written that by this verse the four seasons of the year are intended, inasmuch as the dawning and setting points of the sun vary with the change of the seasons. Such is the depth of their understanding! None the less, they persist in imputing error and folly to those Gems of knowledge, those irreproachable and purest Symbols of wisdom. In like manner, strive thou to comprehend from these lucid, these powerful, conclusive, and unequivocal statements the meaning of the "cleaving of the heaven"—one of the signs that must needs herald the coming of the last Hour, the Day of Resurrection. As He hath said: "When the heaven shall be cloven asunder." [Qur’an 82:1.] By "heaven" is meant the heaven of divine Revelation, which is elevated with every Manifestation, and rent asunder with every subsequent one. By "cloven asunder" is meant that the former Dispensation is superseded and annulled. I swear by God! That this heaven being cloven asunder is, to the discerning, an act mightier than the cleaving of the skies! Ponder a while. That a divine Revelation which for years hath been securely established; beneath whose shadow all who have embraced it have been reared and nurtured; by the light of whose law generations of men have been disciplined; the excellency of whose word men have heard recounted by their fathers; in such wise that human eye hath beheld naught but the pervading influence of its grace, and mortal ear hath heard naught but the resounding majesty of its command—what act is mightier than that such a Revelation should, by the power of God, be "cloven asunder" and be abolished at the appearance of one soul? Reflect, is this a mightier act than that which these abject and foolish men have imagined the "cleaving of the heaven" to mean? Moreover, consider the hardships and the bitterness of the lives of those Revealers of the divine Beauty. Reflect, how single-handed and alone they faced the world and all its peoples, and promulgated the Law of God! No matter how severe the persecutions inflicted upon those holy, those precious, and tender Souls, they still remained, in the plenitude of their power, patient, and, despite their ascendancy, they suffered and endured. In like manner, endeavour to comprehend the meaning of the "changing of the earth." Know thou, that upon whatever hearts the bountiful showers of mercy, raining from the "heaven" of divine Revelation, have fallen, the earth of those hearts hath verily been changed into the earth of divine knowledge and wisdom. What myrtles of unity hath the soil of their hearts produced! What blossoms of true knowledge and wisdom hath their illumined bosoms yielded! Were the earth of their hearts to remain unchanged, how could such souls who have not been taught one letter, have seen no teacher, and entered no school, utter such words and display such knowledge as none can apprehend? Methinks they have been moulded from the clay of infinite knowledge, and kneaded with the water of divine wisdom. Therefore, hath it been said: "Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth." It is this kind of knowledge which is and hath ever been praiseworthy, and not the limited knowledge that hath sprung forth from veiled and obscured minds. This limited knowledge they even stealthily borrow one from the other, and vainly pride themselves therein! Would that the hearts of men could be cleansed from these man-made limitations and obscure thoughts imposed upon them! haply they may be illumined by the light of the Sun of true knowledge, and comprehend the mysteries of divine wisdom. Consider now, were the parched and barren soil of these hearts to remain unchanged, how could they ever become the Recipients of the revelation of the mysteries of God, and the Revealers of the divine Essence? Thus hath He said: "On the day when the earth shall be changed into another earth." [Qur’an 14:48.] The breeze of the bounty of the King of creation hath caused even the physical earth to be changed, were ye to ponder in your hearts the mysteries of divine Revelation. And now, comprehend the meaning of this verse: "The whole earth shall on the Resurrection Day be but His handful, and in His right hand shall the heavens be folded together. Praise be to Him! and high be He uplifted above the partners they join with him!" [Qur’an 39:67.] And now, be fair in thy judgment. Were this verse to have the meaning which men suppose it to have, of what profit, one may ask, could it be to man? Moreover, it is evident and manifest that no such hand as could be seen by human eye could accomplish such deeds, or could possibly be ascribed to the exalted Essence of the one true God. Nay, to acknowledge such a thing is naught but sheer blasphemy, an utter perversion of the truth. And should it be supposed that by this verse are meant the Manifestations of God, Who will be called upon, on the Day of Judgment, to perform such deeds, this too seemeth far from the truth, and is surely of no profit. On the contrary, by the term "earth" is meant the earth of understanding and knowledge, and by "heavens" the heavens of divine Revelation. Reflect thou, how, in one hand, He hath, by His mighty grasp, turned the earth of knowledge and understanding, previously unfolded, into a mere handful, and, on the other, spread out a new and highly exalted earth in the hearts of men, thus causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms, and the mightiest and loftiest trees to spring forth from the illumined bosom of man. In like manner, reflect how the elevated heavens of the Dispensations of the past have, in the right hand of power, been folded together, how the heavens of divine Revelation have been raised by the command of God, and been adorned by the sun, the moon, and stars of His wondrous commandments. Such are the mysteries of the Word of God, which have been unveiled and made manifest, that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning light of divine guidance, mayest quench, by the power of reliance and renunciation, the lamp of idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and doubt, and mayest kindle, in the inmost chamber of thine heart, the new-born light of divine knowledge and certitude. Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and abstruse allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God’s holy Cause, hath been to test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the earth of the pure and illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable and barren soil. From time immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst His creatures, and to this testify the records of the sacred books. And likewise, reflect upon the revealed verse concerning the "Qiblih." [The direction toward which the face must be turned when praying.] When Muhammad, the Sun of Prophethood, had fled from the dayspring of Batha [Mecca] unto Yathrib, [Medina] He continued to turn His face, while praying, unto Jerusalem, the holy city, until the time when the Jews began to utter unseemly words against Him—words which if mentioned would ill befit these pages and would weary the reader. Muhammad strongly resented these words. Whilst, wrapt in meditation and wonder, He was gazing toward heaven, He heard the kindly Voice of Gabriel, saying: "We behold Thee from above, turning Thy face to heaven; but We will have Thee turn to a Qiblih which shall please Thee." [Qur’an 2:144.] On a subsequent day, when the Prophet, together with His companions, was offering the noontide prayer, and had already performed two of the prescribed Rik’ats, [Prostrations] the Voice of Gabriel was heard again: "Turn Thou Thy face towards the sacred Mosque."[At Mecca.], [Qur’an 2:149.] In the midst of that same prayer, Muhammad suddenly turned His face away from Jerusalem and faced the Ka’bih. Whereupon, a profound dismay seized suddenly the companions of the Prophet. Their faith was shaken severely. So great was their alarm, that many of them, discontinuing their prayer, apostatized their faith. Verily, God caused not this turmoil but to test and prove His servants. Otherwise, He, the ideal King, could easily have left the Qiblih unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to remain the Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation, thereby withholding not from that holy city the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred upon it. None of the many Prophets sent down, since Moses was made manifest, as Messengers of the Word of God, such as David, Jesus, and others among the more exalted Manifestations who have appeared during the intervening period between the Revelations of Moses and Muhammad, ever altered the law of the Qiblih. These Messengers of the Lord of creation have, one and all, directed their peoples to turn unto the same direction. In the eyes of God, the ideal King, all the places of the earth are one and the same, excepting that place which, in the days of His Manifestations, He doth appoint for a particular purpose. Even as He hath revealed: "The East and West are God’s: therefore whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God." [Qur’an 2:115.] Notwithstanding the truth of these facts, why should the Qiblih have been changed, thus casting such dismay amongst the people, causing the companions of the Prophet to waver, and throwing so great a confusion into their midst? Yea, such things as throw consternation into the hearts of all men come to pass only that each soul may be tested by the touchstone of God, that the true may be known and distinguished from the false. Thus hath He revealed after the breach amongst the people: "We did not appoint that which Thou wouldst have to be the Qiblih, but that We might know him who followeth the Apostle from him who turneth on his heels." [Qur’an 2:143.] "Affrighted asses fleeing from a lion." [Qur’an 74:50.] Were you to ponder, but for a while, these utterances in your heart, you would surely find the portals of understanding unlocked before your face, and would behold all knowledge and the mysteries thereof unveiled before your eyes. Such things take place only that the souls of men may develop and be delivered from the prison-cage of self and desire. Otherwise, that ideal King hath, throughout eternity, been in His Essence independent of the comprehension of all beings, and will continue, for ever, in His own Being to be exalted above the adoration of every soul. A single breeze of His affluence doth suffice to adorn all mankind with the robe of wealth; and one drop out of the ocean of His bountiful grace is enough to confer upon all beings the glory of everlasting life. But inasmuch as the divine Purpose hath decreed that the true should be known from the false, and the sun from the shadow, He hath, therefore, in every season sent down upon mankind the showers of tests from His realm of glory. Were men to meditate upon the lives of the Prophets of old, so easily would they come to know and understand the ways of these Prophets that they would cease to be veiled by such deeds and words as are contrary to their own worldly desires, and thus consume every intervening veil with the fire burning in the Bush of divine knowledge, and abide secure upon the throne of peace and certitude. For instance, consider Moses, son of Imran, one of the exalted Prophets and Author of a divinely-revealed Book. Whilst passing, one day, through the market, in His early days, ere His ministry was proclaimed, He saw two men engaged in fighting. One of them asked the help of Moses against his opponent. Whereupon, Moses intervened and slew him. To this testifieth the record of the sacred Book. Should the details be cited, they will lengthen and interrupt the course of the argument. The report of this incident spread throughout the city, and Moses was full of fear, as is witnessed by the text of the Book. And when the warning: "O Moses! of a truth, the chiefs take counsel to slay Thee" [Qur’an 28:20.] reached His ears, He went forth from the city, and sojourned in Midian in the service of Shoeb. While returning, Moses entered the holy vale, situate in the wilderness of Sinai, and there beheld the vision of the King of glory from the "Tree that belongeth neither to the East nor to the West." [Qur’an 24:35.] There He heard the soul-stirring Voice of the Spirit speaking from out of the kindled Fire, bidding Him to shed upon Pharaonic souls the light of divine guidance; so that, liberating them from the shadows of the valley of self and desire, He might enable them to attain the meads of heavenly delight, and delivering them, through the Salsabil of renunciation, from the bewilderment of remoteness, cause them to enter the peaceful city of the divine presence. When Moses came unto Pharaoh and delivered unto him, as bidden by God, the divine Message, Pharaoh spoke insultingly saying: "Art thou not he that committed murder, and became an infidel?" Thus recounted the Lord of majesty as having been said by Pharaoh unto Moses: "What a deed is that which Thou hast done! Thou art one of the ungrateful. He said: ‘I did it indeed, and I was one of those who erred. And I fled from you when I feared you, but My Lord hath given Me wisdom, and hath made Me one of His Apostles.’" [Qur’an 26:19.] And now ponder in thy heart the commotion which God stirreth up. Reflect upon the strange and manifold trials with which He doth test His servants. Consider how He hath suddenly chosen from among His servants, and entrusted with the exalted mission of divine guidance Him Who was known as guilty of homicide, Who, Himself, had acknowledged His cruelty, and Who for well-nigh thirty years had, in the eyes of the world, been reared in the home of Pharaoh and been nourished at his table. Was not God, the omnipotent King, able to withhold the hand of Moses from murder, so that manslaughter should not be attributed unto Him, causing bewilderment and aversion among the people? Likewise, reflect upon the state and condition of Mary. So deep was the perplexity of that most beauteous countenance, so grievous her case, that she bitterly regretted she had ever been born. To this beareth witness the text of the sacred verse wherein it is mentioned that after Mary had given birth to Jesus, she bemoaned her plight and cried out: "O would that I had died ere this, and been a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!" [Qur’an 19:22.] I swear by God! Such lamenting consumeth the heart and shaketh the being. Such consternation of soul, such despondency, could have been caused by no other than the censure of the enemy and the cavilings of the infidel and perverse. Reflect, what answer could Mary have given to the people around her? How could she claim that a Babe Whose father was unknown had been conceived of the Holy Ghost? Therefore did Mary, that veiled and immortal Countenance, take up her Child and return unto her home. No sooner had the eyes of the people fallen upon her than they raised their voice saying: "O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy mother." [Qur’an 19:28.] And now, meditate upon this most great convulsion, this grievous test. Notwithstanding all these things, God conferred upon that essence of the Spirit, Who was known amongst the people as fatherless, the glory of Prophethood, and made Him His testimony unto all that are in heaven and on earth. Behold how contrary are the ways of the Manifestations of God, as ordained by the King of creation, to the ways and desires of men! As thou comest to comprehend the essence of these divine mysteries, thou wilt grasp the purpose of God, the divine Charmer, the Best-Beloved. Thou wilt regard the words and the deeds of that almighty Sovereign as one and the same; in such wise that whatsoever thou dost behold in His deeds, the same wilt thou find in His sayings, and whatsoever thou dost read in His sayings, that wilt thou recognize in His deeds. Thus it is that outwardly such deeds and words are the fire of vengeance unto the wicked, and inwardly the waters of mercy unto the righteous. Were the eye of the heart to open, it would surely perceive that the words revealed from the heaven of the will of God are at one with, and the same as, the deeds that have emanated from the Kingdom of divine power. And now, take heed, O brother! If such things be revealed in this Dispensation, and such incidents come to pass, at the present time, what would the people do? I swear by Him Who is the true Educator of mankind and the Revealer of the Word of God that the people would instantly and unquestionably pronounce Him an infidel and would sentence Him to death. How far are they from hearkening unto the voice that declareth: Lo! a Jesus hath appeared out of the breath of the Holy Ghost, and a Moses summoned to a divinely-appointed task! Were a myriad voices to be raised, no ear would listen if We said that upon a fatherless Child hath been conferred the mission of Prophethood, or that a murderer hath brought from the flame of the burning Bush the message of "Verily, verily, I am God!" If the eye of justice be opened, it will readily recognize, in the light of that which hath been mentioned, that He, Who is the Cause and ultimate Purpose of all these things, is made manifest in this day. Though similar events have not occurred in this Dispensation, yet the people still cling to such vain imaginings as are cherished by the reprobate. How grievous the charges brought against Him! How severe the persecutions inflicted upon Him—charges and persecutions the like of which men have neither seen nor heard! Great God! When the stream of utterance reached this stage, We beheld, and lo! the sweet savours of God were being wafted from the dayspring of Revelation, and the morning breeze was blowing out of the Sheba of the Eternal. Its tidings rejoiced anew the heart, and imparted immeasurable gladness to the soul. It made all things new, and brought unnumbered and inestimable gifts from the unknowable Friend. The robe of human praise can never hope to match Its noble stature, and Its shining figure the mantle of utterance can never fit. Without word It unfoldeth the inner mysteries, and without speech It revealeth the secrets of the divine sayings. It teacheth lamentation and moaning to the nightingales warbling upon the bough of remoteness and bereavement, instructeth them in the art of love’s ways, and showeth them the secret of heart-surrender. To the flowers of the Ridvan of heavenly reunion It revealeth the endearments of the impassioned lover, and unveileth the charm of the fair. Upon the anemones of the garden of love It bestoweth the mysteries of truth, and within the breasts of lovers It entrusteth the symbols of the innermost subtleties. At this hour, so liberal is the outpouring of Its grace that the holy Spirit itself is envious! It hath imparted to the drop the waves of the sea, and endowed the mote with the splendour of the sun. So great are the overflowings of Its bounty that the foulest beetle hath sought the perfume of the musk, and the bat the light of the sun. It hath quickened the dead with the breath of life, and caused them to speed out of the sepulchres of their mortal bodies. It hath established the ignorant upon the seats of learning, and elevated the oppressor to the throne of justice. The universe is pregnant with these manifold bounties, awaiting the hour when the effects of Its unseen gifts will be made manifest in this world, when the languishing and sore athirst will attain the living Kawthar of their Well-Beloved, and the erring wanderer, lost in the wilds of remoteness and nothingness, will enter the tabernacle of life, and attain reunion with his heart’s desire. In the soil of whose heart will these holy seeds germinate? From the garden of whose soul will the blossoms of the invisible realities spring forth? Verily, I say, so fierce is the blaze of the Bush of love, burning in the Sinai of the heart, that the streaming waters of holy utterance can never quench its flame. Oceans can never allay this Leviathan’s burning thirst, and this Phoenix of the undying fire can abide nowhere save in the glow of the countenance of the Well-Beloved. Therefore, O brother! kindle with the oil of wisdom the lamp of the spirit within the innermost chamber of thy heart, and guard it with the globe of understanding, that the breath of the infidel may extinguish not its flame nor dim its brightness. Thus have We illuminated the heavens of utterance with the splendours of the Sun of divine wisdom and understanding, that thy heart may find peace, that thou mayest be of those who, on the wings of certitude, have soared unto the heaven of the love of their Lord, the All-Merciful. And now, concerning His words: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven." By these words it is meant that when the sun of the heavenly teachings hath been eclipsed, the stars of the divinely-established laws have fallen, and the moon of true knowledge—the educator of mankind—hath been obscured; when the standards of guidance and felicity have been reversed, and the morn of truth and righteousness hath sunk in night, then shall the sign of the Son of man appear in heaven. By "heaven" is meant the visible heaven, inasmuch as when the hour draweth nigh on which the Day-star of the heaven of justice shall be made manifest, and the Ark of divine guidance shall sail upon the sea of glory, a star will appear in the heaven, heralding unto its people the advent of that most great light. In like manner, in the invisible heaven a star shall be made manifest who, unto the peoples of the earth, shall act as a harbinger of the break of that true and exalted Morn. These twofold signs, in the visible and the invisible heaven, have announced the Revelation of each of the Prophets of God, as is commonly believed. Among the Prophets was Abraham, the Friend of God. Ere He manifested Himself, Nimrod dreamed a dream. Thereupon, he summoned the soothsayers, who informed him of the rise of a star in the heaven. Likewise, there appeared a herald who announced throughout the land the coming of Abraham. After Him came Moses, He Who held converse with God. The soothsayers of His time warned Pharaoh in these terms: "A star hath risen in the heaven, and lo! it foreshadoweth the conception of a Child Who holdeth your fate and the fate of your people in His hand." In like manner, there appeared a sage who, in the darkness of the night, brought tidings of joy unto the people of Israel, imparting consolation to their souls, and assurance to their hearts. To this testify the records of the sacred books. Were the details to be mentioned, this epistle would swell into a book. Moreover, it is not Our wish to relate the stories of the days that are past. God is Our witness that what We even now mention is due solely to Our tender affection for thee, that haply the poor of the earth may attain the shores of the sea of wealth, the ignorant be led unto the ocean of divine knowledge, and they that thirst for understanding partake of the Salsabil of divine wisdom. Otherwise, this servant regardeth the consideration of such records a grave mistake and a grievous transgression. In like manner, when the hour of the Revelation of Jesus drew nigh, a few of the Magi, aware that the star of Jesus had appeared in heaven, sought and followed it, till they came unto the city which was the seat of the Kingdom of Herod. The sway of his sovereignty in those days embraced the whole of that land. These Magi said: "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him!" [Matthew 2:2.] When they had searched, they found out that in Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, the Child had been born. This was the sign that was manifested in the visible heaven. As to the sign in the invisible heaven—the heaven of divine knowledge and understanding—it was Yahya, son of Zachariah, who gave unto the people the tidings of the Manifestation of Jesus. Even as He hath revealed: "God announceth Yahya to thee, who shall bear witness unto the Word from God, and a great one and chaste." [Qur’an 3:39.] By the term "Word" is meant Jesus, Whose coming Yahya foretold. Moreover, in the heavenly Scriptures it is written: "John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." [Matthew 3:1-2.] By John is meant Yahya. Likewise, ere the beauty of Muhammad was unveiled, the signs of the visible heaven were made manifest. As to the signs of the invisible heaven, there appeared four men who successively announced unto the people the joyful tidings of the rise of that divine Luminary. Ruz-bih, later named Salman, was honoured by being in their service. As the end of one of these approached, he would send Ruz-bih unto the other, until the fourth who, feeling his death to be nigh, addressed Ruz-bih saying: "O Ruz-bih! when thou hast taken up my body and buried it, go to Hijaz for there the Day-star of Muhammad will arise. Happy art thou, for thou shalt behold His face!" And now concerning this wondrous and most exalted Cause. Know thou verily that many an astronomer hath announced the appearance of its star in the visible heaven. Likewise, there appeared on earth Ahmad and Kazim, [Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa’i and Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti.] those twin resplendent lights—may God sanctify their resting-place! From all that We have stated it hath become clear and manifest that before the revelation of each of the Mirrors reflecting the divine Essence, the signs heralding their advent must needs be revealed in the visible heaven as well as in the invisible, wherein is the seat of the sun of knowledge, of the moon of wisdom, and of the stars of understanding and utterance. The sign of the invisible heaven must needs be revealed in the person of that perfect man who, before each Manifestation appeareth, educateth, and prepareth the souls of men for the advent of the divine Luminary, the Light of the unity of God amongst men. And now, with reference to His words: "And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." These words signify that in those days men will lament the loss of the Sun of the divine beauty, of the Moon of knowledge, and of the Stars of divine wisdom. Thereupon, they will behold the countenance of the promised One, the adored Beauty, descending from heaven and riding upon the clouds. By this is meant that the divine Beauty will be made manifest from the heaven of the will of God, and will appear in the form of the human temple. The term "heaven" denoteth loftiness and exaltation, inasmuch as it is the seat of the revelation of those Manifestations of Holiness, the Day-springs of ancient glory. These ancient Beings, though delivered from the womb of their mother, have in reality descended from the heaven of the will of God. Though they be dwelling on this earth, yet their true habitations are the retreats of glory in the realms above. Whilst walking amongst mortals, they soar in the heaven of the divine presence. Without feet they tread the path of the spirit, and without wings they rise unto the exalted heights of divine unity. With every fleeting breath they cover the immensity of space, and at every moment traverse the kingdoms of the visible and the invisible. Upon their thrones is written: "Nothing whatsoever keepeth Him from being occupied with any other thing;" and on their seats is inscribed: "Verily, His ways differ every day." [Qur’an 55:29. ] They are sent forth through the transcendent power of the Ancient of Days, and are raised up by the exalted will of God, the most mighty King. This is what is meant by the words: "coming in the clouds of heaven." In the utterances of the divine Luminaries the term "heaven" hath been applied to many and divers things; such as the "heaven of Command," the "heaven of Will," the "heaven of the divine Purpose," the "heaven of divine Knowledge," the "heaven of Certitude," the "heaven of Utterance," the "heaven of Revelation," the "heaven of Concealment," and the like. In every instance, He hath given the term "heaven" a special meaning, the significance of which is revealed to none save those that have been initiated into the divine mysteries, and have drunk from the chalice of immortal life. For example, He saith: "The heaven hath sustenance for you, and it containeth that which you are promised;" [Qur’an 51:22.] whereas it is the earth that yieldeth such sustenance. Likewise, it hath been said: "The names come down from heaven;" whereas they proceed out of the mouth of men. Wert thou to cleanse the mirror of thy heart from the dust of malice, thou wouldst apprehend the meaning of the symbolic terms revealed by the all-embracing Word of God made manifest in every Dispensation, and wouldst discover the mysteries of divine knowledge. Not, however, until thou consumest with the flame of utter detachment those veils of idle learning, that are current amongst men, canst thou behold the resplendent morn of true knowledge. Know verily that Knowledge is of two kinds: Divine and Satanic. The one welleth out from the fountain of divine inspiration; the other is but a reflection of vain and obscure thoughts. The source of the former is God Himself; the motive-force of the latter the whisperings of selfish desire. The one is guided by the principle: "Fear ye God; God will teach you;" [Qur’an 2:282.] the other is but a confirmation of the truth: "Knowledge is the most grievous veil between man and his Creator." The former bringeth forth the fruit of patience, of longing desire, of true understanding, and love; whilst the latter can yield naught but arrogance, vainglory and conceit. From the sayings of those Masters of holy utterance, Who have expounded the meaning of true knowledge, the odour of these dark teachings, which have obscured the world, can in no wise be detected. The tree of such teachings can yield no result except iniquity and rebellion, and beareth no fruit but hatred and envy. Its fruit is deadly poison; its shadow a consuming fire. How well hath it been said: "Cling unto the robe of the Desire of thy heart, and put thou away all shame; bid the worldlywise be gone, however great their name." The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden meaning of divine inspiration, and become the treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge. Thus hath it been said: "He that treadeth the snow-white Path, and followeth in the footsteps of the Crimson Pillar, shall never attain unto his abode unless his hands are empty of those worldly things cherished by men." This is the prime requisite of whosoever treadeth this path. Ponder thereon, that, with eyes unveiled, thou mayest perceive the truth of these words. We have digressed from the purpose of Our argument, although whatsoever is mentioned serveth only to confirm Our purpose. By God! however great Our desire to be brief, yet We feel We cannot restrain Our pen. Notwithstanding all that We have mentioned, how innumerable are the pearls which have remained unpierced in the shell of Our heart! How many the huris of inner meaning that are as yet concealed within the chambers of divine wisdom! None hath yet approached them;--huris, "whom no man nor spirit hath touched before." [Qur’an 55:56.] Notwithstanding all that hath been said, it seemeth as if not one letter of Our purpose hath been uttered, nor a single sign divulged concerning Our object. When will a faithful seeker be found who will don the garb of pilgrimage, attain the Ka’bih of the heart’s desire, and, without ear or tongue, discover the mysteries of divine utterance? By these luminous, these conclusive, and lucid statements, the meaning of "heaven" in the aforementioned verse hath thus been made clear and evident. And now regarding His words, that the Son of man shall "come in the clouds of heaven." By the term "clouds" is meant those things that are contrary to the ways and desires of men. Even as He hath revealed in the verse already quoted: "As oft as an Apostle cometh unto you with that which your souls desire not, ye swell with pride, accusing some of being impostors and slaying others." [Qur’an 2:87.] These "clouds" signify, in one sense, the annulment of laws, the abrogation of former Dispensations, the repeal of rituals and customs current amongst men, the exalting of the illiterate faithful above the learned opposers of the Faith. In another sense, they mean the appearance of that immortal Beauty in the image of mortal man, with such human limitations as eating and drinking, poverty and riches, glory and abasement, sleeping and waking, and such other things as cast doubt in the minds of men, and cause them to turn away. All such veils are symbolically referred to as "clouds." These are the "clouds" that cause the heavens of the knowledge and understanding of all that dwell on earth to be cloven asunder. Even as He hath revealed: "On that day shall the heaven be cloven by the clouds." [Qur’an 25:25.] Even as the clouds prevent the eyes of men from beholding the sun, so do these things hinder the souls of men from recognizing the light of the divine Luminary. To this beareth witness that which hath proceeded out of the mouth of the unbelievers as revealed in the sacred Book: "And they have said: ‘What manner of apostle is this? He eateth food, and walketh the streets. Unless an angel be sent down and take part in His warnings, we will not believe.’" [Qur’an 25:7.] Other Prophets, similarly, have been subject to poverty and afflictions, to hunger, and to the ills and chances of this world. As these holy Persons were subject to such needs and wants, the people were, consequently, lost in the wilds of misgivings and doubts, and were afflicted with bewilderment and perplexity. How, they wondered, could such a person be sent down from God, assert His ascendancy over all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and claim Himself to be the goal of all creation,-- even as He hath said: "But for Thee, I would not have created all that are in heaven and on earth," and yet be subject to such trivial things? You must undoubtedly have been informed of the tribulations, the poverty, the ills, and the degradation that have befallen every Prophet of God and His companions. You must have heard how the heads of their followers were sent as presents unto different cities, how grievously they were hindered from that whereunto they were commanded. Each and every one of them fell a prey to the hands of the enemies of His Cause, and had to suffer whatsoever they decreed. It is evident that the changes brought about in every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that intervene between the eye of man’s understanding and the divine Luminary which shineth forth from the dayspring of the divine Essence. Consider how men for generations have been blindly imitating their fathers, and have been trained according to such ways and manners as have been laid down by the dictates of their Faith. Were these men, therefore, to discover suddenly that a Man, Who hath been living in their midst, Who, with respect to every human limitation, hath been their equal, had risen to abolish every established principle imposed by their Faith—principles by which for centuries they have been disciplined, and every opposer and denier of which they have come to regard as infidel, profligate and wicked,--they would of a certainty be veiled and hindered from acknowledging His truth. Such things are as "clouds" that veil the eyes of those whose inner being hath not tasted the Salsabil of detachment, nor drunk from the Kawthar of the knowledge of God. Such men, when acquainted with these circumstances, become so veiled that without the least question, they pronounce the Manifestation of God an infidel, and sentence Him to death. You must have heard of such things taking place all down the ages, and are now observing them in these days. It behooveth us, therefore, to make the utmost endeavour, that, by God’s invisible assistance, these dark veils, these clouds of Heaven-sent trials, may not hinder us from beholding the beauty of His shining Countenance, and that we may recognize Him only by His own Self. And should we ask for a testimony of His truth, we should content ourselves with one, and only one; that thereby we may attain unto Him Who is the Fountain-head of infinite grace, and in Whose presence all the world’s abundance fadeth into nothingness, that we may cease to cavil at Him every day and to cleave unto our own idle fancy. Gracious God! Notwithstanding the warning which, in marvelously symbolic language and subtle allusions, hath been uttered in days past, and which was intended to awaken the peoples of the world and to prevent them from being deprived of their share of the billowing ocean of God’s grace, yet such things as have already been witnessed have come to pass! Reference to these things hath also been made in the Qur’an, as witnessed by this verse: "What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds?" [Qur’an 2:210.] A number of the divines, who hold firmly to the letter of the Word of God, have come to regard this verse as one of the signs of that expected resurrection which is born of their idle fancy. This, notwithstanding the fact that similar references have been made in most of the heavenly Books, and have been recorded in all the passages connected with the signs of the coming Manifestation. Likewise, He saith: "On the day when the heaven shall give out a palpable smoke, which shall enshroud mankind: this will be an afflictive torment." [Qur’an 44:10.] The All-Glorious hath decreed these very things, that are contrary to the desires of wicked men, to be the touchstone and standard whereby He proveth His servants, that the just may be known from the wicked, and the faithful distinguished from the infidel. The symbolic term "smoke" denotes grave dissensions, the abrogation and demolition of recognized standards, and the utter destruction of their narrow-minded exponents. What smoke more dense and overpowering than the one which hath now enshrouded all the peoples of the world, which hath become a torment unto them, and from which they hopelessly fail to deliver themselves, however much they strive? So fierce is this fire of self burning within them, that at every moment they seem to be afflicted with fresh torments. The more they are told that this wondrous Cause of God, this Revelation from the Most High, hath been made manifest to all mankind, and is waxing greater and stronger every day, the fiercer groweth the blaze of the fire in their hearts. The more they observe the indomitable strength, the sublime renunciation, the unwavering constancy of God’s holy companions, who, by the aid of God, are growing nobler and more glorious every day, the deeper the dismay which ravageth their souls. In these days, praise be to God, the power of His Word hath obtained such ascendancy over men, that they dare breathe no word. Were they to encounter one of the companions of God who, if he could, would, freely and joyously, offer up ten thousand lives as a sacrifice for his Beloved, so great would be their fear, that they forthwith would profess their faith in Him, whilst privily they would vilify and execrate His name! Even as He hath revealed: "And when they meet you, they say, ‘We believe’; but when they are apart, they bite their fingers’ ends at you, out of wrath. Say: ‘Die in your wrath!’ God truly knoweth the very recesses of your breasts." [Qur’an 3:119.] Ere long, thine eyes will behold the standards of divine power unfurled throughout all regions, and the signs of His triumphant might and sovereignty manifest in every land. As most of the divines have failed to apprehend the meaning of these verses, and have not grasped the significance of the Day of Resurrection, they therefore have foolishly interpreted these verses according to their idle and faulty conception. The one true God is My witness! Little perception is required to enable them to gather from the symbolic language of these two verses all that We have purposed to propound, and thus to attain, through the grace of the All-Merciful, the resplendent morn of certitude. Such are the strains of celestial melody which the immortal Bird of Heaven, warbling upon the Sadrih of Baha, poureth out upon thee, that, by the permission of God, thou mayest tread the path of divine knowledge and wisdom. And now, concerning His words: "And He shall send His angels...." By "angels" is meant those who, reinforced by the power of the spirit, have consumed, with the fire of the love of God, all human traits and limitations, and have clothed themselves with the attributes of the most exalted Beings and of the Cherubim. That holy man, Sadiq, [The sixth Imam of the Shi’ihs.] in his eulogy of the Cherubim, saith: "There stand a company of our fellow-Shi’ihs behind the Throne." Divers and manifold are the interpretations of the words "behind the Throne." In one sense, they indicate that no true Shi’ihs exist. Even as he hath said in another passage: "A true believer is likened unto the philosopher’s stone." Addressing subsequently his listener, he saith: "Hast thou ever seen the philosopher’s stone?" Reflect, how this symbolic language, more eloquent than any speech, however direct, testifieth to the non-existence of a true believer. Such is the testimony of Sadiq. And now consider, how unfair and numerous are those who, although they themselves have failed to inhale the fragrance of belief, have condemned as infidels those by whose word belief itself is recognized and established. And now, inasmuch as these holy beings have sanctified themselves from every human limitation, have become endowed with the attributes of the spiritual, and have been adorned with the noble traits of the blessed, they therefore have been designated as "angels." Such is the meaning of these verses, every word of which hath been expounded by the aid of the most lucid texts, the most convincing arguments, and the best established evidences. As the adherents of Jesus have never understood the hidden meaning of these words, and as the signs which they and the leaders of their Faith have expected have failed to appear, they therefore refused to acknowledge, even until now, the truth of those Manifestations of Holiness that have since the days of Jesus been made manifest. They have thus deprived themselves of the outpourings of God’s holy grace, and of the wonders of His divine utterance. Such is their low estate in this, the Day of Resurrection! They have even failed to perceive that were the signs of the Manifestation of God in every age to appear in the visible realm in accordance with the text of established traditions, none could possibly deny or turn away, nor would the blessed be distinguished from the miserable, and the transgressor from the God-fearing. Judge fairly: Were the prophecies recorded in the Gospel to be literally fulfilled; were Jesus, Son of Mary, accompanied by angels, to descend from the visible heaven upon the clouds; who would dare to disbelieve, who would dare to reject the truth, and wax disdainful? Nay, such consternation would immediately seize all the dwellers of the earth that no soul would feel able to utter a word, much less to reject or accept the truth. It was owing to their misunderstanding of these truths that many a Christian divine hath objected to Muhammad, and voiced his protest in such words: "If Thou art in truth the promised Prophet, why then art Thou not accompanied by those angels our sacred Books foretold, and which must needs descend with the promised Beauty to assist Him in His Revelation and act as warners unto His people?" Even as the All-Glorious hath recorded their statement: "Why hath not an angel been sent down to him, so that he should have been a warner with Him?" [Qur’an 25:7.] Such objections and differences have persisted in every age and century. The people have always busied themselves with such specious discourses, vainly protesting: "Wherefore hath not this or that sign appeared?" Such ills befell them only because they have clung to the ways of the divines of the age in which they lived, and blindly imitated them in accepting or denying these Essences of Detachment, these holy and divine Beings. These leaders, owing to their immersion in selfish desires, and their pursuit of transitory and sordid things, have regarded these divine Luminaries as being opposed to the standards of their knowledge and understanding, and the opponents of their ways and judgments. As they have literally interpreted the Word of God, and the sayings and traditions of the Letters of Unity, and expounded them according to their own deficient understanding, they have therefore deprived themselves and all their people of the bountiful showers of the grace and mercies of God. And yet they bear witness to this well-known tradition: "Verily Our Word is abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse." In another instance, it is said: "Our Cause is sorely trying, highly perplexing; none can bear it except a favorite of heaven, or an inspired Prophet, or he whose faith God hath tested." These leaders of religion admit that none of these three specified conditions is applicable to them. The first two conditions are manifestly beyond their reach; as to the third, it is evident that at no time have they been proof against those tests that have been sent by God, and that when the divine Touchstone appeared, they have shown themselves to be naught but dross. Great God! Notwithstanding their acceptance of the truth of this tradition, these divines who are still doubtful of, and dispute about, the theological obscurities of their faith, yet claim to be the exponents of the subtleties of the law of God, and the expounders of the essential mysteries of His holy Word. They confidently assert that such traditions as indicate the advent of the expected Qa’im have not yet been fulfilled, whilst they themselves have failed to inhale the fragrance of the meaning of these traditions, and are still oblivious of the fact that all the signs foretold have come to pass, that the way of God’s holy Cause hath been revealed, and the concourse of the faithful, swift as lightning, are, even now, passing upon that way, whilst these foolish divines wait expecting to witness the signs foretold. Say, O ye foolish ones! Wait ye even as those before you are waiting! Were they to be questioned concerning those signs that must needs herald the revelation and rise of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation, to which We have already referred, none of which have been literally fulfilled, and were it to be said to them: "Wherefore have ye rejected the claims advanced by Christians and the peoples of other faiths and regard them as infidels," knowing not what answer to give, they will reply: "These Books have been corrupted and are not, and never have been, of God." Reflect: the words of the verses themselves eloquently testify to the truth that they are of God. A similar verse hath been also revealed in the Qur’an, were ye of them that comprehend. Verily I say, throughout all this period they have utterly failed to comprehend what is meant by corrupting the text. Yea, in the writings and utterances of the Mirrors reflecting the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation mention hath been made of "Modification by the exalted beings" and "alteration by the disdainful." Such passages, however, refer only to particular cases. Among them is the story of Ibn-i-Suriya. When the people of Khaybar asked the focal center of the Muhammadan Revelation concerning the penalty of adultery committed between a married man and a married woman, Muhammad answered and said: "The law of God is death by stoning." Whereupon they protested saying: "No such law hath been revealed in the Pentateuch." Muhammad answered and said: "Whom do ye regard among your rabbis as being a recognized authority and having a sure knowledge of the truth?" They agreed upon Ibn-i-Suriya. Thereupon Muhammad summoned him and said: "I adjure thee by God Who clove the sea for you, caused manna to descend upon you, and the cloud to overshadow you, Who delivered you from Pharaoh and his people, and exalted you above all human beings, to tell us what Moses hath decreed concerning adultery between a married man and a married woman." He made reply: "O Muhammad! death by stoning is the law." Muhammad observed: "Why is it then that this law is annulled and hath ceased to operate among the Jews?" He answered and said: "When Nebuchadnezzar delivered Jerusalem to the flames, and put the Jews to death, only a few survived. The divines of that age, considering the extremely limited number of the Jews, and the multitude of the Amalekites, took counsel together, and came to the conclusion that were they to enforce the law of the Pentateuch, every survivor who hath been delivered from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar would have to be put to death according to the verdict of the Book. Owing to such considerations, they totally repealed the penalty of death." Meanwhile Gabriel inspired Muhammad’s illumined heart with these words: "They pervert the text of the Word of God." [Qur’an 4:45.] This is one of the instances that have been referred to. Verily by "perverting" the text is not meant that which these foolish and abject souls have fancied, even as some maintain that Jewish and Christian divines have effaced from the Book such verses as extol and magnify the countenance of Muhammad, and instead thereof have inserted the contrary. How utterly vain and false are these words! Can a man who believeth in a book, and deemeth it to be inspired by God, mutilate it? Moreover, the Pentateuch had been spread over the surface of the earth, and was not confined to Mecca and Medina, so that they could privily corrupt and pervert its text. Nay, rather, by corruption of the text is meant that in which all Muslim divines are engaged today, that is the interpretation of God’s holy Book in accordance with their idle imaginings and vain desires. And as the Jews, in the time of Muhammad, interpreted those verses of the Pentateuch, that referred to His Manifestation, after their own fancy, and refused to be satisfied with His holy utterance, the charge of "perverting" the text was therefore pronounced against them. Likewise, it is clear, how in this day, the people of the Qur’an have perverted the text of God’s holy Book, concerning the signs of the expected Manifestation, and interpreted it according to their inclination and desires. In yet another instance, He saith: "A part of them heard the Word of God, and then, after they had understood it, distorted it, and knew that they did so." [Qur’an 2:75.] This verse, too, doth indicate that the meaning of the Word of God hath been perverted, not that the actual words have been effaced. To the truth of this testify they that are sound of mind. Again in another instance, He saith: "Woe unto those who, with their own hands, transcribe the Book corruptly, and then say: ‘This is from God,’ that they may sell it for some mean price." [Qur’an 2:79.] This verse was revealed with reference to the divines and leaders of the Jewish Faith. These divines, in order to please the rich, acquire worldly emoluments, and give vent to their envy and misbelief, wrote a number of treatises, refuting the claims of Muhammad, supporting their arguments with such evidences as it would be improper to mention, and claimed that these arguments were derived from the text of the Pentateuch. The same may be witnessed today. Consider how abundant are the denunciations written by the foolish divines of this age against this most wondrous Cause! How vain their imaginings that these calumnies are in conformity with the verses of God’s sacred Book, and in consonance with the utterances of men of discernment! Our purpose in relating these things is to warn you that were they to maintain that those verses wherein the signs referred to in the Gospel are mentioned have been perverted, were they to reject them, and cling instead to other verses and traditions, you should know that their words were utter falsehood and sheer calumny. Yea "corruption" of the text, in the sense We have referred to, hath been actually effected in particular instances. A few of these We have mentioned, that it may become manifest to every discerning observer that unto a few untutored holy Men hath been given the mastery of human learning, so that the malevolent opposer may cease to contend that a certain verse doth indicate "corruption" of the text, and insinuate that We, through lack of knowledge, have made mention of such things. Moreover, most of the verses that indicate "corruption" of the text have been revealed with reference to the Jewish people, were ye to explore the isles of Qur’anic Revelation. We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also? What would be left to that people to cling to from the setting of the day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of the Muhammadan Dispensation? What law could be their stay and guide? How could such people be made the victims of the avenging wrath of God, the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted with the scourge of chastisement by the heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of the grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled? We take refuge with God, from that which His creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He above their comprehension! Dear friend! Now when the light of God’s everlasting Morn is breaking; when the radiance of His holy words: "God is the light of the heavens and of the earth" [Qur’an 24:35.] is shedding illumination upon all mankind; when the inviolability of His tabernacle is being proclaimed by His sacred utterance: "God hath willed to perfect His light;" [Qur’an 9:33.] and the Hand of omnipotence, bearing His testimony: "In His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things," is being outstretched unto all the peoples and kindreds of the earth; it behooveth us to gird up the loins of endeavour, that haply, by the grace and bounty of God, we may enter the celestial City: "Verily, we are God’s," and abide within the exalted habitation: "And unto Him we do return." It is incumbent upon thee, by the permission of God, to cleanse the eye of thine heart from the things of the world, that thou mayest realize the infinitude of divine knowledge, and mayest behold Truth so clearly that thou wilt need no proof to demonstrate His reality, nor any evidence to bear witness unto His testimony. O affectionate seeker! Shouldst thou soar in the holy realm of the spirit, thou wouldst recognize God manifest and exalted above all things, in such wise that thine eyes would behold none else but Him. "God was alone; there was none else besides Him." So lofty is this station that no testimony can bear it witness, neither evidence do justice to its truth. Wert thou to explore the sacred domain of truth, thou wilt find that all things are known only by the light of His recognition, that He hath ever been, and will continue for ever to be, known through Himself. And if thou dwellest in the land of testimony, content thyself with that which He, Himself, hath revealed: "Is it not enough for them that We have sent down unto Thee the Book?" [Qur’an 29:51] This is the testimony which He, Himself, hath ordained; greater proof than this there is none, nor ever will be: "This proof is His Word; His own Self, the testimony of His truth." And now, We beseech the people of the Bayan, all the learned, the sages, the divines, and witnesses amongst them, not to forget the wishes and admonitions revealed in their Book. Let them, at all times, fix their gaze upon the essentials of His Cause, lest when He, Who is the Quintessence of truth, the inmost Reality of all things, the Source of all light, is made manifest, they cling unto certain passages of the Book, and inflict upon Him that which was inflicted in the Dispensation of the Qur’an. For, verily, powerful is He, the King of divine might, to extinguish with one letter of His wondrous words, the breath of life in the whole of the Bayan and the people thereof, and with one letter bestow upon them a new and everlasting life, and cause them to arise and speed out of the sepulchres of their vain and selfish desires. Take heed, and be watchful; and remember that all things have their consummation in belief in Him, in attainment unto His day, and in the realization of His divine presence. "There is no piety in turning your faces toward the east or toward the west, but he is pious who believeth in God and the Last Day." [Qur’an 2:176.] Give ear, O people of the Bayan, unto the truth whereunto We have admonished you, that haply ye may seek the shelter of the shadow extended, in the Day of God, upon all mankind. END OF PART ONE PART TWO Verily He Who is the Day-star of Truth and Revealer of the Supreme Being holdeth, for all time, undisputed sovereignty over all that is in heaven and on earth, though no man be found on earth to obey Him. He verily is independent of all earthly dominion, though He be utterly destitute. Thus We reveal unto thee the mysteries of the Cause of God, and bestow upon thee the gems of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest soar on the wings of renunciation to those heights that are veiled from the eyes of men. THE significance and essential purpose underlying these words is to reveal and demonstrate unto the pure in heart and the sanctified in spirit that they Who are the Luminaries of truth and the Mirrors reflecting the light of divine Unity, in whatever age and cycle they are sent down from their invisible habitations of ancient glory unto this world, to educate the souls of men and endue with grace all created things, are invariably endowed with an all-compelling power, and invested with invincible sovereignty. For these hidden Gems, these concealed and invisible Treasures, in themselves manifest and vindicate the reality of these holy words: "Verily God doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth." To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is and hath ever been veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving." [Qur’an 6:103.] No tie of direct intercourse can possibly bind Him to His creatures. He standeth exalted beyond and above all separation and union, all proximity and remoteness. No sign can indicate His presence or His absence; inasmuch as by a word of His command all that are in heaven and on earth have come to exist, and by His wish, which is the Primal Will itself, all have stepped out of utter nothingness into the realm of being, the world of the visible. Gracious God! How could there be conceived any existing relationship or possible connection between His Word and they that are created of it? The verse: "God would have you beware of Himself" [Qur’an 3:28.] unmistakably beareth witness to the reality of Our argument, and the words: "God was alone; there was none else besides Him" are a sure testimony of its truth. All the Prophets of God and their chosen Ones, all the divines, the sages, and the wise of every generation, unanimously recognize their inability to attain unto the comprehension of that Quintessence of all truth, and confess their incapacity to grasp Him, Who is the inmost Reality of all things. The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying: "His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all" hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence. These sanctified Mirrors, these Day-springs of ancient glory are one and all the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that can never fade. Even as He hath said: "There is no distinction whatsoever between Thee and them; except that they are Thy servants, and are created of Thee." This is the significance of the tradition: "I am He, Himself, and He is I, myself." The traditions and sayings that bear direct reference to Our theme are divers and manifold; We have refrained from quoting them for the sake of brevity. Nay, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that most great Light. Methinks, but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: "Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery." Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the heavenly Books and the holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: "We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves." [Qur’an 41:53.] Again He saith: "And also in your own selves: will ye not then behold the signs of God?" [Qur’an 51:21.] And yet again He revealeth: "And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves." [Qur’an 59:19.] In this connection, He Who is the eternal King—may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him—hath spoken: "He hath known God who hath known himself." I swear by God, O esteemed and honoured friend! Shouldst thou ponder these words in thine heart, thou wilt of a certainty find the doors of divine wisdom and infinite knowledge flung open before thy face. From that which hath been said it becometh evident that all things, in their inmost reality, testify to the revelation of the names and attributes of God within them. Each according to its capacity, indicateth, and is expressive of, the knowledge of God. So potent and universal is this revelation, that it hath encompassed all things, visible and invisible. Thus hath He revealed: "Hath aught else save Thee a power of revelation which is not possessed by Thee, that it could have manifested Thee? Blind is the eye which doth not perceive Thee." Likewise, hath the eternal King spoken: "No thing have I perceived, except that I perceived God within it, God before it, or God after it." Also in the tradition of Kumayl it is written: "Behold, a light hath shone forth out of the Morn of eternity, and lo! its waves have penetrated the inmost reality of all men." Man, the noblest and most perfect of all created things, excelleth them all in the intensity of this revelation, and is a fuller expression of its glory. And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of their grace. "But for Thee, I would have not created the heavens." Nay, all in their holy presence fade into utter nothingness, and are a thing forgotten. Human tongue can never befittingly sing their praise, and human speech can never unfold their mystery. These Tabernacles of holiness, these primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these gems of divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty and grace, are made manifest. These attributes of God are not and have never been vouchsafed specially unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His well-favoured, His holy, and chosen Messengers, are, without exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their light. Even as He hath revealed: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others." [Qur’an 2:253.] It hath therefore become manifest and evident that within the tabernacles of these Prophets and chosen Ones of God the light of His infinite names and exalted attributes hath been reflected, even though the light of some of these attributes may or may not be outwardly revealed from these luminous Temples to the eyes of men. That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they Who are the Daysprings of God’s attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names did not actually possess it. Therefore, these illuminated Souls, these beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with all the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like, even though to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty. To every discerning eye this is evident and manifest; it requireth neither proof nor evidence. Yea, inasmuch as the peoples of the world have failed to seek from the luminous and crystal Springs of divine knowledge the inner meaning of God’s holy words, they therefore have languished, stricken and sore athirst, in the vale of idle fancy and waywardness. They have strayed far from the fresh and thirst-subduing waters, and gathered round the salt that burneth bitterly. Concerning them, the Dove of Eternity hath spoken: "And if they see the path of righteousness, they will not take it for their path; but if they see the path of error, for their path will they take it. This, because they treated Our signs as lies, and were heedless of them." [Qur’an 7:145.] To this testifieth that which hath been witnessed in this wondrous and exalted Dispensation. Myriads of holy verses have descended from the heaven of might and grace, yet no one hath turned thereunto, nor ceased to cling to those words of men, not one letter of which they that have spoken them comprehend. For this reason the people have doubted incontestable truths, such as these, and caused themselves to be deprived of the Ridvan of divine knowledge, and the eternal meads of celestial wisdom. And now, to resume Our argument concerning the question: Why is it that the sovereignty of the Qa’im, affirmed in the text of recorded traditions, and handed down by the shining stars of the Muhammadan Dispensation, hath not in the least been made manifest? Nay, the contrary hath come to pass. Have not His disciples and companions been afflicted of men? Are they not still the victims of the fierce opposition of their enemies? Are they not today leading the life of abased and impotent mortals? Yea, the sovereignty attributed to the Qa’im and spoken of in the scriptures, is a reality, the truth of which none can doubt. This sovereignty, however, is not the sovereignty which the minds of men have falsely imagined. Moreover, the Prophets of old, each and every one, whenever announcing to the people of their day the advent of the coming Revelation, have invariably and specifically referred to that sovereignty with which the promised Manifestation must needs be invested. This is attested by the records of the scriptures of the past. This sovereignty hath not been solely and exclusively attributed to the Qa’im. Nay rather, the attribute of sovereignty and all other names and attributes of God have been and will ever be vouchsafed unto all the Manifestations of God, before and after Him, inasmuch as these Manifestations, as it hath already been explained, are the Embodiments of the attributes of God, the Invisible, and the Revealers of the divine mysteries. Furthermore, by sovereignty is meant the all-encompassing, all-pervading power which is inherently exercised by the Qa’im whether or not He appear to the world clothed in the majesty of earthly dominion. This is solely dependent upon the will and pleasure of the Qa’im Himself. You will readily recognize that the terms sovereignty, wealth, life, death, judgment and resurrection, spoken of by the scriptures of old, are not what this generation hath conceived and vainly imagined. Nay, by sovereignty is meant that sovereignty which in every dispensation resideth within, and is exercised by, the person of the Manifestation, the Day-star of Truth. That sovereignty is the spiritual ascendancy which He exerciseth to the fullest degree over all that is in heaven and on earth, and which in due time revealeth itself to the world in direct proportion to its capacity and spiritual receptiveness, even as the sovereignty of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, is today apparent and manifest amongst the people. You are well aware of what befell His Faith in the early days of His dispensation. What woeful sufferings did the hand of the infidel and erring, the divines of that age and their associates, inflict upon that spiritual Essence, that most pure and holy Being! How abundant the thorns and briars which they have strewn over His path! It is evident that wretched generation, in their wicked and satanic fancy, regarded every injury to that immortal Being as a means to the attainment of an abiding felicity; inasmuch as the recognized divines of that age, such as Abdu’llah-i-Ubayy, Abu-‘Amir, the hermit, Ka’b-Ibn-i-Ashraf, and Nadr-Ibn-i-Harith, all treated Him as an impostor, and pronounced Him a lunatic and a calumniator. Such sore accusations they brought against Him that in recounting them God forbiddeth the ink to flow, Our pen to move, or the page to bear them. These malicious imputations provoked the people to arise and torment Him. And how fierce that torment if the divines of the age be its chief instigators, if they denounce Him to their followers, cast Him out from their midst, and declare Him a miscreant! Hath not the same befallen this Servant, and been witnessed by all? For this reason did Muhammad cry out: "No Prophet of God hath suffered such harm as I have suffered." And in the Qur’an are recorded all the calumnies and reproaches uttered against Him, as well as all the afflictions which He suffered. Refer ye thereunto, that haply ye may be informed of that which hath befallen His Revelation. So grievous was His plight, that for a time all ceased to hold intercourse with Him and His companions. Whoever associated with Him fell a victim to the relentless cruelty of His enemies. We shall cite in this connection only one verse of that Book. Shouldst thou observe it with a discerning eye, thou wilt, all the remaining days of thy life, lament and bewail the injury of Muhammad, that wronged and oppressed Messenger of God. That verse was revealed at a time when Muhammad languished weary and sorrowful beneath the weight of the opposition of the people, and of their unceasing torture. In the midst of His agony, the Voice of Gabriel, calling from the Sadratu’l-Muntaha, was heard saying: "But if their opposition be grievous to Thee—if Thou canst, seek out an opening into the earth or a ladder into heaven." [Qur’an 6:35.] The implication of this utterance is that His case had no remedy, that they would not withhold their hands from Him unless He should hide Himself beneath the depths of the earth, or take His flight unto heaven. Consider, how great is the change today! Behold, how many are the Sovereigns who bow the knee before His name! How numerous the nations and kingdoms who have sought the shelter of His shadow, who bear allegiance to His Faith, and pride themselves therein! From the pulpit-top there ascendeth today the words of praise which, in utter lowliness, glorify His blessed name; and from the heights of minarets there resoundeth the call that summoneth the concourse of His people to adore Him. Even those Kings of the earth who have refused to embrace His Faith and to put off the garment of unbelief, none the less confess and acknowledge the greatness and overpowering majesty of that Day-star of loving kindness. Such is His earthly sovereignty, the evidences of which thou dost on every side behold. This sovereignty must needs be revealed and established either in the lifetime of every Manifestation of God or after His ascension unto His true habitation in the realms above. What thou dost witness today is but a confirmation of this truth. That spiritual ascendency, however, which is primarily intended, resideth within, and revolveth around Them from eternity even unto eternity. It can never for a moment be divorced from Them. Its dominion hath encompassed all that is in heaven and on earth. The following is an evidence of the sovereignty exercised by Muhammad, the Day-star of Truth. Hast thou not heard how with one single verse He hath sundered light from darkness, the righteous from the ungodly, and the believing from the infidel? All the signs and allusions concerning the Day of Judgment, which thou hast heard, such as the raising of the dead, the Day of Reckoning, the Last Judgment, and others have been made manifest through the revelation of that verse. These revealed words were a blessing to the righteous who on hearing them exclaimed: "O God our Lord, we have heard, and obeyed." They were a curse to the people of iniquity who, on hearing them affirmed: "We have heard and rebelled." Those words, sharp as the sword of God, have separated the faithful from the infidel, and severed father from son. Thou hast surely witnessed how they that have confessed their faith in Him and they that rejected Him have warred against each other, and sought one another’s property. How many fathers have turned away from their sons; how many lovers have shunned their beloved! So mercilessly trenchant was this wondrous sword of God that it cleft asunder every relationship! On the other hand, consider the welding power of His Word. Observe, how those in whose midst the Satan of self had for years sown the seeds of malice and hate became so fused and blended through their allegiance to this wondrous and transcendent Revelation that it seemed as if they had sprung from the same loins. Such is the binding force of the Word of God, which uniteth the hearts of them that have renounced all else but Him, who have believed in His signs, and quaffed from the Hand of glory the Kawthar of God’s holy grace. Furthermore, how numerous are those peoples of divers beliefs, of conflicting creeds, and opposing temperaments, who, through the reviving fragrance of the Divine springtime, breathing from the Ridvan of God, have been arrayed with the new robe of divine Unity, and have drunk from the cup of His singleness! This is the significance of the well-known words: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together." [Isaiah 65:25.] Behold the ignorance and folly of those who, like the nations of old, are still expecting to witness the time when these beasts will feed together in one pasture! Such is their low estate. Methinks, never have their lips touched the cup of understanding, neither have their feet trodden the path of justice. Besides, of what profit would it be to the world were such a thing to take place? How well hath He spoken concerning them: "Hearts have they, with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not!" [Qur’an 7:178.] Consider how with this one verse which hath descended from the heaven of the Will of God, the world and all that is therein have been brought to a reckoning with Him. Whosoever acknowledged His truth and turned unto Him, his good works outweighed his misdeeds, and all his sins were remitted and forgiven. Thereby is the truth of these words concerning Him made manifest: "Swift is He in reckoning." Thus God turneth iniquity into righteousness, were ye to explore the realms of divine knowledge, and fathom the mysteries of His wisdom. In like manner, whosoever partook of the cup of love, obtained his portion of the ocean of eternal grace and of the showers of everlasting mercy, and entered into the life of faith—the heavenly and everlasting life. But he that turned away from that cup was condemned to eternal death. By the terms "life" and "death," spoken of in the scriptures, is intended the life of faith and the death of unbelief. The generality of the people, owing to their failure to grasp the meaning of these words, rejected and despised the person of the Manifestation, deprived themselves of the light of His divine guidance, and refused to follow the example of that immortal Beauty. When the light of Qur’anic Revelation was kindled within the chamber of Muhammad’s holy heart, He passed upon the people the verdict of the Last Day, the verdict of resurrection, of judgment, of life, and of death. Thereupon the standards of revolt were hoisted, and the doors of derision opened. Thus hath He, the Spirit of God, recorded, as spoken by the infidels: "And if thou shouldst say, ‘After death ye shall surely be raised again,’ the infidels will certainly exclaim, ‘This is nothing but manifest sorcery.’" [Qur’an 11:7.] Again He speaketh: "If ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, ‘What! When we have become dust, shall we be restored in a new creation?’" [Qur’an 13:5.] Thus, in another passage, He wrathfully exclaimeth: "Are We wearied out with the first creation? Yet are they in doubt with regard to a new creation!" [Qur’an 50:15.] As the commentators of the Qur’an and they that follow the letter thereof misapprehended the inner meaning of the words of God and failed to grasp their essential purpose, they sought to demonstrate that, according to the rules of grammar, whenever the term "idha" (meaning "if" or "when") precedeth the past tense, it invariably hath reference to the future. Later, they were sore perplexed in attempting to explain those verses of the Book wherein that term did not actually occur. Even as He hath revealed: "And there was a blast on the trumpet,--lo! it is the threatened Day! And every soul is summoned to a reckoning,--with him an impeller and a witness." [Qur’an 50:20.] In explaining this and similar verses, they have in some cases argued that the term "idha" is implied. In other instances, they have idly contended that whereas the Day of Judgment is inevitable, it hath therefore been referred to as an event not of the future but of the past. How vain their sophistry! How grievous their blindness! They refuse to recognize the trumpet-blast which so explicitly in this text was sounded through the revelation of Muhammad. They deprive themselves of the regenerating Spirit of God that breathed into it, and foolishly expect to hear the trumpet-sound of the Seraph of God who is but one of His servants! Hath not the Seraph himself, the angel of the Judgment Day, and his like been ordained by Muhammad’s own utterance? Say: What! Will ye give that which is for your good in exchange for that which is evil? Wretched is that which ye have falsely exchanged! Surely ye are a people, evil, in grievous loss. Nay, by "trumpet" is meant the trumpet-call of Muhammad’s Revelation, which was sounded in the heart of the universe, and by "resurrection" is meant His own rise to proclaim the Cause of God. He bade the erring and wayward arise and speed out of the sepulchres of their bodies, arrayed them with the beauteous robe of faith, and quickened them with the breath of a new and wondrous life. Thus at the hour when Muhammad, that divine Beauty, purposed to unveil one of the mysteries hidden in the symbolic terms "resurrection," "judgment," "paradise," and "hell," Gabriel, the Voice of Inspiration, was heard saying: "Erelong will they wag their heads at Thee, and say, ‘When shall this be?’ Say: ‘Perchance it is nigh.’" [Qur’an 17:51.] The implications of this verse alone suffice the peoples of the world, were they to ponder it in their hearts. Gracious God! How far have that people strayed from the way of God! Although the Day of Resurrection was ushered in through the Revelation of Muhammad, although His light and tokens had encompassed the earth and all that is therein, yet that people derided Him, gave themselves up to those idols which the divines of that age, in their vain and idle fancy, had conceived, and deprived themselves of the light of heavenly grace and of the showers of divine mercy. Yea, the abject beetle can never scent the fragrance of holiness, and the bat of darkness can never face the splendour of the sun. Such things have come to pass in the days of every Manifestation of God. Even as Jesus said: "Ye must be born again." [John 3:7.] Again He saith: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." [John 3:5-6.] The purport of these words is that whosoever in every dispensation is born of the Spirit and is quickened by the breath of the Manifestation of Holiness, he verily is of those that have attained unto "life" and "resurrection" and have entered into the "paradise" of the love of God. And whosoever is not of them, is condemned to "death" and "deprivation," to the "fire" of unbelief, and to the "wrath" of God. In all the scriptures, the books and chronicles, the sentence of death, of fire, of blindness, of want of understanding and hearing, hath been pronounced against those whose lips have tasted not the ethereal cup of true knowledge, and whose hearts have been deprived of the grace of the holy Spirit in their day. Even as it hath been previously recorded: "Hearts have they with which they understand not." [Qur’an 7:178.] In another passage of the Gospel it is written: "And it came to pass that on a certain day the father of one of the disciples of Jesus had died. That disciple reporting the death of his father unto Jesus, asked for leave to go and bury him. Whereupon, Jesus, that Essence of Detachment, answered and said: "Let the dead bury their dead." [Luke 9:60.] In like manner, two of the people of Kufih went to Ali, the Commander of the Faithful. One owned a house and wished to sell it; the other was to be the purchaser. They had agreed that this transaction should be effected and the contract be written with the knowledge of Ali. He, the exponent of the law of God, addressing the scribe, said: "Write thou: ‘A dead man hath bought from another dead man a house. That house is bounded by four limits. One extendeth toward the tomb, the other to the vault of the grave, the third to the Sirat, the fourth to either Paradise or hell.’" Reflect, had these two souls been quickened by the trumpet-call of Ali, had they risen from the grave of error by the power of his love, the judgment of death would certainly not have been pronounced against them. In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms "life," "resurrection," and "judgment." If one will ponder but for a while this utterance of Ali in his heart, one will surely discover all mysteries hidden in the terms "grave," "tomb," "sirat," "paradise" and "hell." But oh! how strange and pitiful! Behold, all the people are imprisoned within the tomb of self, and lie buried beneath the nethermost depths of worldly desire! Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality. Even as it hath been said: "He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the world to come." If by "life" be meant this earthly life, it is evident that death must needs overtake it. Similarly, the records of all the scriptures bear witness to this lofty truth and this most exalted word. Moreover, this verse of the Qur’an, revealed concerning Hamzih, the "Prince of Martyrs," [Title of the uncle of Muhammad.] and Abu-Jahl, is a luminous evidence and sure testimony of the truth of Our saying: "Shall the dead, whom We have quickened, and for whom We have ordained a light whereby he may walk among men, be like him, whose likeness is in the darkness, whence he will not come forth?" [Qur’an 6:122.] This verse descended from the heaven of the Primal Will at a time when Hamzih had already been invested with the sacred mantle of faith, and Abu-Jahl had waxed relentless in his opposition and unbelief. From the Wellspring of omnipotence and the Source of eternal holiness, there came the judgment that conferred everlasting life upon Hamzih, and condemned Abu-Jahl to eternal damnation. This was the signal that caused the fires of unbelief to glow with the hottest flame in the heart of the infidels, and provoked them openly to repudiate His truth. They loudly clamoured: "When did Hamzih die? When was he risen? At what hour was such a life conferred upon him?" As they understood not the significance of these noble sayings, nor sought enlightenment from the recognized expounders of the Faith, that these might confer a sprinkling of the Kawthar of divine knowledge upon them, therefore such fires of mischief were kindled amongst men. Thou dost witness today how, notwithstanding the radiant splendour of the Sun of divine knowledge, all the people, whether high or low, have clung to the ways of those abject manifestations of the Prince of Darkness. They continually appeal to them for aid in unraveling the intricacies of their Faith, and, owing to lack of knowledge, they make such replies as can in no wise damage their fame and fortune. It is evident that these souls, vile and miserable as the beetle itself, have had no portion of the musk-laden breeze of eternity, and have never entered the Ridvan of heavenly delight. How, therefore, can they impart unto others the imperishable fragrance of holiness? Such is their way, and such will it remain for ever. Only those will attain to the knowledge of the Word of God that have turned unto Him, and repudiated the manifestations of Satan. Thus God hath reaffirmed the law of the day of His Revelation, and inscribed it with the pen of power upon the mystic Tablet hidden beneath the veil of celestial glory. Wert thou to heed these words, wert thou to ponder their outward and inner meaning in thy heart, thou wouldst seize the significance of all the abstruse problems which, in this day, have become insuperable barriers between men and the knowledge of the Day of Judgment. Then wilt thou have no more questions to perplex thee. We fain would hope that, God willing, thou wilt not return, deprived and still athirst, from the shores of the ocean of divine mercy, nor come back destitute from the imperishable Sanctuary of thy heart’s desire. Let it now be seen what thy search and endeavours will achieve. To resume: Our purpose in setting forth these truths hath been to demonstrate the sovereignty of Him Who is the King of kings. Be fair: Is this sovereignty which, through the utterance of one Word, hath manifested such pervading influence, ascendancy, and awful majesty, is this sovereignty superior, or is the worldly dominion of these kings of the earth who, despite their solicitude for their subjects and their help of the poor, are assured only of an outward and fleeting allegiance, while in the hearts of men they inspire neither affection nor respect? Hath not that sovereignty, through the potency of one word, subdued, quickened, and revitalized the whole world? What! Can the lowly dust compare with Him Who is the Lord of Lords? What tongue dare utter the immensity of difference that lieth between them? Nay, all comparison falleth short in attaining the hallowed sanctuary of His sovereignty. Were man to reflect, he would surely perceive that even the servant of His threshold ruleth over all created things! This hath already been witnessed, and will in future be made manifest. This is but one of the meanings of the spiritual sovereignty which We have set forth in accordance with the capacity and receptiveness of the people. For He, the Mover of all beings, that glorified Countenance, is the source of such potencies as neither this wronged One can reveal, nor this unworthy people comprehend. Immensely exalted is He above men’s praise of His sovereignty; glorified is He beyond that which they attribute unto Him! And now, ponder this in thine heart: Were sovereignty to mean earthly sovereignty and worldly dominion, were it to imply the subjection and external allegiance of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth—whereby His loved ones should be exalted and be made to live in peace, and His enemies be abased and tormented—such form of sovereignty would not be true of God Himself, the Source of all dominion, Whose majesty and power all things testify. For, dost thou not witness how the generality of mankind is under the sway of His enemies? Have they not all turned away from the path of His good-pleasure? Have they not done that which He hath forbidden, and left undone, nay repudiated and opposed, those things which He hath commanded? Have not His friends ever been the victims of the tyranny of His foes? All these things are more obvious than even the splendour of the noon-tide sun. Know, therefore, O questioning seeker, that earthly sovereignty is of no worth, nor will it ever be, in the eyes of God and His chosen Ones. Moreover, if ascendency and dominion be interpreted to mean earthly supremacy and temporal power, how impossible will it be for thee to explain these verses: "And verily Our host shall conquer." [Qur’an 37:173.] "Fain would they put out God’s light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it." [Qur’an 9:33.] "He is the Dominant, above all things." Similarly, most of the Qur’an testifieth to this truth. Were the idle contention of these foolish and despicable souls to be true, they would have none other alternative than to reject all these holy utterances and heavenly allusions. For no warrior could be found on earth more excellent and nearer to God than Husayn, son of Ali, so peerless and incomparable was he. "There was none to equal or to match him in the world." Yet, thou must have heard what befell him. "God’s malison on the head of the people of tyranny!" [Qur’an 11:18.] Were the verse "And verily Our host shall conquer" to be literally interpreted, it is evident that it would in no wise be applicable to the chosen Ones of God and His hosts, inasmuch as Husayn, whose heroism was manifest as the sun, crushed and subjugated, quaffed at last the cup of martyrdom in Karbila, the land of Taff. Similarly, the sacred verse "Fain would they put out God’s light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it." Were it to be literally interpreted it would never correspond with the truth. For in every age the light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them. How then could the ascendancy of the sovereignty of these Lamps be explained? What could the potency of God’s will to "perfect His light" signify? As hath already been witnessed, so great was the enmity of the infidels, that none of these divine Luminaries ever found a place for shelter, or tasted of the cup of tranquillity. So heavily were they oppressed, that the least of men inflicted upon these Essences of being whatsoever he listed. These sufferings have been observed and measured by the people. How, therefore, can such people be capable of understanding and expounding these words of God, these verses of everlasting glory? But the purpose of these verses is not what they have imagined. Nay, the terms "ascendancy," "power," and "authority" imply a totally different station and meaning. For instance, consider the pervading power of those drops of the blood of Husayn which besprinkled the earth. What ascendancy and influence hath the dust itself, through the sacredness and potency of that blood, exercised over the bodies and souls of men! So much so, that he who sought deliverance from his ills, was healed by touching the dust of that holy ground, and whosoever, wishing to protect his property, treasured with absolute faith and understanding, a little of that holy earth within his house, safeguarded all his possessions. These are the outward manifestations of its potency. And were We to recount its hidden virtues they would assuredly say: "He verily hath considered the dust to be the Lord of Lords, and hath utterly forsaken the Faith of God." Furthermore, call to mind the shameful circumstances that have attended the martyrdom of Husayn. Reflect upon his loneliness, how, to outer seeming, none could be found to aid him, none to take up his body and bury it. And yet, behold how numerous, in this day, are those who from the uttermost corners of the earth don the garb of pilgrimage, seeking the site of his martyrdom, that there they may lay their heads upon the threshold of his shrine! Such is the ascendancy and power of God! Such is the glory of His dominion and majesty! Think not that because these things have come to pass after Husayn’s martyrdom, therefore all this glory hath been of no profit unto him. For that holy soul is immortal, liveth the life of God, and abideth within the retreats of celestial glory upon the Sadrih of heavenly reunion. These Essences of being are the shining Exemplars of sacrifice. They have offered, and will continue to offer up their lives, their substance, their souls, their spirit, their all, in the path of the Well-Beloved. By them, no station, however exalted, could be more dearly cherished. For lovers have no desire but the good-pleasure of their Beloved, and have no aim except reunion with Him. Should We wish to impart unto thee a glimmer of the mysteries of Husayn’s martyrdom, and reveal unto thee the fruits thereof, these pages could never suffice, nor exhaust their meaning. Our hope is that, God willing, the breeze of mercy may blow, and the divine Springtime clothe the tree of being with the robe of a new life; so that we may discover the mysteries of divine Wisdom, and, through His providence, be made independent of the knowledge of all things. We have, as yet, descried none but a handful of souls, destitute of all renown, who have attained unto this station. Let the future disclose what the Judgment of God will ordain, and the Tabernacle of His decree reveal. In such wise We recount unto thee the wonders of the Cause of God, and pour out into thine ears the strains of heavenly melody, that haply thou mayest attain unto the station of true knowledge, and partake of the fruit thereof. Therefore, know thou of a certainty that these Luminaries of heavenly majesty, though their dwelling be in the dust, yet their true habitation is the seat of glory in the realms above. Though bereft of all earthly possessions, yet they soar in the realms of immeasurable riches. And whilst sore tried in the grip of the enemy, they are seated on the right hand of power and celestial dominion. Amidst the darkness of their abasement there shineth upon them the light of unfading glory, and upon their helplessness are showered the tokens of an invincible sovereignty. Thus Jesus, Son of Mary, whilst seated one day and speaking in the strain of the Holy Spirit, uttered words such as these: "O people! My food is the grass of the field, wherewith I satisfy my hunger. My bed is the dust, my lamp in the night the light of the moon, and my steed my own feet. Behold, who on earth is richer than I?" By the righteousness of God! Thousands of treasures circle round this poverty, and a myriad kingdoms of glory yearn for such abasement! Shouldst thou attain to a drop of the ocean of the inner meaning of these words, thou wouldst surely forsake the world and all that is therein, and, as the Phoenix wouldst consume thyself in the flames of the undying Fire. In like manner, it is related that on a certain day, one of the companions of Sadiq complained of his poverty before him. Whereupon, Sadiq, that immortal beauty, made reply: "Verily thou art rich, and hast drunk the draught of wealth." That poverty-stricken soul was perplexed at the words uttered by that luminous countenance, and said: "Where are my riches, I who stand in need of a single coin?" Sadiq thereupon observed: "Dost thou not possess our love?" He replied: "Yea, I possess it, O thou scion of the Prophet of God!" And Sadiq asked him saying: "Exchangest thou this love for one thousand dinars?" He answered: "Nay, never will I exchange it, though the world and all that is therein be given me!" Then Sadiq remarked: "How can he who possesses such a treasure be called poor?" This poverty and these riches, this abasement and glory, this dominion, power, and the like, upon which the eyes and hearts of these vain and foolish souls are set,--all these things fade into utter nothingness in that Court! Even as He hath said: "O men! Ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the Self-Sufficing." [Qur’an 35:15.] By ‘riches’ therefore is meant independence of all else but God, and by ‘poverty’ the lack of things that are of God. Similarly, call thou to mind the day when the Jews, who had surrounded Jesus, Son of Mary, were pressing Him to confess His claim of being the Messiah and Prophet of God, so that they might declare Him an infidel and sentence Him to death. Then, they led Him away, He Who was the Day-star of the heaven of divine Revelation, unto Pilate and Caiaphas, who was the leading divine of that age. The chief priests were all assembled in the palace, also a multitude of people who had gathered to witness His sufferings, to deride and injure Him. Though they repeatedly questioned Him, hoping that He would confess His claim, yet Jesus held His peace and spake not. Finally, an accursed of God arose and, approaching Jesus, adjured Him saying: "Didst thou not claim to be the Divine Messiah? Didst thou not say, ‘I am the King of Kings, My word is the Word of God, and I am the breaker of the Sabbath day?’" Thereupon Jesus lifted up His head and said: "Beholdest thou not the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and might?" These were His words, and yet consider how to outward seeming He was devoid of all power except that inner power which was of God and which had encompassed all that is in heaven and on earth. How can I relate all that befell Him after He spoke these words? How shall I describe their heinous behaviour towards Him? They at last heaped on His blessed Person such woes that He took His flight unto the fourth Heaven. It is also recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke, that on a certain day Jesus passed by a Jew who was sick of the palsy, and lay upon a couch. When the Jew saw Him, he recognized Him, and cried out for His help. Jesus said unto him: "Arise from thy bed; thy sins are forgiven thee." Certain of the Jews, standing by, protested saying: "Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" And immediately He perceived their thoughts, Jesus answering said unto them: "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, arise, and take up thy bed, and walk; or to say, thy sins are forgiven thee? that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins." [Cf. Luke 5:18-26.] This is the real sovereignty, and such is the power of God’s chosen Ones! All these things which We have repeatedly mentioned, and the details which We have cited from divers sources, have no other purpose but to enable thee to grasp the meaning of the allusions in the utterances of the chosen Ones of God, lest certain of these utterances cause thy feet to falter and thy heart to be dismayed. Thus with steadfast steps we may tread the Path of certitude, that perchance the breeze that bloweth from the meads of the good-pleasure of God may waft upon us the sweet savours of divine acceptance, and cause us, vanishing mortals that we are, to attain unto the Kingdom of everlasting glory. Then wilt thou comprehend the inner meaning of sovereignty and the like, spoken of in the traditions and scriptures. Furthermore, it is already evident and known unto thee that those things to which the Jews and the Christians have clung, and the cavilings which they heaped upon the Beauty of Muhammad, the same have in this day been upheld by the people of the Qur’an, and been witnessed in their denunciations of the "Point of the Bayan"—may the souls of all that dwell within the kingdom of divine Revelations be a sacrifice unto Him! Behold their folly: they utter the self-same words, uttered by the Jews of old, and know it not! How well and true are His words concerning them: "Leave them to entertain themselves with their cavilings!" [Qur’an 6:91.] "As Thou livest, O Muhammad! they are seized by the frenzy of their vain fancies." [Qur’an 15:72.] When the Unseen, the Eternal, the divine Essence, caused the Day-star of Muhammad to rise above the horizon of knowledge, among the cavils which the Jewish divines raised against Him was that after Moses no Prophet should be sent of God. Yea, mention hath been made in the scriptures of a Soul Who must needs be made manifest and Who will advance the Faith, and promote the interests of the people, of Moses, so that the Law of the Mosaic Dispensation may encompass the whole earth. Thus hath the King of eternal glory referred in His Book to the words uttered by those wanderers in the vale of remoteness and error: "‘The hand of God,’ say the Jews, ‘is chained up.’ Chained up be their own hands! And for that which they have said, they were accursed. Nay, outstretched are both His hands!" [Qur’an 5:64.] "The hand of God is above their hands." [Qur’an 48:10.] Although the commentators of the Qur’an have related in divers manners the circumstances attending the revelation of this verse, yet thou shouldst endeavour to apprehend the purpose thereof. He saith: How false is that which the Jews have imagined! How can the hand of Him Who is the King in truth, Who caused the countenance of Moses to be made manifest, and conferred upon Him the robe of Prophethood—how can the hand of such a One be chained and fettered? How can He be conceived as powerless to raise up yet another Messenger after Moses? Behold the absurdity of their saying; how far it hath strayed from the path of knowledge and understanding! Observe how in this day also, all these people have occupied themselves with such foolish absurdities. For over a thousand years they have been reciting this verse, and unwittingly pronouncing their censure against the Jews, utterly unaware that they themselves, openly and privily, are voicing the sentiments and belief of the Jewish people! Thou art surely aware of their idle contention, that all Revelation is ended, that the portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the day-springs of eternal holiness no sun shall rise again, that the Ocean of everlasting bounty is forever stilled, and that out of the Tabernacle of ancient glory the Messengers of God have ceased to be made manifest. Such is the measure of the understanding of these small-minded, contemptible people. These people have imagined that the flow of God’s all-encompassing grace and plenteous mercies, the cessation of which no mind can contemplate, has been halted. From every side they have risen and girded up the loins of tyranny, and exerted the utmost endeavour to quench with the bitter waters of their vain fancy the flame of God’s burning Bush, oblivious that the globe of power shall within its own mighty stronghold protect the Lamp of God. The utter destitution into which this people have fallen doth surely suffice them, inasmuch as they have been deprived of the recognition of the essential Purpose and the knowledge of the Mystery and Substance of the Cause of God. For the highest and most excelling grace bestowed upon men is the grace of "attaining unto the Presence of God" and of His recognition, which has been promised unto all people. This is the utmost degree of grace vouchsafed unto man by the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days, and the fulness of His absolute bounty upon His creatures. Of this grace and bounty none of this people hath partaken, neither have they been honoured with this most exalted distinction. How numerous are those revealed verses which explicitly bear witness unto this most weighty truth and exalted Theme! And yet they have rejected it, and, after their own desire, misconstrued its meaning. Even as He hath revealed: "As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever meet Him, these of My mercy shall despair, and for them doth a grievous chastisement await." [Qur’an 29:23.] Also He saith: "They who bear in mind that they shall attain unto the Presence of their Lord, and that unto Him all they return." [Qur’an 2:46.] Also in another instance He saith: "They who held it as certain that they must meet God, said, ‘How oft, by God’s will, hath a small host vanquished a numerous host!’" [Qur’an 2:249.] In yet another instance He revealeth: "Let him then who hopeth to attain the presence of his Lord work a righteous work." [Qur’an 18:111.] And also He saith: "He ordereth all things. He maketh His signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in attaining the presence of your Lord." [Qur’an 13:2.] This people have repudiated all these verses, that unmistakably testify to the reality of "attainment unto the Divine Presence." No theme hath been more emphatically asserted in the holy scriptures. Notwithstanding, they have deprived themselves of this lofty and most exalted rank, this supreme and glorious station. Some have contended that by "attainment unto the Divine Presence" is meant the "Revelation" of God in the Day of Resurrection. Should they assert that the "Revelation" of God signifieth a "Universal Revelation," it is clear and evident that such revelation already existeth in all things. The truth of this We have already established, inasmuch as We have demonstrated that all things are the recipients and revealers of the splendours of that ideal King, and that the signs of the revelation of that Sun, the Source of all splendour, exist and are manifest in the mirrors of beings. Nay, were man to gaze with the eye of divine and spiritual discernment, he will readily recognize that nothing whatsoever can exist without the revelation of the splendour of God, the ideal King. Consider how all created things eloquently testify to the revelation of that inner Light within them. Behold how within all things the portals of the Ridvan of God are opened, that seekers may attain the cities of understanding and wisdom, and enter the gardens of knowledge and power. Within every garden they will behold the mystic bride of inner meaning enshrined within the chambers of utterance in the utmost grace and fullest adornment. Most of the verses of the Qur’an indicate, and bear witness to, this spiritual theme. The verse: "Neither is there aught which doth not celebrate His praise" [Qur’an 17:44] is eloquent testimony thereto; and "We noted all things and wrote them down," [Qur’an 78:29] a faithful witness thereof. Now, if by "attainment unto the Presence of God" is meant attainment unto the knowledge of such revelation, it is evident that all men have already attained unto the presence of the unchangeable Countenance of that peerless King. Why, then, restrict such revelation to the Day of Resurrection? And were they to maintain that by "divine Presence" is meant the "Specific Revelation of God," expressed by certain Sufis as the "Most Holy Outpouring," if this be in the Essence Itself, it is evident that it hath been eternally in the divine Knowledge. Assuming the truth of this hypothesis, "attainment unto the divine Presence" is in this sense obviously possible to no one, inasmuch as this revelation is confined to the innermost Essence, unto which no man can attain. "The way is barred, and all seeking rejected." The minds of the favourites of heaven, however high they soar, can never attain this station, how much less the understanding of obscured and limited minds. And were they to say that by "divine Presence" is meant the "Secondary Revelation of God," interpreted as the "Holy Outpouring," this is admittedly applicable to the world of creation, that is, in the realm of the primal and original manifestation of God. Such revelation is confined to His Prophets and chosen Ones, inasmuch as none mightier than they hath come to exist in the world of being. This truth all recognize, and bear witness thereto. These Prophets and chosen Ones of God are the recipients and revealers of all the unchangeable attributes and names of God. They are the mirrors that truly and faithfully reflect the light of God. Whatsoever is applicable to them is in reality applicable to God, Himself, Who is both the Visible and the Invisible. The knowledge of Him, Who is the Origin of all things, and attainment unto Him, are impossible save through knowledge of, and attainment unto, these luminous Beings who proceed from the Sun of Truth. By attaining, therefore, to the presence of these holy Luminaries, the "Presence of God" Himself is attained. From their knowledge, the knowledge of God is revealed, and from the light of their countenance, the splendour of the Face of God is made manifest. Through the manifold attributes of these Essences of Detachment, Who are both the first and the last, the seen and the hidden, it is made evident that He Who is the Sun of Truth is "the First and the Last, the Seen, and the Hidden." [Qur’an 57:3.] Likewise the other lofty names and exalted attributes of God. Therefore, whosoever, and in whatever Dispensation, hath recognized and attained unto the presence of these glorious, these resplendent and most excellent Luminaries, hath verily attained unto the "Presence of God" Himself, and entered the city of eternal and immortal life. Attainment unto such presence is possible only in the Day of Resurrection, which is the Day of the rise of God Himself through His all-embracing Revelation. This is the meaning of the "Day of Resurrection," spoken of in all the scriptures, and announced unto all people. Reflect, can a more precious, a mightier, and more glorious day than this be conceived, so that man should willingly forego its grace, and deprive himself of its bounties, which like unto vernal showers are raining from the heaven of mercy upon all mankind? Having thus conclusively demonstrated that no day is greater than this Day, and no revelation more glorious than this Revelation, and having set forth all these weighty and infallible proofs which no understanding mind can question, and no man of learning overlook, how can man possibly, through the idle contention of the people of doubt and fancy, deprive himself of such a bountiful grace? Have they not heard the well-known tradition: "When the Qa’im riseth, that day is the Day of Resurrection?" In like manner, the Imams, those unquenchable lights of divine guidance, have interpreted the verse: "What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds," [Qur’an 2:210.] a sign which they have unquestionably regarded as one of the features of the Day of Resurrection as referring to Qa’im and His manifestation. Strive, therefore, O my brother, to grasp the meaning of "Resurrection," and cleanse thine ears from the idle sayings of these rejected people. Shouldst thou step into the realm of complete detachment, thou wilt readily testify that no day is mightier than this Day, and that no resurrection more awful than this Resurrection can ever be conceived. One righteous work performed in this Day, equalleth all the virtuous acts which for myriads of centuries men have practised—nay, We ask forgiveness of God for such a comparison! For verily the reward which such a deed deserveth is immensely beyond and above the estimate of men. Inasmuch as these undiscerning and wretched souls have failed to apprehend the true meaning of "Resurrection" and of the "attainment unto the divine Presence," they therefore have remained utterly deprived of the grace thereof. Although the sole and fundamental purpose of all learning, and the toil and labour thereof, is attainment unto, and the recognition of, this station, yet they are all immersed in the pursuit of their material studies. They deny themselves every moment of leisure, and utterly ignore Him, Who is the Essence of all learning, and the one Object of their quest! Methinks, their lips have never touched the cup of divine Knowledge, nor do they seem to have attained even a dewdrop of the showers of heavenly grace. Consider, how can he that faileth in the day of God’s Revelation to attain unto the grace of the "Divine Presence" and to recognize His Manifestation, be justly called learned, though he may have spent aeons in the pursuit of knowledge, and acquired all the limited and material learning of men? It is surely evident that he can in no wise be regarded as possessed of true knowledge. Whereas, the most unlettered of all men, if he be honoured with this supreme distinction, he verily is accounted as one of those divinely-learned men whose knowledge is of God; for such a man hath attained the acme of knowledge, and hath reached the furthermost summit of learning. This station is also one of the signs of the Day of Revelation; even as it is said: "The abased amongst you, He shall exalt; and they that are exalted, He shall abase." And likewise, He hath revealed in the Qur’an: "And We desire to show favour to those who were brought low in the land, and to make them spiritual leaders among men, and to make of them Our heirs." [Qur’an 28:5.] It hath been witnessed in this day how many of the divines, owing to their rejection of the Truth, have fallen into, and abide within, the uttermost depths of ignorance, and whose names have been effaced from the scroll of the glorious and learned. And how many of the ignorant who, by reason of their acceptance of the Faith, have soared aloft and attained the high summit of knowledge, and whose names have been inscribed by the Pen of Power upon the Tablet of divine Knowledge. Thus, "What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the Source of Revelation." [Qur’an 13:41.] Therefore, it hath been said: "To seek evidence, when the Proof hath been established is but an unseemly act, and to be busied with the pursuit of knowledge when the Object of all learning hath been attained is truly blameworthy." Say O people of the earth! Behold this flamelike Youth that speedeth across the limitless profound of the Spirit, heralding unto you the tidings: "Lo: the Lamp of God is shining," and summoning you to heed His Cause which, though hidden beneath the veils of ancient splendour, shineth in the land of Iraq above the day-spring of eternal holiness. O my friend, were the bird of thy mind to explore the heavens of the Revelation of the Qur’an, were it to contemplate the realm of divine knowledge unfolded therein, thou wouldst assuredly find unnumbered doors of knowledge set open before thee. Thou wouldst certainly recognize that all these things which have in this day hindered this people from attaining the shores of the ocean of eternal grace, the same things in the Muhammadan Dispensation prevented the people of that age from recognizing that divine Luminary, and from testifying to His truth. Thou wilt also apprehend the mysteries of "return" and "revelation," and wilt securely abide within the loftiest chambers of certitude and assurance. And it came to pass that on a certain day a number of the opponents of that peerless Beauty, those that had strayed far from God’s imperishable Sanctuary, scornfully spoke these words unto Muhammad: "Verily, God hath entered into a covenant with us that we are not to credit an apostle until he present us a sacrifice which fire out of heaven shall devour." [Qur’an 3:183.] The purport of this verse is that God hath covenanted with them that they should not believe in any messenger unless he work the miracle of Abel and Cain, that is, offer a sacrifice, and the fire from heaven consume it; even as they had heard it recounted in the story of Abel, which story is recorded in the scriptures. To this, Muhammad, answering, said: "Already have Apostles before me come to you with sure testimonies, and with that of which ye speak. Wherefore slew ye them? Tell me, if ye are men of truth." [Qur’an 3:182.] And now, be fair; How could those people living in the days of Muhammad have existed, thousands of years before, in the age of Adam or other Prophets? Why should Muhammad, that Essence of truthfulness, have charged the people of His day with the murder of Abel or other Prophets? Thou hast none other alternative except to regard Muhammad as an impostor or a fool—which God forbid!--or to maintain that those people of wickedness were the self-same people who in every age opposed and caviled at the Prophets and Messengers of God, till they finally caused them all to suffer martyrdom. Ponder this in thine heart, that the sweet gales of divine knowledge, blowing from the meads of mercy, may waft upon thee the fragrance of the Beloved’s utterance, and cause thy soul to attain the Ridvan of understanding. As the wayward of every age have failed to fathom the deeper import of these weighty and pregnant utterances, and imagined the answer of the Prophets of God to be irrelevant to the questions they asked them, they therefore have attributed ignorance and folly to those Essences of knowledge and understanding. Likewise, Muhammad, in another verse, uttereth His protest against the people of that age. He saith: "Although they had before prayed for victory over those who believed not, yet when there came unto them, He of Whom they had knowledge, they disbelieved in Him. The curse of God on the infidels!" [Qur’an 2:89.] Reflect how this verse also implieth that the people living in the days of Muhammad were the same people who in the days of the Prophets of old contended and fought in order to promote the Faith, and teach the Cause, of God. And yet, how could the generations living at the time of Jesus and Moses, and those who lived in the days of Muhammad, be regarded as being actually one and the same people? Moreover, those whom they had formerly known were Moses, the Revealer of the Pentateuch, and Jesus, the Author of the Gospel. Notwithstanding, why did Muhammad say: "When He of Whom they had knowledge came unto them"—that is Jesus or Moses— "they disbelieved in Him?" Was not Muhammad to outward seeming called by a different name? Did He not come forth out of a different city? Did He not speak a different language, and reveal a different Law? How then can the truth of this verse be established, and its meaning be made clear? Strive therefore to comprehend the meaning of "return" which hath been so explicitly revealed in the Qur’an itself, and which none hath as yet understood. What sayest thou? If thou sayest that Muhammad was the "return" of the Prophets of old, as is witnessed by this verse, His Companions must likewise be the "return" of the bygone Companions, even as the "return" of the former people is clearly attested by the text of the above-mentioned verses. And if thou deniest this, thou hast surely repudiated the truth of the Qur’an, the surest testimony of God unto men. In like manner, endeavour to grasp the significance of "return," "revelation," and "resurrection," as witnessed in the days of the Manifestations of the divine Essence, that thou mayest behold with thine own eyes the "return" of the holy souls into sanctified and illumined bodies, and mayest wash away the dust of ignorance, and cleanse the darkened self with the waters of mercy flowing from the Source of divine Knowledge; that perchance thou mayest, through the power of God and the light of divine guidance, distinguish the Morn of everlasting splendour from the darksome night of error. Furthermore, it is evident to thee that the Bearers of the trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Bearers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the Celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness. These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attribute, thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers!" [Qur’an 2:285.] For they one and all summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the Unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of Prophethood, and honoured with the mantle of glory. Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur’an, revealed: "I am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Ali. Sayings such as this, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God’s immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the scriptures. These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the day-springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but one." [Qur’an 54:50.] Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imams of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad our last, Muhammad our all." It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendour. Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I am the return of all the Prophets," He verily speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established. Inasmuch as the return of the Prophets of God, as attested by verses and traditions, hath been conclusively demonstrated, the return of their chosen ones also is therefore definitely proven. This return is too manifest in itself to require any evidence or proof. For instance, consider that among the Prophets was Noah. When He was invested with the robe of Prophethood, and was moved by the Spirit of God to arise and proclaim His Cause, whoever believed in Him and acknowledged His Faith, was endowed with the grace of a new life. Of him it could be truly said that he was reborn and revived, inasmuch as previous to his belief in God and his acceptance of His Manifestation, he had set his affections on the things of the world, such as attachment to earthly goods, to wife, children, food, drink, and the like, so much so that in the day-time and in the night season his one concern had been to amass riches and procure for himself the means of enjoyment and pleasure. Aside from these things, before his partaking of the reviving waters of faith, he had been so wedded to the traditions of his forefathers, and so passionately devoted to the observance of their customs and laws, that he would have preferred to suffer death rather than violate one letter of those superstitious forms and manners current amongst his people. Even as the people have cried: "Verily we found our fathers with a faith, and verily, in their footsteps we follow." [Qur’an 43:22.] These same people, though wrapt in all these veils of limitation, and despite the restraint of such observances, as soon as they drank the immortal draught of faith, from the cup of certitude, at the hand of the Manifestation of the All-Glorious, were so transformed that they would renounce for His sake their kindred, their substance, their lives, their beliefs, yea, all else save God! So overpowering was their yearning for God, so uplifting their transports of ecstatic delight, that the world and all that is therein faded before their eyes into nothingness. Have not this people exemplified the mysteries of "rebirth" and "return"? Hath it not been witnessed that these same people, ere they were endued with the new and wondrous grace of God, sought through innumerable devices, to ensure the protection of their lives against destruction? Would not a thorn fill them with terror, and the sight of a fox put them to flight? But once having been honoured with God’s supreme distinction, and having been vouchsafed His bountiful grace, they would, if they were able, have freely offered up ten thousand lives in His path! Nay, their blessed souls, contemptuous of the cage of their bodies, would yearn for deliverance. A single warrior of that host would face and fight a multitude! And yet, how could they, but for the transformation wrought in their lives, be capable of manifesting such deeds which are contrary to the ways of men and incompatible with their worldly desires? It is evident that nothing short of this mystic transformation could cause such spirit and behaviour, so utterly unlike their previous habits and manners, to be made manifest in the world of being. For their agitation was turned into peace, their doubt into certitude, their timidity into courage. Such is the potency of the Divine Elixir, which, swift as the twinkling of an eye, transmuteth the souls of men! For instance, consider the substance of copper. Were it to be protected in its own mine from becoming solidified, it would, within the space of seventy years, attain to the state of gold. There are some, however, who maintain that copper itself is gold, which by becoming solidified is in a diseased condition, and hath not therefore reached its own state. Be that as it may, the real elixir will, in one instant, cause the substance of copper to attain the state of gold, and will traverse the seventy-year stages in a single moment. Could this gold be called copper? Could it be claimed that it hath not attained the state of gold, whilst the touch-stone is at hand to assay it and distinguish it from copper? Likewise, these souls, through the potency of the Divine Elixir, traverse, in the twinkling of an eye, the world of dust and advance into the realm of holiness; and with one step cover the earth of limitations and reach the domain of the Placeless. It behooveth thee to exert thine utmost to attain unto this Elixir which, in one fleeting breath, causeth the west of ignorance to reach the east of knowledge, illuminates the darkness of night with the resplendence of the morn, guideth the wanderer in the wilderness of doubt to the well-spring of the Divine Presence and Fount of certitude, and conferreth upon mortal souls the honour of acceptance into the Ridvan of immortality. Now, could this gold be thought to be copper, these people could likewise be thought to be the same as before they were endowed with faith. O brother, behold how the inner mysteries of "rebirth," of "return," and of "resurrection" have each, through these all-sufficing, these unanswerable, and conclusive utterances, been unveiled and unravelled before thine eyes. God grant that through His gracious and invisible assistance, thou mayest divest thy body and soul of the old garment, and array thyself with the new and imperishable attire. Therefore, those who in every subsequent Dispensation preceded the rest of mankind in embracing the Faith of God, who quaffed the clear waters of knowledge at the hand of the divine Beauty, and attained the loftiest summits of faith and certitude, these can be regarded, in name, in reality, in deeds, in words, and in rank, as the "return" of those who in a former Dispensation had achieved similar distinctions. For whatsoever the people of a former Dispensation have manifested, the same hath been shown by the people of this latter generation. Consider the rose: whether it blossometh in the East or in the West, it is none the less a rose. For what mattereth in this respect is not the outward shape and form of the rose, but rather the smell and fragrance which it doth impart. Purge thy sight, therefore, from all earthly limitations, that thou mayest behold them all as the bearers of one Name, the exponents of one Cause, the manifestations of one Self, and the revealers of one Truth, and that thou mayest apprehend the mystic "return" of the Words of God as unfolded by these utterances. Reflect for a while upon the behaviour of the companions of the Muhammadan Dispensation. Consider how, through the reviving breath of Muhammad, they were cleansed from the defilements of earthly vanities, were delivered from selfish desires, and were detached from all else but Him. Behold how they preceded all the peoples of the earth in attaining unto His holy Presence—the Presence of God Himself—how they renounced the world and all that is therein, and sacrificed freely and joyously their lives at the feet of that Manifestation of the All-Glorious. And now, observe the "return" of the self-same determination, the self-same constancy and renunciation, manifested by the companions of the Point of the Bayan. [The Bab.] Thou hast witnessed how these companions have, through the wonders of the grace of the Lord of Lords, hoisted the standards of sublime renunciation upon the inaccessible heights of glory. These Lights have proceeded from but one Source, and these fruits are the fruits of one Tree. Thou canst discern neither difference nor distinction among them. All this is by the grace of God! On whom He will, He bestoweth His grace. Please God, that we avoid the land of denial, and advance into the ocean of acceptance, so that we may perceive, with an eye purged from all conflicting elements, the worlds of unity and diversity, of variation and oneness, of limitation and detachment, and wing our flight unto the highest and innermost sanctuary of the inner meaning of the Word of God. From these statements therefore it hath been made evident and manifest that should a Soul in the "End that knoweth no end" be made manifest, and arise to proclaim and uphold a Cause which in "the Beginning that hath no beginning" another Soul had proclaimed and upheld, it can be truly declared of Him Who is the Last and of Him Who was the First that they are one and the same, inasmuch as both are the Exponents of one and the same Cause. For this reason, hath the Point of the Bayan—may the life of all else but Him be His sacrifice!--likened the Manifestations of God unto the sun which, though it rise from the "Beginning that hath no beginning" until the "End that knoweth no end," is none the less the same sun. Now, wert thou to say, that this sun is the former sun, thou speakest the truth; and if thou sayest that this sun is the "return" of that sun, thou also speakest the truth. Likewise, from this statement it is made evident that the term "last" is applicable to the "first," and the term "first" applicable to the "last;" inasmuch as both the "first" and the "last" have risen to proclaim one and the same Faith. Notwithstanding the obviousness of this theme, in the eyes of those that have quaffed the wine of knowledge and certitude, yet how many are those who, through failure to understand its meaning, have allowed the term "Seal of the Prophets" to obscure their understanding, and deprive them of the grace of all His manifold bounties! Hath not Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I am all the Prophets?" Hath He not said as We have already mentioned: "I am Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus?" Why should Muhammad, that immortal Beauty, Who hath said: "I am the first Adam" be incapable of saying also: "I am the last Adam"? For even as He regarded Himself to be the "First of the Prophets"—that is Adam—in like manner, the "Seal of the Prophets" is also applicable unto that Divine Beauty. It is admittedly obvious that being the "First of the Prophets," He likewise is their "Seal." The mystery of this theme hath, in this Dispensation, been a sore test unto all mankind. Behold, how many are those who, clinging unto these words, have disbelieved Him Who is their true Revealer. What, We ask, could this people presume the terms "first" and "last"—when referring to God—glorified be His Name!--to mean? If they maintain that these terms bear reference to this material universe, how could it be possible, when the visible order of things is still manifestly existing? Nay, in this instance, by "first" is meant no other than the "last" and by "last" no other than the "first." Even as in the "Beginning that hath no beginnings" the term "last" is truly applicable unto Him who is the Educator of the visible and of the invisible, in like manner, are the terms "first" and "last" applicable unto His Manifestations. They are at the same time the Exponents of both the "first" and the "last." Whilst established upon the seat of the "first," they occupy the throne of the "last." Were a discerning eye to be found, it will readily perceive that the exponents of the "first" and the "last," of the "manifest" and the "hidden," of the "beginning" and the "seal" are none other than these holy Beings, these Essences of Detachment, these divine Souls. And wert thou to soar in the holy realm of "God was alone, there was none else besides Him," thou wilt find in that Court all these names utterly non-existent and completely forgotten. Then will thine eyes no longer be obscured by these veils, these terms, and allusions. How ethereal and lofty is this station, unto which even Gabriel, unshepherded, can never attain, and the Bird of Heaven, unassisted, can never reach! And, now, strive thou to comprehend the meaning of this saying of Ali, the Commander of the Faithful: "Piercing the veils of glory, unaided." Among these "veils of glory" are the divines and doctors living in the days of the Manifestation of God, who, because of their want of discernment and their love and eagerness for leadership, have failed to submit to the Cause of God, nay, have even refused to incline their ears unto the divine Melody. "They have thrust their fingers into their ears." [Qur’an 2:19.] And the people also, utterly ignoring God and taking them for their masters, have placed themselves unreservedly under the authority of these pompous and hypocritical leaders, for they have no sight, no hearing, no heart, of their own to distinguish truth from falsehood. Notwithstanding the divinely-inspired admonitions of all the Prophets, the Saints, and Chosen ones of God, enjoining the people to see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears, they have disdainfully rejected their counsels and have blindly followed, and will continue to follow, the leaders of their Faith. Should a poor and obscure person, destitute of the attire of men of learning, address them saying: "Follow ye, O people! the Messengers of God," [Qur’an 36:20.] they would, greatly surprised at such a statement, reply: "What! Meanest thou that all these divines, all these exponents of learning, with all their authority, their pomp and pageantry, have erred, and failed to distinguish truth from falsehood? Dost thou, and people like thyself, pretend to have comprehended that which they have not understood?" If numbers and excellence of apparel be regarded as the criterions of learning and truth, the peoples of a bygone age, whom those of today have never surpassed in numbers, magnificence and power, should certainly be accounted a superior and worthier people. It is clear and evident that whenever the Manifestations of Holiness were revealed, the divines of their day have hindered the people from attaining unto the way of truth. To this testify the records of all the scriptures and heavenly books. Not one Prophet of God was made manifest Who did not fall a victim to the relentless hate, to the denunciation, denial, and execration of the clerics of His day! Woe unto them for the iniquities their hands have formerly wrought! Woe unto them for that which they are now doing! What veils of glory more grievous than these embodiments of error! By the righteousness of God! to pierce such veils is the mightiest of all acts, and to rend them asunder the most meritorious of all deeds! May God assist us and assist you, O concourse of the Spirit! that perchance ye may in the time of His Manifestation be graciously aided to perform such deeds, and may in His days attain unto the Presence of God. Furthermore, among the "veils of glory" are such terms as the "Seal of the Prophets" and the like, the removal of which is a supreme achievement in the sight of these base-born and erring souls. All, by reason of these mysterious sayings, these grievous "veils of glory," have been hindered from beholding the light of truth. Have they not heard the melody of that bird of Heaven, [Imam Ali.] uttering this mystery: "A thousand Fatimihs I have espoused, all of whom were the daughters of Muhammad, Son of Abdu’llah, the ‘Seal of the Prophets?’" Behold, how many are the mysteries that lie as yet unravelled within the tabernacle of the knowledge of God, and how numerous the gems of His wisdom that are still concealed in His inviolable treasuries! Shouldest thou ponder this in thine heart, thou wouldst realize that His handiwork knoweth neither beginning nor end. The domain of His decree is too vast for the tongue of mortals to describe, or for the bird of the human mind to traverse; and the dispensations of His providence are too mysterious for the mind of man to comprehend. His creation no end hath overtaken, and it hath ever existed from the "Beginning that hath no beginning"; and the Manifestations of His Beauty no beginning hath beheld, and they will continue to the "End that knoweth no end." Ponder this utterance in thine heart, and reflect how it is applicable unto all these holy Souls. Likewise, strive thou to comprehend the meaning of the melody of that eternal beauty, Husayn, son of Ali, who, addressing Salman, spoke words such as these: "I was with a thousand Adams, the interval between each and the next Adam was fifty thousand years, and to each one of these I declared the Successorship conferred upon my father." He then recounteth certain details, until he saith: "I have fought one thousand battles in the path of God, the least and most insignificant of which was like the battle of Khaybar, in which battle my father fought and contended against the infidels." Endeavour now to apprehend from these two traditions the mysteries of "end," "return," and "creation without beginning or end." O my beloved! Immeasurably exalted is the celestial Melody above the strivings of human ear to hear or mind to grasp its mystery! How can the helpless ant step into the court of the All-Glorious? And yet, feeble souls, through lack of understanding, reject these abstruse utterances, and question the truth of such traditions. Nay, none can comprehend them save those that are possessed of an understanding heart. Say, He is that End for Whom no end in all the universe can be imagined, and for Whom no beginning in the world of creation can be conceived. Behold, O concourse of the earth, the splendours of the End, revealed in the Manifestations of the Beginning! How strange! These people with one hand cling to those verses of the Qur’an and those traditions of the people of certitude which they have found to accord with their inclinations and interests, and with the other reject those which are contrary to their selfish desires. "Believe ye then part of the Book, and deny part?" [Qur’an 2:85.] How could ye judge that which ye understand not? Even as the Lord of being hath in His unerring Book, after speaking of the "Seal" in His exalted utterance: "Muhammad is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets," [Qur’an 33:40.] hath revealed unto all people the promise of "attainment unto the divine Presence." To this attainment to the presence of the immortal King testify the verses of the Book, some of which We have already mentioned. The one true God is My witness! Nothing more exalted or more explicit than "attainment unto the divine Presence" hath been revealed in the Qur’an. Well is it with him that hath attained thereunto, in the day wherein most of the people, even as ye witness, have turned away therefrom. And yet, through the mystery of the former verse, they have turned away from the grace promised by the latter, despite the fact that "attainment unto the divine Presence" in the "Day of Resurrection" is explicitly stated in the Book. It hath been demonstrated and definitely established, through clear evidences, that by "Resurrection" is meant the rise of the Manifestation of God to proclaim His Cause, and by "attainment unto the divine Presence" is meant attainment unto the presence of His Beauty in the person of His Manifestation. For verily, "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision." [Qur’an 6:103.] Notwithstanding all these indubitable facts and lucid statements, they have foolishly clung to the term "seal," and remained utterly deprived of the recognition of Him Who is the Revealer of both the Seal and the Beginning, in the day of His presence. "If God should chastise men for their perverse doings, He would not leave upon the earth a moving thing! But to an appointed time doth He respite them." [Qur’an 16:61.] But apart from all these things, had this people attained unto a drop of the crystal streams flowing from the words: "God doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth," they would not have raised any unseemly cavils, such as these, against the focal Center of His Revelation. The Cause of God, all deeds and words, are held within the grasp of His power. "All things lie imprisoned within the hollow of His mighty Hand; all things are easy and possible unto Him." He accomplisheth whatsoever He willeth, and doeth all that He desireth. "Whoso sayeth ‘why’ or ‘wherefore’ hath spoken blasphemy!" Were these people to shake off the slumber of negligence and realize that which their hands have wrought, they would surely perish, and would of their own accord cast themselves into fire—their end and real abode. Have they not heard that which He hath revealed: "He shall not be asked of His doings?" [Qur’an 21:23.] In the light of these utterances, how can man be so bold as to question Him, and busy himself with idle sayings? Gracious God! So great is the folly and perversity of the people, that they have turned their face toward their own thoughts and desires, and have turned their back upon the knowledge and will of God—hallowed and glorified be His name! Be fair: Were these people to acknowledge the truth of these luminous words and holy allusions, and recognize God as "Him that doeth whatsoever He pleaseth," how could they continue to cleave unto these glaring absurdities? Nay, with all their soul, they would accept and submit to whatsoever He saith. I swear by God! But for the divine Decree, and the inscrutable dispensations of Providence, the earth itself would have utterly destroyed all this people! "He will, however, respite them until the appointed time of a known day." Twelve hundred and eighty years have passed since the dawn of the Muhammadan Dispensation, and with every break of day, these blind and ignoble people have recited their Qur’an, and yet have failed to grasp one letter of that Book! Again and again they read those verses which clearly testify to the reality of these holy themes, and bear witness to the truth of the Manifestations of eternal Glory, and still apprehend not their purpose. They have even failed to realize, all this time, that, in every age, the reading of the scriptures and holy books is for no other purpose except to enable the reader to apprehend their meaning and unravel their innermost mysteries. Otherwise reading, without understanding, is of no abiding profit unto man. And it came to pass that on a certain day a needy man came to visit this Soul, craving for the ocean of His knowledge. While conversing with him, mention was made concerning the signs of the Day of Judgment, Resurrection, Revival, and Reckoning. He urged Us to explain how, in this wondrous Dispensation, the peoples of the world were brought to a reckoning, when none were made aware of it. Thereupon, We imparted unto him, according to the measure of his capacity and understanding, certain truths of Science and ancient Wisdom. We then asked him saying: "Hast thou not read the Qur’an, and art thou not aware of this blessed verse: ‘On that day shall neither man nor spirit be asked of his Sin?’ [Qur’an 55:39.] Dost thou not realize that by ‘asking’ is not meant asking by tongue or speech, even as the verse itself doth indicate and prove? For afterward it is said: ‘By their countenance shall the sinners be known, and they shall be seized by their forelocks and their feet.’" [Qur’an 55:41.] Thus the peoples of the world are judged by their countenance. By it, their misbelief, their faith, and their iniquity are all made manifest. Even as it is evident in this day how the people of error are, by their countenance, known and distinguished from the followers of divine Guidance. Were these people, wholly for the sake of God and with no desire but His good-pleasure, to ponder the verses of the Book in their heart, they would of a certainty find whatsoever they seek. In its verses would they find revealed and manifest all the things, be they great or small, that have come to pass in this Dispensation. They would even recognize in them references unto the departure of the Manifestations of the names and attributes of God from out their native land; to the opposition and disdainful arrogance of government and people; and to the dwelling and establishment of the Universal Manifestation in an appointed and specially designated land. No man, however, can comprehend this except he who is possessed of an understanding heart. We seal Our theme with that which was formerly revealed unto Muhammad that the seal thereof may shed the fragrance of that holy musk which leadeth men unto the Ridvan of unfading splendour. He said, and His Word is the truth: "And God calleth to the Abode of Peace; [Baghdad.] and He guideth whom He will into the right way." [Qur’an 10:25.] "For them is an Abode of Peace with their Lord! and He shall be their Protector because of their works." [Qur’an 6:127.] This He hath revealed that His grace may encompass the world. Praise be to God, the Lord of all being! We have variously and repeatedly set forth the meaning of every theme, that perchance every soul, whether high or low, may obtain, according to his measure and capacity, his share and portion thereof. Should he be unable to comprehend a certain argument, he may, thus, by referring unto another, attain his purpose. "That all sorts of men may know where to quench their thirst." By God! This Bird of Heaven, now dwelling upon the dust, can, besides these melodies, utter a myriad songs, and is able, apart from these utterances, to unfold innumerable mysteries. Every single note of its unpronounced utterances is immeasurably exalted above all that hath already been revealed, and immensely glorified beyond that which hath streamed from this Pen. Let the future disclose the hour when the Brides of inner meaning will, as decreed by the Will of God, hasten forth, unveiled, out of their mystic mansions, and manifest themselves in the ancient realm of being. Nothing whatsoever is possible without His permission; no power can endure save through His power, and there is none other God but He. His is the world of creation, and His the Cause of God. All proclaim His Revelation, and all unfold the mysteries of His Spirit. We have already in the foregoing pages assigned two stations unto each of the Luminaries arising from the Daysprings of eternal holiness. One of these stations, the station of essential unity, We have already explained. "No distinction do We make between any of them." [Qur’an 2:136.] The other is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined Revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite Mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit." [Qur’an 2:253.] It is because of this difference in their station and mission that the words and utterances flowing from these Well-springs of divine knowledge appear to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries of divine wisdom, all their utterances are in reality but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they therefore feel perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by Manifestations that are essentially one and the same. It hath ever been evident that all these divergences of utterance are attributable to differences of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been and are applicable to those Essences of being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of divine Concealment. Through their appearance the Revelation of God is made manifest, and by their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the accents of God Himself have been heard uttered by these Manifestations of the divine Being. Viewed in the light of their second station—the station of distinction, differentiation, temporal limitations, characteristics and standards,--they manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith: "I am the servant of God. [Qur’an 19:31.] I am but a man like you." [Qur’an 18:110.] From these incontrovertible and fully demonstrated statements strive thou to apprehend the meaning of the questions thou hast asked, that thou mayest become steadfast in the Faith of God, and not be dismayed by the divergences in the utterances of His Prophets and Chosen Ones. Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God!" He verily speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His name and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: "Those shafts were God’s, not Thine!" [Qur’an 8:17.] And also He saith: "In truth, they who plighted fealty unto thee, really plighted that fealty unto God." [Qur’an 48:10.] And were any of them to voice the utterance: "I am the Messenger of God," He also speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: "Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God." [Qur’an 33:40.] Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim: "I am the Seal of the Prophets," they verily utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the "End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" all of which pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say: "We are the servants of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of being were deeply immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of divine mysteries, they claimed their utterance to be the Voice of divinity, the Call of God Himself. Were the eye of discernment to be opened, it would recognize that in this very state, they have considered themselves utterly effaced and non-existent in the face of Him Who is the All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whispering of self, within such a Court, is an evidence of self-assertion and independent existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is itself a grievous transgression. How much more grievous would it be, were aught else to be mentioned in that Presence, were man’s heart, his tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with anyone but the Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold any countenance other than His beauty, were his ear to be inclined to any melody but His voice, and were his feet to tread any way but His way. In this day the breeze of God is wafted, and His Spirit hath pervaded all things. Such is the outpouring of His grace that the pen is stilled and the tongue is speechless. By virtue of this station, they have claimed for themselves the Voice of Divinity and the like, whilst by virtue of their station of Messengership, they have declared themselves the Messengers of God. In every instance they have voiced an utterance that would conform to the requirements of the occasion, and have ascribed all these declarations to Themselves, declarations ranging from the realm of divine Revelation to the realm of creation, and from the domain of Divinity even unto the domain of earthly existence. Thus it is that whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood, Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship or Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Therefore, these sayings which We have quoted in support of Our argument must be attentively considered, that the divergent utterances of the Manifestations of the Unseen and Daysprings of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex the mind. Those words uttered by the Luminaries of Truth must needs be pondered, and should their significance be not grasped, enlightenment should be sought from the Trustees of the depositories of Knowledge, that these may expound their meaning, and unravel their mystery. For it behooveth no man to interpret the holy words according to his own imperfect understanding, nor, having found them to be contrary to his inclination and desires, to reject and repudiate their truth. For such, today, is the manner of the divines and doctors of the age, who occupy the seats of knowledge and learning, and who have named ignorance knowledge, and called oppression justice. Were these to ask the Light of Truth concerning those images which their idle fancy hath carved, and were they to find His answer inconsistent with their own conceptions and their own understanding of the Book, they would assuredly denounce Him Who is the Mine and Wellhead of all Knowledge as the very negation of understanding. Such things have happened in every age. For instance, when Muhammad, the Lord of being, was questioned concerning the new moons, He, as bidden by God, made reply: "They are periods appointed unto men."[Qur’an 2:189.] Thereupon, they that heard Him denounced Him as an ignorant man. Likewise, in the verse concerning the "Spirit," He saith: "And they will ask Thee of the Spirit. Say, ‘the Spirit proceedeth at My Lord’s command.’" [Qur’an 17:85.] As soon as Muhammad’s answer was given, they all clamorously protested, saying: "Lo! an ignorant man who knoweth not what the Spirit is, calleth Himself the Revealer of divine Knowledge!" And now behold the divines of the age who, because of their being honoured by His name, and finding that their fathers have acknowledged His Revelation, have blindly submitted to His truth. Observe, were this people today to receive such answers in reply to such questionings, they would unhesitatingly reject and denounce them—nay, they would again utter the self-same cavils, even as they have uttered them in this day. All this, notwithstanding the fact that these Essences of being are immensely exalted above such fanciful images, and are immeasurably glorified beyond all these vain sayings and above the comprehension of every understanding heart. Their so-called learning, when compared with that Knowledge, is utter falsehood, and all their understanding naught but blatant error. Nay, whatsoever proceedeth from these Mines of divine Wisdom and these Treasuries of eternal knowledge is truth, and naught else but the truth. The saying: "Knowledge is one point, which the foolish have multiplied" is a proof of Our argument, and the tradition: "Knowledge is a light which God sheddeth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth" a confirmation of Our statement. Inasmuch as they have not apprehended the meaning of Knowledge, and have called by that name those images fashioned by their own fancy and which have sprung from the embodiments of ignorance, they therefore have inflicted upon the Source of Knowledge that which thou hast heard and witnessed. For instance, a certain man, [Haji Mirza Karim Khan.] reputed for his learning and attainments, and accounting himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders of his people, hath in his book denounced and vilified all the exponents of true learning. This is made abundantly clear by his explicit statements as well as by his allusions throughout his book. As We had frequently heard about him, We purposed to read some of his works. Although We never felt disposed to peruse other peoples’ writings, yet as some had questioned Us concerning him, We felt it necessary to refer to his books, in order that We might answer Our questioners with knowledge and understanding. His works, in the Arabic tongue, were, however, not available, until one day a certain man informed Us that one of his compositions, entitled Irshadu’l-‘Avam, ["Guidance unto the ignorant."] could be found in this city. From this title We perceived the odour of conceit and vainglory, inasmuch as he hath imagined himself a learned man and regarded the rest of the people ignorant. His worth was in fact made known by the very title he had chosen for his book. It became evident that its author was following the path of self and desire, and was lost in the wilderness of ignorance and folly. Methinks, he had forgotten the well-known tradition which sayeth: "Knowledge is all that is knowable; and might and power, all creation." Notwithstanding, We sent for the book, and kept it with Us a few days. It was probably referred to twice. The second time, We accidentally came upon the story of the "Mi’raj" [Ascent.] of Muhammad, of Whom was spoken: "But for Thee, I would not have created the spheres." We noticed that he had enumerated some twenty or more sciences, the knowledge of which he considered to be essential for the comprehension of the mystery of the "Mi’raj". We gathered from his statements that unless a man be deeply versed in them all, he can never attain to a proper understanding of this transcendent and exalted theme. Among the specified sciences were the science of metaphysical abstractions, of alchemy, and natural magic. Such vain and discarded learnings, this man hath regarded as the pre-requisites of the understanding of the sacred and abiding mysteries of divine Knowledge. Gracious God! Such is the measure of his understanding. And yet, behold what cavils and calumnies he hath heaped upon those Embodiments of God’s infinite knowledge! How well and true is the saying: "Flingest thou thy calumnies unto the face of Them Whom the one true God hath made the Trustees of the treasures of His seventh sphere?" Not one understanding heart or mind, not one among the wise and learned, hath taken notice of these preposterous statements. And yet, how clear and evident it is to every discerning heart that this so-called learning is and hath ever been, rejected by Him Who is the one true God. How can the knowledge of these sciences, which are so contemptible in the eyes of the truly learned, be regarded as essential to the apprehension of the mysteries of the "Mi’raj," whilst the Lord of the "Mi’raj" Himself was never burdened with a single letter of these limited and obscure learnings, and never defiled His radiant heart with any of these fanciful illusions? How truly hath he said: "All human attainment moveth upon a lame ass, whilst Truth, riding upon the wind, darteth across space." By the righteousness of God! Whoso desireth to fathom the mystery of this "Mi’raj," and craveth a drop from this ocean, if the mirror of his heart be already obscured by the dust of these learnings, he must needs cleanse and purify it ere the light of this mystery can be reflected therein. In this day, they that are submerged beneath the ocean of ancient Knowledge, and dwell within the ark of divine wisdom, forbid the people such idle pursuits. Their shining breasts are, praise be to God, sanctified from every trace of such learning, and are exalted above such grievous veils. We have consumed this densest of all veils, with the fire of the love of the Beloved—the veil referred to in the saying: "The most grievous of all veils is the veil of knowledge." Upon its ashes, We have reared the tabernacle of divine knowledge. We have, praise be to God, burned the "veils of glory" with the fire of the beauty of the Best-Beloved. We have driven from the human heart all else but Him Who is the Desire of the world, and glory therein. We cleave to no knowledge but His Knowledge, and set our hearts on naught save the effulgent glories of His light. We were surprised exceedingly when We observed that his one purpose was to make the people realize that all these learnings were possessed by him. And yet, I swear by God that not one breath, blowing from the meads of divine knowledge, hath ever been wafted upon his soul, nor hath he ever unravelled a single mystery of ancient wisdom. Nay, were the meaning of Knowledge ever to be expounded unto him, dismay would fill his heart, and his whole being would shake to its foundation. Notwithstanding his base and senseless statements, behold to what heights of extravagance his claims have reached! Gracious God! How great is Our amazement at the way the people have gathered around him, and have borne allegiance to his person! Content with transient dust, these people have turned their face unto it, and cast behind their backs Him Who is the Lord of Lords. Satisfied with the croaking of the crow and enamoured with the visage of the raven, they have renounced the melody of the nightingale and the charm of the rose. What unspeakable fallacies the perusal of this pretentious book hath revealed! They are too unworthy for any pen to describe, and too base for one moment’s attention. Should a touchstone be found, however, it would instantly distinguish truth from falsehood, light from darkness, and sun from shadow. Among the sciences which this pretender hath professed is that of alchemy. We cherish the hope that either a king or a man of preeminent power may call upon him to translate this science from the realm of fancy to the domain of fact and from the plane of mere pretension to that of actual achievement. Would that this unlearned and humble Servant, who never laid any pretension to such things, nor even regarded them as the criterion of true knowledge, might undertake the same task, that thereby the truth might be known and distinguished from falsehood. But of what avail! All this generation could offer Us were wounds from its darts, and the only cup it proffered to Our lips was the cup of its venom. On our neck We still bear the scar of chains, and upon Our body are imprinted the evidences of an unyielding cruelty. And as to this man’s attainments, his ignorance, understanding and belief, behold what the Book which embraceth all things hath revealed; "Verily, the tree of Zaqqum [Infernal tree.] shall be the food of the Athim." [Sinner or sinful. Qur’an 44:43-44.] And then follow certain verses, until He saith: "Taste this, for thou forsooth art the mighty Karim!" [Honourable--Qur’an 44:49.] Consider how clearly and explicitly he hath been described in God’s incorruptible Book! This man, moreover, feigning humility, hath in his own book referred to himself as the "athim servant": "Athim" in the Book of God, mighty among the common herd, "Karim" in name! Ponder the blessed verse, so that the meaning of the words: "There is neither a thing green nor sere but it is noted in the unerring Book," [Qur’an 6:59.] may be imprinted upon the tablet of thy heart. Notwithstanding, a multitude bear him allegiance. They have rejected the Moses of knowledge and justice, and clung to the Samiri [A magician contemporary with Moses.] of ignorance. They have turned away their eyes from the Day-star of truth which shineth in the divine and everlasting heaven, and have utterly ignored its splendour. O my brother! A divine Mine only can yield the gems of divine knowledge, and the fragrance of the mystic Flower can be inhaled only in the ideal Garden, and the lilies of ancient wisdom can blossom nowhere except in the city of a stainless heart. "In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by permission of its Lord, and in that soil which is bad, they spring forth but scantily." [Qur’an 7:57.] Inasmuch as it hath been clearly shown that only those who are initiated into the divine mysteries can comprehend the melodies uttered by the Bird of Heaven, it is therefore incumbent upon every one to seek enlightenment from the illumined in heart and from the Treasuries of divine mysteries regarding the intricacies of God’s Faith and the abstruse allusions in the utterances of the Day-springs of Holiness. Thus will these mysteries be unravelled, not by the aid of acquired learning, but solely through the assistance of God and the outpourings of His grace. "Ask ye, therefore, of them that have the custody of the Scriptures, if ye know it not." [ Qur’an 16:43.] But, O my brother, when a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse and purify his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this day how most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the divine mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion and error. That seeker must at all times put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above any one, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vainglory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence, and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smouldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endure a century. That seeker should also regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be content with little, and be freed from all inordinate desire. He should treasure the companionship of those that have renounced the world, and regard avoidance of boastful and worldly people a precious benefit. At the dawn of every day he should commune with God, and with all his soul persevere in the quest of his Beloved. He should consume every wayward thought with the flame of His loving mention, and, with the swiftness of lightning, pass by all else save Him. He should succour the dispossessed, and never withhold his favour from the destitute. He should show kindness to animals, how much more unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with the power of utterance. He should not hesitate to offer up his life for his Beloved, nor allow the censure of the people to turn him away from the Truth. He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfil. With all his heart should the seeker avoid fellowship with evil doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner, at the hour of death, attained to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the celestial Concourse. And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul’s ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire. Our purpose in revealing these convincing and weighty utterances is to impress upon the seeker that he should regard all else beside God as transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all adoration, as utter nothingness. These are among the attributes of the exalted, and constitute the hall-mark of the spiritually-minded. They have already been mentioned in connection with the requirements of the wayfarers that tread the Path of Positive Knowledge. When the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath fulfilled these essential conditions, then and only then can he be called a true seeker. Whensoever he hath fulfilled the conditions implied in the verse: "Whoso maketh efforts for Us," [Qur’an 29:69.] he shall enjoy the blessing conferred by the words: "In Our ways shall We assuredly guide him." [Ibid.] Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker’s heart, and the breeze of His loving-kindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being. At that hour will the mystic Herald, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City of God resplendent as the morn, and, through the trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of negligence. Then will the manifold favours and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the mysteries of divine Revelation and the evidences of an everlasting manifestation. I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the path of guidance and seeketh to scale the heights of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and supreme station, he would inhale at a distance of a thousand leagues the fragrance of God, and would perceive the resplendent morn of a divine Guidance rising above the dayspring of all things. Each and every thing, however small, would be to him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved, the Object of his quest. So great shall be the discernment of this seeker that he will discriminate between truth and falsehood even as he doth distinguish the sun from shadow. If in the uttermost corners of the East the sweet savours of God be wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale their fragrance, even though he be dwelling in the uttermost ends of the West. He will likewise clearly distinguish all the signs of God—His wondrous utterances, His great works, and mighty deeds—from the doings, words and ways of men, even as the jeweller who knoweth the gem from the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring from autumn and heat from cold. When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude. Therein he will discern the wonders of His ancient wisdom, and will perceive all the hidden teachings from the rustling leaves of the Tree—which flourisheth in that City. With both his inner and his outer ear he will hear from its dust the hymns of glory and praise ascending unto the Lord of Lords, and with his inner eye will he discover the mysteries of "return" and "revival." How unspeakably glorious are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and splendours which He Who is the King of names and attributes hath destined for that City! The attainment of this City quencheth thirst without water, and kindleth the love of God without fire. Within every blade of grass are enshrined the mysteries of an inscrutable wisdom, and upon every rose-bush a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful rapture, their melody. Its wondrous tulips unfold the mystery of the undying Fire in the Burning Bush, and its sweet savours of holiness breathe the perfume of the Messianic Spirit. It bestoweth wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality without death. In every leaf ineffable delights are treasured, and within every chamber unnumbered mysteries lie hidden. They that valiantly labour in quest of God’s will, when once they have renounced all else but Him, will be so attached and wedded to that City that a moment’s separation from it would to them be unthinkable. They will hearken unto infallible proofs from the Hyacinth of that assembly, and receive the surest testimonies from the beauty of its Rose and the melody of its Nightingale. Once in about a thousand years shall this City be renewed and re-adorned. Wherefore, O my friend, it behooveth Us to exert the highest endeavour to attain unto that City, and, by the grace of God and His loving-kindness, rend asunder the "veils of glory"; so that, with inflexible steadfastness, we may sacrifice our drooping souls in the path of the New Beloved. We should with tearful eyes, fervently and repeatedly, implore Him to grant us the favour of that grace. That city is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation. In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch; in the days of Jesus the Gospel; in the days of Muhammad the Messenger of God the Qur’an; in this day the Bayan; and in the dispensation of Him Whom God will make manifest His own Book—the Book unto which all the Books of former Dispensations must needs be referred, the Book which standeth amongst them all transcendent and supreme. In these cities spiritual sustenance is bountifully provided, and incorruptible delights have been ordained. The food they bestow is the bread of heaven, and the Spirit they impart is God’s imperishable blessing. Upon detached souls they bestow the gift of Unity, enrich the destitute, and offer the cup of knowledge unto them who wander in the wilderness of ignorance. All the guidance, the blessings, the learning, the understanding, the faith, and certitude, conferred upon all that is in heaven and on earth, are hidden and treasured within these Cities. For instance, the Qur’an was an impregnable stronghold unto the people of Muhammad. In His days, whosoever entered therein, was shielded from the devilish assaults, the menacing darts, the soul-devouring doubts, and blasphemous whisperings of the enemy. Upon him was also bestowed a portion of the everlasting and goodly fruits—the fruits of wisdom, from the divine Tree. To him was given to drink the incorruptible waters of the river of knowledge, and to taste the wine of the mysteries of divine Unity. All the things that people required in connection with the Revelation of Muhammad and His laws were to be found revealed and manifest in that Ridvan of resplendent glory. That Book constitutes an abiding testimony to its people after Muhammad, inasmuch as its decrees are indisputable, and its promise unfailing. All have been enjoined to follow the precepts of that Book until "the year sixty" [The year 1260 A.H., the year of the Bab’s Declaration.] --the year of the advent of God’s wondrous Manifestation. That Book is the Book which unfailingly leadeth the seeker unto the Ridvan of the divine Presence, and causeth him that hath forsaken his country and is treading the seeker’s path to enter the Tabernacle of everlasting reunion. Its guidance can never err, its testimony no other testimony can excel. All other traditions, all other books and records, are bereft of such distinction, inasmuch as both the traditions and they that have spoken them are confirmed and proven solely by the text of that Book. Moreover, the traditions themselves grievously differ, and their obscurities are manifold. Muhammad, Himself, as the end of His mission drew nigh, spoke these words: "Verily, I leave amongst you My twin weighty testimonies: The Book of God and My Family." Although many traditions had been revealed by that Source of Prophethood and Mine of divine Guidance, yet He mentioned only that Book, thereby appointing it as the mightiest instrument and surest testimony for the seekers; a guide for the people until the Day of Resurrection. With unswerving vision, with pure heart, and sanctified spirit, consider attentively what God hath established as the testimony of guidance for His people in His Book, which is recognized as authentic by both the high and lowly. To this testimony we both, as well as all the peoples of the world, must cling, that through its light we may know and distinguish between truth and falsehood, guidance and error. Inasmuch as Muhammad hath confined His testimonies to His Book and to His Family, and whereas the latter hath passed away, there remaineth His Book only as His one testimony amongst the people. In the beginning of His Book He saith: "Alif. Lam. Mim. No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance unto the God-fearing." [Qur’an 2:1.] In the disconnected letters of the Qur’an the mysteries of the divine Essence are enshrined, and within their shells the pearls of His Unity are treasured. For lack of space We do not dwell upon them at this moment. Outwardly they signify Muhammad Himself, Whom God addresseth saying: "O Muhammad, there is no doubt nor uncertainty about this Book which hath been sent down from the heaven of divine Unity. In it is guidance unto them that fear God." Consider, how He hath appointed and decreed this self-same Book, the Qur’an, as a guidance unto all that are in heaven and on earth. He, the divine Being, and unknowable Essence, hath, Himself, testified that this Book is, beyond all doubt and uncertainty, the guide of all mankind until the Day of Resurrection. And now, We ask, is it fair for this people to view with doubt and misgiving this most weighty Testimony, the divine origin of which God hath proclaimed, and pronounced it to be the embodiment of truth? Is it fair for them to turn away from the thing which He hath appointed as the supreme Instrument of guidance for attainment unto the loftiest summits of knowledge, and to seek aught else but that Book? How can they allow men’s absurd and foolish sayings to sow the seeds of distrust in their minds? How can they any longer idly contend that a certain person hath spoken this or that way, or that a certain thing did not come to pass? Had there been anything conceivable besides the Book of God which could prove a more potent instrument and a surer guide to mankind, would He have failed to reveal it in that verse? It is incumbent upon us not to depart from God’s irresistible injunction and fixed decree, as revealed in the above-mentioned verse. We should acknowledge the holy and wondrous Scriptures, for failing to do this we have failed to acknowledge the truth of this blessed verse. For it is evident that whoso hath failed to acknowledge the truth of the Qur’an hath in reality failed to acknowledge the truth of the preceding Scriptures. This is but the manifest implication of the verse. Were We to expound its inner meanings and unfold its hidden mysteries, eternity would never suffice to exhaust their import, nor would the universe be capable of hearing them! God verily testifieth to the truth of Our saying! In another passage He likewise saith: "And if ye be in doubt as to that which We have sent down to Our Servant, then produce a Surah like it, and summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men of truth." [Qur’an 2:23.] Behold, how lofty is the station, and how consummate the virtue, of these verses which He hath declared to be His surest testimony, His infallible proof, the evidence of His all-subduing power, and a revelation of the potency of His will. He, the divine King, hath proclaimed the undisputed supremacy of the verses of His Book over all things that testify to His truth. For compared with all other proofs and tokens, the divinely-revealed verses shine as the sun, whilst all others are as stars. To the peoples of the world they are the abiding testimony, the incontrovertible proof, the shining light of the ideal King. Their excellence is unrivalled, their virtue nothing can surpass. They are the treasury of the divine pearls and the depository of the divine mysteries. They constitute the indissoluble Bond, the firm Cord, the Urvatu’l-Vuthqa, the inextinguishable Light. Through them floweth the river of divine knowledge, and gloweth the fire of His ancient and consummate wisdom. This is the fire which, in one and the same moment, kindleth the flame of love in the breasts of the faithful, and induceth the chill of heedlessness in the heart of the enemy. O friend! It behooveth us not to waive the injunction of God, but rather acquiesce and submit to that which He hath ordained as His divine Testimony. This verse is too weighty and pregnant an utterance for this afflicted soul to demonstrate and expound. God speaketh the truth and leadeth the way. He, verily, is supreme over all His people; He is the Mighty, the Beneficent. Likewise, He saith: "Such are the verses of God: with truth do We recite them to Thee. But in what revelation will they believe, if they reject God and His verses?" [Qur’an 45:5.] If thou wilt grasp the implication of this verse, thou wilt recognize the truth that no manifestation greater than the Prophets of God hath ever been revealed, and no testimony mightier than the testimony of their revealed verses hath ever appeared upon the earth. Nay, this testimony no other testimony can ever excel, except that which the Lord thy God willeth. In another passage He saith: "Woe to every lying sinner, who heareth the verses of God recited to him, and then, as though he heard them not, persisteth in proud disdain! Apprise him of a painful punishment." [Qur’an 45:6.] The implications of this verse, alone, suffice all that is in heaven and on earth, were the people to ponder the verses of their Lord. For thou hearest how in this day the people disdainfully ignore the divinely-revealed verses, as though they were the meanest of all things. And yet, nothing greater than these verses hath ever appeared, nor will ever be made manifest in the world! Say unto them: "O heedless people! Ye repeat what your fathers, in a bygone age, have said. Whatever fruits they have gathered from the tree of their faithlessness, the same shall ye gather also. Ere long shall ye be gathered unto your fathers, and with them shall ye dwell in hellish fire. An ill abode! the abode of the people of tyranny." In yet another passage He saith: "And when he becometh acquainted with any of Our verses he turneth them to ridicule. There is a shameful punishment for them!" [Qur’an 45:8.] The people derisively observed saying: "Work thou another miracle, and give us another sign!" One would say: "Make now a part of the heaven to fall down upon us"; [Qur’an 26:187.] and another: "If this be the very truth from before Thee, rain down stones upon us from heaven." [Qur’an 8:32.] Even as the people of Israel, in the time of Moses, bartered away the bread of heaven for the sordid things of the earth, these people, likewise, sought to exchange the divinely-revealed verses for their foul, their vile, and idle desires. In like manner, thou beholdest in this day that although spiritual sustenance hath descended from the heaven of divine mercy, and been showered from the clouds of His loving kindness, and although the seas of life, at the behest of the Lord of all being, are surging within the Ridvan of the heart, yet these people, ravenous as the dogs, have gathered around carrion, and contented themselves with the stagnant waters of a briny lake. Gracious God! how strange the way of this people! They clamour for guidance, although the standards of Him Who guideth all things are already hoisted. They cleave to the obscure intricacies of knowledge, when He, Who is the Object of all knowledge, shineth as the sun. They see the sun with their own eyes, and yet question that brilliant Orb as to the proof of its light. They behold the vernal showers descending upon them, and yet seek an evidence of that bounty. The proof of the sun is the light thereof, which shineth and envelopeth all things. The evidence of the shower is the bounty thereof, which reneweth and investeth the world with the mantle of life. Yea, the blind can perceive naught from the sun except its heat, and the arid soil hath no share of the showers of mercy. "Marvel not if in the Qur’an the unbeliever perceiveth naught but the trace of letters, for in the sun, the blind findeth naught but heat." In another passage He saith: "And when Our clear verses are recited to them, their only argument is to say, ‘Bring back our fathers, if ye speak the truth!’" [Qur’an 45:24.] Behold, what foolish evidences they sought from these Embodiments of an all-encompassing mercy! They scoffed at the verses, a single letter of which is greater than the creation of heavens and earth, and which quickeneth the dead of the valley of self and desire with the spirit of faith; and clamoured saying: "Cause our fathers to speed out of their sepulchres." Such was the perversity and pride of that people. Each one of these verses is unto all the peoples of the world an unfailing testimony and a glorious proof of His truth. Each of them verily sufficeth all mankind, wert thou to meditate upon the verses of God. In the above-mentioned verse itself pearls of mysteries lie hidden. Whatever be the ailment, the remedy it offereth can never fail. Heed not the idle contention of those who maintain that the Book and verses thereof can never be a testimony unto the common people, inasmuch as they neither grasp their meaning nor appreciate their value. And yet, the unfailing testimony of God to both the East and the West is none other than the Qur’an. Were it beyond the comprehension of men, how could it have been declared as a universal testimony unto all people? If their contention be true, none would therefore be required, nor would it be necessary for them to know God, inasmuch as the knowledge of the divine Being transcendeth the knowledge of His Book, and the common people would not possess the capacity to comprehend it. Such contention is utterly fallacious and inadmissible. It is actuated solely by arrogance and pride. Its motive is to lead the people astray from the Ridvan of divine good-pleasure and to tighten the reins of their authority over the people. And yet, in the sight of God, these common people are infinitely superior and exalted above their religious leaders who have turned away from the one true God. The understanding of His words and the comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of Heaven are in no wise dependent upon human learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart, chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit. This is evidenced by those who, today, though without a single letter of the accepted standards of learning, are occupying the loftiest seats of knowledge; and the garden of their hearts is adorned, through the showers of divine grace, with the roses of wisdom and the tulips of understanding. Well is it with the sincere in heart for their share of the light of a mighty Day! And likewise, He saith: "As for those who believe not in the verses of God, or that they shall ever meet Him, these of My mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous chastisement await." [Qur’an 29:23.] Also, "And they say, ‘Shall we then abandon our gods for a crazed poet?’" [Qur’an 37:36.] The implication of this verse is manifest. Behold what they observed after the verses were revealed. They called Him a poet, scoffed at the verses of God, and exclaimed saying: "These words of his are but tales of the Ancients!" By this they meant that those words which were spoken by the peoples of old Muhammad hath compiled and called them the Word of God. Likewise, in this day, thou hast heard the people impute similar charges to this Revelation, saying: "He hath compiled these words from the words of old;" or "these words are spurious." Vain and haughty are their sayings, low their estate and station! After the denials and denunciations which they uttered, and unto which We have referred, they protested saying: "No independent Prophet, according to our Scriptures, should arise after Moses and Jesus to abolish the Law of divine Revelation. Nay, he that is to be made manifest must needs fulfil the Law." Thereupon this verse, indicative of all the divine themes, and testifying to the truth that the flow of the grace of the All-Merciful can never cease, was revealed: "And Joseph came to you aforetime with clear tokens, but ye ceased not to doubt of the message with which He came to you, until, when He died, ye said, ‘God will by no means raise up a Messenger after Him.’ Thus God misleadeth him who is the transgressor the doubter." [Qur’an 40:34.] Therefore, understand from this verse and know of a certainty that the people in every age, clinging to a verse of the Book, have uttered such vain and absurd sayings, contending that no Prophet should again be made manifest to the world. Even as the Christian divines who, holding fast to the verse of the Gospel to which We have already referred, have sought to explain that the law of the Gospel shall at no time be annulled, and that no independent Prophet shall again be made manifest, unless He confirmeth the law of the Gospel. Most of the people have become afflicted with the same spiritual disease. Even as thou dost witness how the people of the Qur’an, like unto the people of old, have allowed the words "Seal of the Prophets" to veil their eyes. And yet, they themselves testify to this verse: "None knoweth the interpretation thereof but God and they that are well-grounded in knowledge." [Qur’an 3:7.] And when He Who is well-grounded in all knowledge, He Who is the Mother, the Soul, the Secret, and the Essence thereof, revealeth that which is the least contrary to their desire, they bitterly oppose Him and shamelessly deny Him. These thou hast already heard and witnessed. Such deeds and words have been solely instigated by leaders of religion, they that worship no God but their own desire, who bear allegiance to naught but gold, who are wrapt in the densest veils of learning, and who, enmeshed by its obscurities, are lost in the wilds of error. Even as the Lord of being hath explicitly declared: "What thinkest thou? He who hath made a God of his passions, and whom God causeth to err through a knowledge, and whose ears and whose heart He hath sealed up, and over whose sight He hath cast a veil—who, after his rejection by God, shall guide such a one? Will ye not then be warned?" [Qur’an 45:22.] Although the outward meaning of "Whom God causeth to err through a knowledge" is what hath been revealed, yet to Us it signifieth those divines of the age who have turned away from the Beauty of God, and who, clinging unto their own learning, as fashioned by their own fancies and desires, have denounced God’s divine Message and Revelation. "Say: it is a weighty Message, from which ye turn aside!" [Qur’an 38:67.] Likewise, He saith: "And when Our clear verses are recited to them, they say, ‘This is merely a man who would fain pervert you from your father’s worship.’ And they say, ‘This is none other than a forged falsehood.’" [Qur’an 34:43.] Give ear unto God’s holy Voice, and heed thou His sweet and immortal melody. Behold how He hath solemnly warned them that have repudiated the verses of God, and hath disowned them that have denied His holy words. Consider how far the people have strayed from the Kawthar of the divine Presence, and how grievous hath been the faithlessness and arrogance of the spiritually destitute in the face of that sanctified Beauty. Although that Essence of lovingkindness and bounty caused those evanescent beings to step into the realm of immortality, and guided those destitute souls to the sacred river of wealth, yet some denounced Him as "a calumniator of God, the Lord of all creatures," others accused Him of being "the one that withholdeth the people from the path of faith and true belief," and still others declared Him to be "a lunatic" and the like. In like manner, thou observest in this day with what vile imputations they have assailed that Gem of Immortality, and what unspeakable transgressions they have heaped upon Him Who is the Source of purity. Although God hath throughout His Book and in His holy and immortal Tablet warned them that deny and repudiate the revealed verses, and hath announced His grace unto them that accept them, yet behold the unnumbered cavils they raised against those verses which have been sent down from the new heaven of God’s eternal holiness! This, notwithstanding the fact that no eye hath beheld so great an outpouring of bounty, nor hath any ear heard of such a revelation of lovingkindness. Such bounty and revelation have been made manifest, that the revealed verses seemed as vernal showers raining from the clouds of the mercy of the All-Bountiful. The Prophets "endowed with constancy," whose loftiness and glory shine as the sun, were each honoured with a Book which all have seen, and the verses of which have been duly ascertained. Whereas the verses which have rained from this Cloud of divine mercy have been so abundant that none hath yet been able to estimate their number. A score of volumes are now available. How many still remain beyond our reach! How many have been plundered and have fallen into the hands of the enemy, the fate of which none knoweth. O brother, we should open our eyes, meditate upon His Word, and seek the sheltering shadow of the Manifestations of God, that perchance we may be warned by the unmistakable counsels of the Book, and give heed to the admonitions recorded in the holy Tablets; that we may not cavil at the Revealer of the verses, that we may resign ourselves wholly to His Cause, and embrace wholeheartedly His law, that haply we may enter the court of His mercy, and dwell upon the shore of His grace. He, verily, is merciful, and forgiving towards His servants. And likewise, He saith: "Say, O people of the Book! do ye not disavow us only because we believe in God and in what He hath sent down to us, and in what He hath sent down aforetime, and because most of you are doers of ill?" [Qur’an 5:62.] How explicitly doth this verse reveal Our purpose, and how clearly doth it demonstrate the truth of the testimony of the verses of God! This verse was revealed at a time when Islam was assailed by the infidels, and its followers were accused of misbelief, when the Companions of Muhammad were denounced as repudiators of God and as followers of a lying sorcerer. In its early days, when Islam was still to outward seeming devoid of authority and power, the friends of the Prophet, who had turned their face toward God, wherever they went, were harassed, persecuted, stoned and vilified. At such a time this blessed verse was sent down from the heaven of divine Revelation. It revealed an irrefutable evidence, and brought the light of an unfailing guidance. It instructed the companions of Muhammad to declare the following unto the infidels and idolators: "Ye oppress and persecute us, and yet, what else have we done except that we have believed in God and in the verses sent down unto us through the tongue of Muhammad, and in those which descended upon the Prophets of old?" By this is meant that their only guilt was to have recognized that the new and wondrous verses of God, which had descended upon Muhammad, as well as those which had been revealed unto the Prophets of old, were all of God, and to have acknowledged and embraced their truth. This is the testimony which the divine King hath taught His servants. In view of this, is it fair for this people to repudiate these newly-revealed verses which have encompassed both the East and the West, and to regard themselves as the upholders of true belief? Should they not rather believe in Him Who hath revealed these verses? Considering the testimony which He Himself hath established, how could He fail to account as true believers them that have testified to its truth? Far be it from Him that He should turn away from the gates of His mercy them that have turned unto and embraced the truth of the divine verses, or that He should threaten those that have clung to His sure testimony! He verily establisheth the truth through His verses, and confirmeth His Revelation by His words. He verily is the Powerful, the Help in peril, the Almighty. And likewise, He saith: "And had We sent down unto Thee a Book written on parchment, and they had touched it with their hands, the infidels would surely have said ‘This is naught but palpable sorcery.’" [Qur’an 6:7.] Most of the verses of the Qur’an are indicative of this theme. We have, for the sake of brevity, mentioned only these verses. Consider, hath anything else besides the verses been established in the whole Book, as a standard for the recognition of the Manifestations of His Beauty, that the people might cling to, and reject the Manifestations of God? On the contrary, in every instance, He hath threatened with fire those that repudiate and scoff at the verses, as already shown. Therefore, should a person arise and bring forth a myriad verses, discourses, epistles, and prayers, none of which have been acquired through learning, what conceivable excuse could justify those that reject them, and deprive themselves of the potency of their grace? What answer could they give when once their soul hath ascended and departed from its gloomy temple? Could they seek to justify themselves by saying: "We have clung to a certain tradition, and not having beheld the literal fulfilment thereof, we have therefore raised such cavils against the Embodiments of divine Revelation, and kept remote from the law of God?" Hast thou not heard that among the reasons why certain Prophets have been designated as Prophets "endowed with constancy" was the revelation of a Book unto them? And yet, how could this people be justified in rejecting the Revealer and Author of so many volumes of verses, and follow the sayings of him who hath foolishly sown the seeds of doubt in the hearts of men, and who, Satan-like, hath risen to lead the people into the paths of perdition and error? How could they allow such things to deprive them of the light of the Sun of divine bounty? Aside from these things, if these people shun and reject such a divine Soul, such holy Breath, to whom, We wonder, could they cling, to whose face besides His Face could they turn? Yea—"All have a quarter of the Heavens to which they turn." [Qur’an 2:148.] We have shown thee these two ways; walk thou the way thou choosest. This verily is the truth, and after truth there remaineth naught but error. Amongst the proofs demonstrating the truth of this Revelation is this, that in every age and Dispensation, whenever the invisible Essence was revealed in the person of His Manifestation, certain souls, obscure and detached from all worldly entanglements, would seek illumination from the Sun of Prophethood and Moon of divine guidance, and would attain unto the divine Presence. For this reason, the divines of the age and those possessed of wealth, would scorn and scoff at these people. Even as He hath revealed concerning them that erred: "Then said the chiefs of His people who believed not, ‘We see in Thee but a man like ourselves; and we see not any who have followed Thee except our meanest ones of hasty judgment, nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves: nay, we deem you liars.’" [Qur’an 11:27.] They caviled at those holy Manifestations, and protested saying: "None hath followed you except the abject amongst us, those who are worthy of no attention." Their aim was to show that no one amongst the learned, the wealthy, and the renowned believed in them. By this and similar proofs they sought to demonstrate the falsity of Him that speaketh naught but the truth. In this most resplendent Dispensation, however, this most mighty Sovereignty, a number of illumined divines, of men of consummate learning, of doctors of mature wisdom, have attained unto His Court, drunk the cup of His divine Presence, and been invested with the honour of His most excellent favour. They have renounced, for the sake of the Beloved, the world and all that is therein. We will mention the names of some of them, that perchance it may strengthen the faint-hearted, and encourage the timorous. Among them was Mulla Husayn, who became the recipient of the effulgent glory of the Sun of divine Revelation. But for him, God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory. Among them also was Siyyid Yahya, that unique and peerless figure of his age, Mulla Muhammad Aliy-i-Zanjani Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami Mulla Sa’id-i-Barfurushi Mulla Ni’matu’llah-i-Mazindarani Mulla Yusuf-i-Ardibili Mulla Mihdiy-i-Khu’i Siyyid Husayn-i-Turshizi Mulla Mihdiy-i-Kandi Mulla Baqir Mulla Abdu’l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi Mulla Aliy-i-Baraqani and others, well nigh four hundred in number, whose names are all inscribed upon the "Guarded Tablet" of God. All these were guided by the light of that Sun of divine Revelation, confessed and acknowledged His truth. Such was their faith, that most of them renounced their substance and kindred, and cleaved to the good-pleasure of the All-Glorious. They laid down their lives for their Well-Beloved, and surrendered their all in His path. Their breasts were made targets for the darts of the enemy, and their heads adorned the spears of the infidel. No land remained which did not drink the blood of these embodiments of detachment, and no sword that did not bruise their necks. Their deeds, alone, testify to the truth of their words. Doth not the testimony of these holy souls, who have so gloriously risen to offer up their lives for their Beloved that the whole world marvelled at the manner of their sacrifice, suffice the people of this day? Is it not sufficient witness against the faithlessness of those who for a trifle betrayed their faith, who bartered away immortality for that which perisheth, who gave up the Kawthar of the divine Presence for salty springs, and whose one aim in life is to usurp the property of others? Even as thou dost witness how all of them have busied themselves with the vanities of the world, and have strayed far from Him Who is the Lord, the Most High. Be fair: Is the testimony of those acceptable and worthy of attention whose deeds agree with their words, whose outward behaviour conforms with their inner life? The mind is bewildered at their deeds, and the soul marvelleth at their fortitude and bodily endurance. Or is the testimony of these faithless souls who breathe naught but the breath of selfish desire, and who lie imprisoned in the cage of their idle fancies, acceptable? Like the bats of darkness, they lift not their heads from their couch except to pursue the transient things of the world, and find no rest by night except as they labour to advance the aims of their sordid life. Immersed in their selfish schemes, they are oblivious of the divine Decree. In the day-time they strive with all their soul after worldly benefits, and in the night-season their sole occupation is to gratify their carnal desires. By what law or standard could men be justified in cleaving to the denials of such petty-minded souls, and in ignoring the faith of them that have renounced, for the sake of the good-pleasure of God, their life, and substance, their fame and renown, their reputation and honour? Were not the happenings of the life of the "Prince of Martyrs" [Imam Husayn.] regarded as the greatest of all events, as the supreme evidence of his truth? Did not the people of old declare those happenings to be unprecedented? Did they not maintain that no manifestation of truth hath ever evinced such constancy, such conspicuous glory? And yet, that episode of his life, commencing as it did in the morning, was brought to a close by the middle of the same day, whereas, these holy lights have, for eighteen years, heroically endured the showers of afflictions which, from every side, have rained upon them. With what love, what devotion, what exultation and holy rapture, they sacrificed their lives in the path of the All-Glorious! To the truth of this all witness. And yet, how can they belittle this Revelation? Hath any age witnessed such momentous happenings? If these companions be not the true strivers after God, who else could be called by this name? Have these companions been seekers after power or glory? Have they ever yearned for riches? Have they cherished any desire except the good-pleasure of God? If these companions, with all their marvellous testimonies and wondrous works, be false, who then is worthy to claim for himself the truth? I swear by God! Their very deeds are a sufficient testimony, and an irrefutable proof unto all the peoples of the earth, were men to ponder in their hearts the mysteries of divine Revelation. "And they who act unjustly shall soon know what lot awaiteth them!" [Qur’an 26:227.] Furthermore, the sign of truth and falsehood is designated and appointed in the Book. By this divinely-appointed touchstone, the claims and pretensions of all men must needs be assayed, so that the truthful may be known and distinguished from the imposter. This touchstone is no other than this verse: "Wish for death, if ye are men of truth." [Qur’an 2:94, 62:6.] Consider these martyrs of unquestionable sincerity, to whose truthfulness testifieth the explicit text of the Book, and all of whom, as thou hast witnessed, have sacrificed their life, their substance, their wives, their children, their all, and ascended unto the loftiest chambers of Paradise. Is it fair to reject the testimony of these detached and exalted beings to the truth of this pre-eminent and glorious Revelation and to regard as acceptable the denunciations which have been uttered against this resplendent Light by this faithless people, who for gold have forsaken their faith, and who for the sake of leadership have repudiated Him Who is the First Leader of all mankind? This, although their character is now revealed unto all people who have recognized them as those who will in no wise relinquish one jot or one tittle of their temporal authority for the sake of God’s holy Faith, how much less their life, their substance, and the like. Behold how the divine Touchstone hath, according to the explicit text of the Book, separated and distinguished the true from the false. Notwithstanding, they are still oblivious of this truth, and in the sleep of heedlessness, are pursuing the vanities of the world, and are occupied with thoughts of vain and earthly leadership. "O Son of Man! Many a day hath passed over thee whilst thou hast busied thyself with thy fancies and idle imaginings. How long art thou to slumber on thy bed? Lift up thine head from slumber, for the Sun hath risen to the zenith; haply it may shine upon thee with the light of beauty." Let it be known, however, that none of these doctors and divines to whom we have referred was invested with the rank and dignity of leadership. For well-known and influential leaders of religion, who occupy the seats of authority and exercise the functions of leadership, can in no wise bear allegiance to the Revealer of truth, except whomsoever thy Lord willeth. But for a few, such things have never come to pass. "And few of My servants are the thankful." [Qur’an 34:13.] Even as in this Dispensation, not one amongst the renowned divines, in the grasp of whose authority were held the reins of the people, hath embraced the Faith. Nay, they have striven against it with such animosity and determination that no ear hath heard and no eye hath seen the like. The Bab, the Lord, the most exalted—may the life of all be a sacrifice unto Him,--hath specifically revealed an Epistle unto the divines of every city, wherein He hath fully set forth the character of the denial and repudiation of each of them. "Wherefore, take ye good heed ye who are men of insight!" [Qur’an 59:2.] By His references to their opposition He intended to invalidate the objections which the people of the Bayan might raise in the day of the manifestation of "Mustaghath," [He Who is invoked.] the day of the Latter Resurrection, claiming that, whereas in the Dispensation of the Bayan a number of divines have embraced the Faith, in this latter Revelation none of these hath recognized His claim. His purpose was to warn the people lest, God forbid, they cling to such foolish thoughts and deprive themselves of the divine Beauty. Yea, these divines to whom We have referred, were mostly unrenowned, and, by the grace of God they were all purged of earthly vanities and free from the trappings of leadership. "Such is the bounty of God; to whom He will He giveth it." Another proof and evidence of the truth of this Revelation, which amongst all other proofs shineth as the sun, is the constancy of the eternal Beauty in proclaiming the Faith of God. Though young and tender of age, and though the Cause He revealed was contrary to the desire of all the peoples of earth, both high and low, rich and poor, exalted and abased, king and subject, yet He arose and steadfastly proclaimed it. All have known and heard this. He was afraid of no one; He was regardless of consequences. Could such a thing be made manifest except through the power of a divine Revelation, and the potency of God’s invincible Will? By the righteousness of God! Were any one to entertain so great a Revelation in his heart, the thought of such a declaration would alone confound him! Were the hearts of all men to be crowded into his heart, he would still hesitate to venture upon so awful an enterprise. He could achieve it only by the permission of God, only if the channel of his heart were to be linked with the Source of divine grace, and his soul be assured of the unfailing sustenance of the Almighty. To what, We wonder, do they ascribe so great a daring? Do they accuse Him of folly as they accused the Prophets of old? Or do they maintain that His motive was none other than leadership and the acquisition of earthly riches? Gracious God! In His Book, which He hath entitled "Qayyumu’l-Asma’,"—the first, the greatest and mightiest of all books—He prophesied His own martyrdom. In it is this passage: "O thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself wholly for Thee; I have accepted curses for Thy sake; and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love. Sufficient Witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days!" Likewise, in His interpretation of the letter "Ha," He craved martyrdom, saying: "Methinks I heard a Voice calling in my inmost being: ‘Do thou sacrifice the thing which Thou lovest most in the path of God, even as Husayn, peace be upon him, hath offered up his life for My sake.’ And were I not regardful of this inevitable mystery, by Him, Who hath my being between His hands even if all the kings of the earth were to be leagued together they would be powerless to take from me a single letter, how much less can these servants who are worthy of no attention, and who verily are of the outcast... That all may know the degree of My patience, My resignation, and self-sacrifice in the path of God." Could the Revealer of such utterance be regarded as walking any way but the way of God, and as having yearned for aught else except His good-pleasure? In this very verse there lieth concealed a breath of detachment, which if it were to be breathed full upon the world, all beings would renounce their lives, and sacrifice their souls. Reflect upon the villainous behaviour of this generation, and witness their astounding ingratitude. Observe how they have closed their eyes to all this glory, and are abjectly pursuing those foul carcasses from whose bellies ascendeth the cry of the swallowed substance of the faithful. And yet, what unseemly calumnies they have hurled against those Daysprings of Holiness? Thus do We recount unto thee that which the hands of the infidels have wrought, they who, in the Day of Resurrection, have turned their face away from the divine Presence, whom God hath tormented with the fire of their own misbelief, and for whom He hath prepared in the world to come a chastisement which shall devour both their bodies and souls. For these have said: "God is powerless, and His hand of mercy is fettered." Steadfastness in the Faith is a sure testimony, and a glorious evidence of the truth. Even as the "Seal of the Prophets" hath said: "Two verses have made Me old." Both these verses are indicative of constancy in the Cause of God. Even as He saith: "Be thou steadfast as thou hast been bidden." [Qur’an 11:113.] And now consider how this Sadrih of the Ridvan of God hath, in the prime of youth, risen to proclaim the Cause of God. Behold what steadfastness that Beauty of God hath revealed. The whole world rose to hinder Him, yet it utterly failed. The more severe the persecution they inflicted on that Sadrih of Blessedness, the more His fervour increased, and the brighter burned the flame of His love. All this is evident, and none disputeth its truth. Finally, He surrendered His soul, and winged His flight unto the realms above. And among the evidences of the truth of His manifestation were the ascendancy, the transcendent power, and supremacy which He, the Revealer of being and Manifestation of the Adored, hath, unaided and alone, revealed throughout the world. No sooner had that eternal Beauty revealed Himself in Shiraz, in the year sixty, and rent asunder the veil of concealment, than the signs of the ascendancy, the might, the sovereignty, and power, emanating from that Essence of Essences and Sea of Seas, were manifest in every land. So much so, that from every city there appeared the signs, the evidences, the tokens, the testimonies of that divine Luminary. How many were those pure and kindly hearts which faithfully reflected the light of that eternal Sun, and how manifold the emanations of knowledge from that Ocean of divine wisdom which encompassed all beings! In every city, all the divines and dignitaries rose to hinder and repress them, and girded up the loins of malice, of envy, and tyranny for their suppression. How great the number of those holy souls, those essences of justice, who, accused of tyranny, were put to death! And how many embodiments of purity, who showed forth naught but true knowledge and stainless deeds, suffered an agonizing death! Notwithstanding all this, each of these holy beings, up to his last moment, breathed the Name of God, and soared in the realm of submission and resignation. Such was the potency and transmuting influence which He exercised over them, that they ceased to cherish any desire but His will, and wedded their soul to His remembrance. Reflect: Who in this world is able to manifest such transcendent power, such pervading influence? All these stainless hearts and sanctified souls have, with absolute resignation, responded to the summons of His decree. Instead of complaining, they rendered thanks unto God, and amidst the darkness of their anguish they revealed naught but radiant acquiescence to His will. It is evident how relentless was the hate, and how bitter the malice and enmity entertained by all the peoples of the earth towards these companions. The persecution and pain they inflicted on these holy and spiritual beings were regarded by them as means unto salvation, prosperity, and everlasting success. Hath the world, since the days of Adam, witnessed such tumult, such violent commotion? Notwithstanding all the torture they suffered, and manifold the afflictions they endured, they became the object of universal opprobrium and execration. Methinks patience was revealed only by virtue of their fortitude, and faithfulness itself was begotten only by their deeds. Do thou ponder these momentous happenings in thy heart, so that thou mayest apprehend the greatness of this Revelation, and perceive its stupendous glory. Then shall the spirit of faith, through the grace of the Merciful, be breathed into thy being, and thou shalt be established and abide upon the seat of certitude. The one God is My witness! Wert thou to ponder a while, thou wilt recognize that, apart from all these established truths and above-mentioned evidences, the repudiation, cursing, and execration, pronounced by the people of the earth, are in themselves the mightiest proof and the surest testimony of the truth of these heroes of the field of resignation and detachment. Whenever thou dost meditate upon the cavils uttered by all the people, be they divines, learned or ignorant, the firmer and the more steadfast wilt thou grow in the Faith. For whatsoever hath come to pass, hath been prophesied by them who are the Mines of divine knowledge, and Recipients of God’s eternal law. Although We did not intend to make mention of the traditions of a bygone age, yet, because of Our love for thee, We will cite a few which are applicable to Our argument. We do not feel their necessity, however, inasmuch as the things We have already mentioned suffice the world and all that is therein. In fact, all the Scriptures and the mysteries thereof are condensed into this brief account. So much so, that were a person to ponder it a while in his heart, he would discover from all that hath been said the mysteries of the Words of God, and would apprehend the meaning of whatever hath been manifested by that ideal King. As the people differ in their understanding and station, We will accordingly make mention of a few traditions, that these may impart constancy to the wavering soul, and tranquillity to the troubled mind. Thereby, will the testimony of God unto the people, both high and low, be complete and perfect. Among them is the tradition, "And when the Standard of Truth is made manifest, the people of both the East and the West curse it." The wine of renunciation must needs be quaffed, the lofty heights of detachment must needs be attained, and the meditation referred to in the words "One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship" must needs be observed, so that the secret of the wretched behaviour of the people might be discovered, those people who, despite the love and yearning for truth which they profess, curse the followers of Truth when once He hath been made manifest. To this truth the above-mentioned tradition beareth witness. It is evident that the reason for such behaviour is none other than the annulment of those rules, customs, habits, and ceremonials to which they have been subjected. Otherwise, were the Beauty of the Merciful to comply with those same rules and customs, which are current amongst the people, and were He to sanction their observances, such conflict and mischief would in no wise be made manifest in the world. This exalted tradition is attested and substantiated by these words which He hath revealed: "The day when the Summoner shall summon to a stern business." [Qur’an 54:6.] The divine call of the celestial Herald from beyond the Veil of Glory, summoning mankind to renounce utterly all the things to which they cleave, is repugnant to their desire; and this is the cause of the bitter trials and violent commotions which have occurred. Consider the way of the people. They ignore these well-founded traditions, all of which have been fulfilled, and cling unto those of doubtful validity, and ask why these have not been fulfilled. And yet, those things which to them were inconceivable have been made manifest. The signs and tokens of the Truth shine even as the midday sun, and yet the people are wandering, aimlessly and perplexedly, in the wilderness of ignorance and folly. Notwithstanding all the verses of the Qur’an, and the recognized traditions, which are all indicative of a new Faith, a new Law, and a new Revelation, this generation still waiteth in expectation of beholding the promised One who should uphold the Law of the Muhammadan Dispensation. The Jews and the Christians in like manner uphold the same contention. Among the utterances that foreshadow a new Law and a new Revelation are the passages in the "Prayer of Nudbih": "Where is He Who is preserved to renew the ordinances and laws? Where is He Who hath the authority to transform the Faith and the followers thereof?" He hath, likewise, revealed in the Ziyarat: [Visiting Tablet revealed by Ali.] "Peace be upon the Truth made new." Abu-‘Abdi’llah, questioned concerning the character of the Mihdi, answered saying: "He will perform that which Muhammad, the Messenger of God, hath performed, and will demolish whatever hath been before Him even as the Messenger of God hath demolished the ways of those that preceded Him." Behold, how, notwithstanding these and similar traditions, they idly contend that the laws formerly revealed, must in no wise be altered. And yet, is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent. In the "Avalim," an authoritative and well-known book, it is recorded: "A Youth from Bani-Hashim shall be made manifest, Who will reveal a new Book and promulgate a new law;" then follow these words: "Most of His enemies will be the divines." In another passage, it is related of Sadiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke the following: "There shall appear a Youth from Bani-Hashim, Who will bid the people plight fealty unto Him. His Book will be a new Book, unto which He shall summon the people to pledge their faith. Stern is His Revelation unto the Arab. If ye hear about Him, hasten unto Him." How well have they followed the directions of the Imams of the Faith and Lamps of certitude! Although it is clearly stated: "Were ye to hear that a Youth from Bani-Hashim hath appeared, summoning the people unto a new and Divine Book, and to new and Divine laws, hasten unto Him," yet have they all declared that Lord of being an infidel, and pronounced Him a heretic. They hastened not unto that Hashimite Light, that divine Manifestation, except with drawn swords, and hearts filled with malice. Moreover, observe how explicitly the enmity of the divines hath been mentioned in the books. Notwithstanding all these evident and significant traditions, all these unmistakable and undisputed allusions, the people have rejected the immaculate Essence of knowledge and of holy utterance, and have turned unto the exponents of rebellion and error. Despite these recorded traditions and revealed utterances, they speak only that which is prompted by their own selfish desires. And should the Essence of Truth reveal that which is contrary to their inclinations and desires, they will straightway denounce Him as an infidel, and will protest saying: "This is contrary to the sayings of the Imams of the Faith and of the resplendent lights. No such thing hath been provided by our inviolable Law." Even so in this day such worthless statements have been and are being made by these poor mortals. And now, consider this other tradition, and observe how all these things have been foretold. In "Arba’in" it is recorded: "Out of Bani-Hashim there shall come forth a Youth Who shall reveal new laws. He shall summon the people unto Him, but none will heed His call. Most of His enemies will be the divines. His bidding they will not obey, but will protest saying: ‘This is contrary to that which hath been handed down unto us by the Imams of the Faith.’" In this day, all are repeating these very same words, utterly unaware that He is established upon the throne of "He doeth whatsoever He willeth," and abideth upon the seat of "He ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth." No understanding can grasp the nature of His Revelation, nor can any knowledge comprehend the full measure of His Faith. All sayings are dependent upon His sanction, and all things stand in need of His Cause. All else save Him are created by His command, and move and have their being through His law. He is the Revealer of the divine mysteries, and the Expounder of the hidden and ancient wisdom. Thus it is related in the "Biharu’l-Anvar," the "Avalim," and the "Yanbu’" of Sadiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke these words: "Knowledge is twenty and seven letters. All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters thereof. No man thus far hath known more than these two letters. But when the Qa’im shall arise, He will cause the remaining twenty and five letters to be made manifest." Consider; He hath declared Knowledge to consist of twenty and seven letters, and regarded all the Prophets, from Adam even unto the "Seal," as Expounders of only two letters thereof and of having been sent down with these two letters. He also saith that the Qa’im will reveal all the remaining twenty and five letters. Behold from this utterance how great and lofty is His station! His rank excelleth that of all the Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and understanding of all their chosen ones. A Revelation, of which the Prophets of God, His saints and chosen ones, have either not been informed, or which, in pursuance of God’s inscrutable Decree, they have not disclosed,--such a Revelation these mean and depraved people have sought to measure with their own deficient minds, their own deficient learning and understanding. Should it fail to conform to their standards, they straightway reject it. "Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are even like unto the brutes! yea, they stray even further from the path!" [Qur’an 25:44.] How, We wonder, do they explain the aforementioned tradition, a tradition which, in unmistakable terms, foreshadoweth the revelation of things inscrutable, and the occurrence of new and wondrous events in His day? Such marvellous happenings kindle so great a strife amongst the people, that all the divines and doctors sentence Him and His companions to death, and all the peoples of the earth arise to oppose Him. Even as it hath been recorded in the "Kafi," in the tradition of Jabir, in the "Tablet of Fatimih," concerning the character of the Qa’im: "He shall manifest the perfection of Moses, the splendour of Jesus, and the patience of Job. His chosen ones shall be abased in His day. Their heads shall be offered as presents even as the heads of the Turks and the Daylamites. They shall be slain and burnt. Fear shall seize them; dismay and alarm shall strike terror into their hearts. The earth shall be dyed with their blood. Their womenfolk shall bewail and lament. These indeed are my friends!" Consider, not a single letter of this tradition hath remained unfulfilled. In most of the places their blessed blood hath been shed; in every city they have been made captives, have been paraded throughout the provinces, and some have been burnt with fire. And yet no one hath paused to reflect that if the promised Qa’im should reveal the law and ordinances of a former Dispensation, why then should such traditions have been recorded, and why should there arise such a degree of strife and conflict that the people should regard the slaying of these companions as an obligation imposed upon them, and deem the persecution of these holy souls as a means of attaining unto the highest favour? Moreover, observe how these things that have come to pass, and the acts which have been perpetrated, have all been mentioned in former traditions. Even as it hath been recorded in the "Rawdiy-i-Kafi," concerning "Zawra’." In the "Rawdiy-i-Kafi" it is related of Mu’aviyih, son of Vahhab, that Abu-‘Abdi’llah hath spoken: "Knowest thou Zawra’?" I said: "May my life be a sacrifice unto thee! They say it is Baghdad." "Nay," he answered. And then added: "Hast thou entered the city of Rayy?", [Ancient city near which Tihran is built.] to which I made reply: "Yea, I have entered it." Whereupon, He enquired: "Didst thou visit the cattle-market?" "Yea," I answered. He said: "Hast thou seen the black mountain on the right hand side of the road? The same is Zawra’. There shall eighty men, of the children of certain ones, be slain, all of whom are worthy to be called caliphs." "Who will slay them?" I asked. He made reply: "The children of Persia!" Such is the condition and fate of His companions which in former days hath been foretold. And now observe how, according to this tradition, Zawra’ is no other but the land of Rayy. In that place His companions have been with great suffering put to death, and all these holy beings have suffered martyrdom at the hand of the Persians, as recorded in the tradition. This thou hast heard, and unto it all testify. Wherefore, then, do not these grovelling, worm-like men pause to meditate upon these traditions, all of which are manifest as the sun in its noon-tide glory? For what reason do they refuse to embrace the Truth, and allow certain traditions, the significance of which they have failed to grasp, to withhold them from the recognition of the Revelation of God and His Beauty, and to cause them to dwell in the infernal abyss? Such things are to be attributed to naught but the faithlessness of the divines and doctors of the age. Of these, Sadiq, son of Muhammad, hath said: "The religious doctors of that age shall be the most wicked of the divines beneath the shadow of heaven. Out of them hath mischief proceeded, and unto them it shall return." We entreat the learned men of the Bayan not to follow in such ways, not to inflict, at the time of Mustaghath, upon Him Who is the divine Essence, the heavenly Light, the absolute Eternity, the Beginning and the End of the Manifestations of the Invisible, that which hath been inflicted in this day. We beg them not to depend upon their intellect, their comprehension and learning, nor to contend with the Revealer of celestial and infinite knowledge. And yet, notwithstanding all these admonitions, We perceive that a one-eyed man, who himself is the chief of the people, is arising with the utmost malevolence against Us. We foresee that in every city people will arise to suppress the Blessed Beauty, that the companions of that Lord of being and ultimate Desire of all men will flee from the face of the oppressor and seek refuge from him in the wilderness, whilst others will resign themselves and, with absolute detachment, will sacrifice their lives in His path. Methinks We can discern one who is reputed for such devoutness and piety that men deem it an obligation to obey him, and to whose command they consider it necessary to submit, who will arise to assail the very root of the divine Tree, and endeavour to the uttermost of his power to resist and oppose Him. Such is the way of the people! We fain would hope that the people of the Bayan will be enlightened, will soar in the realm of the spirit and abide therein, will discern the Truth, and recognize with the eye of insight dissembling falsehood. In these days, however, such odours of jealousy are diffused, that—I swear by the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible—from the beginning of the foundation of the world though it hath no beginning—until the present day, such malice, envy, and hate have in no wise appeared, nor will they ever be witnessed in the future. For a number of people who have never inhaled the fragrance of justice, have raised the standard of sedition, and have leagued themselves against Us. On every side We witness the menace of their spears, and in all directions We recognize the shafts of their arrows. This, although We have never gloried in any thing, nor did We seek preference over any soul. To everyone We have been a most kindly companion, a most forbearing and affectionate friend. In the company of the poor We have sought their fellowship, and amidst the exalted and learned We have been submissive and resigned. I swear by God, the one true God! grievous as have been the woes and sufferings which the hand of the enemy and the people of the Book inflicted upon Us, yet all these fade into utter nothingness when compared with that which hath befallen Us at the hand of those who profess to be Our friends. What more shall We say? The universe, were it to gaze with the eye of justice, would be incapable of bearing the weight of this utterance! In the early days of Our arrival in this land, when We discerned the signs of impending events, We decided, ere they happened, to retire. We betook Ourselves to the wilderness, and there, separated and alone, led for two years a life of complete solitude. From Our eyes there rained tears of anguish, and in Our bleeding heart there surged an ocean of agonizing pain. Many a night We had no food for sustenance, and many a day Our body found no rest. By Him Who hath My being between His hands! notwithstanding these showers of afflictions and unceasing calamities, Our soul was wrapt in blissful joy, and Our whole being evinced an ineffable gladness. For in Our solitude We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment, of any soul. Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein. We knew not, however, that the mesh of divine destiny exceedeth the vastest of mortal conceptions, and the dart of His decree transcendeth the boldest of human designs. None can escape the snares He setteth, and no soul can find release except through submission to His will. By the righteousness of God! Our withdrawal contemplated no return, and Our separation hoped for no reunion. The one object of Our retirement was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions, the means of injury to any soul, or the cause of sorrow to any heart. Beyond these, We cherished no other intention, and apart from them, We had no end in view. And yet, each person schemed after his own desire, and pursued his own idle fancy, until the hour when, from the Mystic Source, there came the summons bidding Us return whence We came. Surrendering Our will to His, We submitted to His injunction. What pen can recount the things We beheld upon Our return! Two years have elapsed during which Our enemies have ceaselessly and assiduously contrived to exterminate Us, whereunto all witness. Nevertheless, none amongst the faithful hath risen to render Us any assistance, nor did any one feel inclined to help in Our deliverance. Nay, instead of assisting Us, what showers of continuous sorrows, their words and deeds have caused to rain upon Our soul! Amidst them all, We stand, life in hand, wholly resigned to His will; that perchance, through God’s loving kindness and His grace, this revealed and manifest Letter may lay down His life as a sacrifice in the path of the Primal Point, the most exalted Word. By Him at Whose bidding the Spirit hath spoken, but for this yearning of Our soul, We would not, for one moment, have tarried any longer in this city. "Sufficient Witness is God unto Us." We conclude Our argument with the words: "There is no power nor strength but in God alone." "We are God’s, and to Him shall we return." They that have hearts to understand, they that have quaffed the Wine of love, who have not for one moment gratified their selfish desires, will behold, resplendent as the sun in its noon-tide glory, those tokens, testimonies, and evidences that attest the truth of this wondrous Revelation, this transcendent and divine Faith. Reflect, how the people have rejected the Beauty of God, and have clung unto their covetous desires. Notwithstanding all these consummate verses, these unmistakable allusions, which have been revealed in the "Most weighty Revelation," the Trust of God amongst men, and despite these evident traditions, each more manifest than the most explicit utterance, the people have ignored and repudiated their truth, and have held fast to the letter of certain traditions which, according to their understanding, they have found inconsistent with their expectations, and the meaning of which they have failed to grasp. They have thus shattered every hope, and deprived themselves of the pure wine of the All-Glorious, and the clear and incorruptible waters of the immortal Beauty. Consider, that even the year in which that Quintessence of Light is to be made manifest hath been specifically recorded in the traditions, yet they still remain unmindful, nor do they for one moment cease to pursue their selfish desires. According to the tradition, Mufaddal asked Sadiq saying: "What of the sign of His manifestation, O my master?" He made reply: "In the year sixty, His Cause shall be made manifest, and His Name shall be proclaimed." How strange! Notwithstanding these explicit and manifest references these people have shunned the Truth. For instance, mention of the sorrows, the imprisonment and afflictions inflicted upon that Essence of divine virtue hath been made in the former traditions. In the "Bihar" it is recorded: "In our Qa’im there shall be four signs from four Prophets, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, and Muhammad. The sign from Moses, is fear and expectation; from Jesus, that which was spoken of Him; from Joseph, imprisonment and dissimulation; from Muhammad, the revelation of a Book similar to the Qur’an." Notwithstanding such a conclusive tradition, which in such unmistakable language hath foreshadowed the happenings of the present day, none hath been found to heed its prophecy, and methinks none will do so in the future, except him whom thy Lord willeth. "God indeed shall make whom He will to hearken, but We shall not make those who are in their graves to hearken." It is evident unto thee that the Birds of Heaven and Doves of Eternity speak a twofold language. One language, the outward language, is devoid of allusions, is unconcealed and unveiled; that it may be a guiding lamp and a beaconing light whereby wayfarers may attain the heights of holiness, and seekers may advance into the realm of eternal reunion. Such are the unveiled traditions and the evident verses already mentioned. The other language is veiled and concealed, so that whatever lieth hidden in the heart of the malevolent may be made manifest and their innermost being be disclosed. Thus hath Sadiq, son of Muhammad, spoken: "God verily will test them and sift them." This is the divine standard, this is the Touchstone of God, wherewith He proveth His servants. None apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances except them whose hearts are assured, whose souls have found favour with God, and whose minds are detached from all else but Him. In such utterances, the literal meaning, as generally understood by the people, is not what hath been intended. Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the people. And when the Qa’im shall arise, He shall reveal unto men all that which remaineth." He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain." These things We mention only that the people may not be dismayed because of certain traditions and utterances, which have not yet been literally fulfilled, that they may rather attribute their perplexity to their own lack of understanding, and not to the non-fulfilment of the promises in the traditions, inasmuch as the meaning intended by the Imams of the Faith is not known by this people, as evidenced by the traditions themselves. The people, therefore, must not allow such utterances to deprive them of the divine bounties, but should rather seek enlightenment from them who are the recognized Expounders thereof, so that the hidden mysteries may be unravelled, and be made manifest unto them. We perceive none, however, amongst the people of the earth who, sincerely yearning for the Truth, seeketh the guidance of the divine Manifestations concerning the abstruse matters of his Faith. All are dwellers in the land of oblivion, and all are followers of the people of wickedness and rebellion. God will verily do unto them that which they themselves are doing, and will forget them even as they have ignored His Presence in His day. Such is His decree unto those that have denied Him, and such will it be unto them that have rejected His signs. We conclude Our argument with His words—exalted is He—"And whoso shall withdraw from the remembrance of the Merciful, We will chain a Satan unto him, and he shall be his fast companion." [Qur’an 43:36.] "And whoso turneth away from My remembrance, truly his shall be a life of misery." [Qur’an 20:124.] Thus hath it been revealed aforetime, were ye to comprehend. Revealed by the "Ba’" and the "Ha’." [B and H meaning Baha.] Peace be upon him that inclineth his ear unto the melody of the Mystic Bird calling from the Sadratu’l-Muntaha! Glorified be our Lord, the Most High! END [PAGE 1] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION OR MYSTIC CHRISTIANITY AN ELEMENTARY TREATISE UPON MAN'S PAST EVOLUTION, PRESENT CONSTITUTION AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT BY MAX HEINDEL Its Message and Mission: A SANE MIND A SOFT HEART A SOUND BODY __________________ TWENTY-EIGHTH EDITION ____________________ THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP International Headquarters Mt. Ecclesia Oceanside, California, U.S.A. _____________________ ENGLAND: L.N. FOWLER & CO., LTD., 29 LUDGATE HILLION LONDON, E.C. 4 [PAGE 4] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CREED OR CHRIST No man loves God who hates his kind, Who tramples on his brother's heart and soul; Who seeks to shackle, cloud, or fog the mind By fears of hell has not perceived our goal. God-sent are all religions blest; And Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life, To give the heavy laden rest And peace from sorrow, sin, and strife. Behold the Universal Spirit came To ALL the churches, not to one alone; On Pentecostal morn a tongue of flame Round EACH apostle as a halo shone. Since then, as vultures ravenous with greed, We oft have battled for an empty name, And sought by dogma, edict, cult, or creed, To send each other to the quenchless flame. Is Christ then twain? Was Cephas, Paul, To save the world, nailed to the tree? Then why divisions here at all? Christ's love enfolds both you and me. His pure sweet love is not confined By creed which segregate and raise a wall. His love enfolds, embraces human kind, No matter what ourselves or Him we call. Then why not take Him at His word? Why hold to creeds which tear apart? But one thing matters, be it heard That brother love fill every heart. There's but one thing the world has need to know. There's but one balm for all our human woe: There's but one way that leads to heaven above-- That way is human sympathy and love. -Max Heindel. [PAGE 5] A WORD TO THE WISE A WORD TO THE WISE. The founder of the Christian Religion stated an occult maxim when He said: "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter therein" (Mark X:15). All occultists recognize the far-reaching importance of this teaching of Christ, and endeavor to "live" it day by day. When a new philosophy is presented to the world it is met in different ways by different people. One person will grasp with avidity any new philosophical effort in an endeavor to ascertain how far IT SUPPORTS HIS OWN IDEAS. To such an one the philosophy itself is of minor importance. Its prime value will be its vin- dication of HIS ideas. If the work comes up to expectation in that respect, he will enthusiastically adopt it and cling to it with a most unreasoning partisanship; if not, he will probably lay the book down in disgust and dis- appointment, feeling as if the author had done him an injury. Another adopts an attitude of skepticism as soon as he discovers that it contains something which HE has not previously read, heard, or originated in his own thought. He would probably resent as extremely unjustified the ac- cusation that his mental attitude is the acme of self-satisfaction and in- tolerance; such is nevertheless the case; and thus he shuts his mind to any truth which may possibly be hidden in that which he off-hand rejects. Both these classes stand in their own light. "Set" ideas render them impervious to rays of truth. "A little child" is the very opposite of its [PAGE 6] A WORD TO THE WISE elders in that respect. It is not imbued with an overwhelming sense of su- perior knowledge, nor does it feel compelled to look wise or to hide its nescience of any subject by a smile or a sneer. It is frankly ignorant, unfettered by preconceived opinions and therefore EMINENTLY TEACHABLE. It takes everything with that beautiful attitude of trust which we have desig- nated "child-like faith," wherein there is not the shadow of a doubt. There the child holds the teaching it receives until proven or disproven. In all occult schools the pupil is first taught to forget all else when a new teaching is being given, to allow neither preference nor prejudice to govern, but to keep the mind in a state of calm, dignified waiting. As skepticism will blind us to truth in the most effective manner, so this calm, trustful attitude of the mind will allow the intuition, or "teaching from within," to become aware of the truth contained in the proposition. That is the only way to cultivate an absolutely certain perception of truth. The pupil is not required to believe off-hand that a given object which he has observed to be white, is really black, when such a statement is made to him; but he must cultivate an attitude of mind which "believeth all things" AS POSSIBLE. That will allow him to put by for the time being even what are generally considered "established facts," and investigate if per- chance there be another viewpoint hitherto unobserved by him whence the ob- ject referred to would appear black. Indeed, he would not allow himself to look upon anything as "AN ESTABLISHED FACT," for he realizes thoroughly the importance of keeping his mind in the fluidal state of ADAPTABILITY which characterizes the little child. He realizes in every fibre of his being that "now we see through a glass, darkly," and Ajax-like he is ever on the alert, yearning for "Light, more Light." [PAGE 7] A WORD TO THE WISE The enormous advantage of such an attitude of mind when investigating any given subject, object or idea must be apparent. Statements which appear positively and unequivocally contradictory, which have caused an immense amount of feeling among the advocates of opposite sides, may nevertheless be capable of perfect reconciliation, as shown in one such instance mentioned in the present work. THE BOND OF CONCORD IS ONLY DISCOVERED BY THE OPEN MIND, however, and though the present work may be found to differ from oth- ers, the writer would bespeak an impartial hearing as the basis of SUBSE- QUENT judgment. If the book is "weighed and found wanting," the writer will have no complaint. He only fears a hasty judgment based upon lack of knowl- edge of the system he advocates--a hearing wherein the judgment is "wanting" in consequence of having been denied an impartial "weighing." He would fur- ther submit, that the only opinion worthy of the one who expresses it MUST BE BASED UPON KNOWLEDGE. As a further reason for care in judgment we suggest that to many it is exceedingly difficult to retract a hastily expressed opinion. Therefore it is urged that the reader withhold all expressions of either praise or blame until study of the work has reasonably satisfied him of its merit or de- merit. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception is not dogmatic, neither does it appeal to any other authority than the reason of the student. It is not controver- sial, but is sent forth in the hope that is may help to clear some of the difficulties which have beset the minds of students of the deeper phi- losophies in the past. In order to avoid serious misunderstanding, it should be firmly impressed upon the mind of the student, however, that there [PAGE 8] A WORD TO THE WISE is no infallible revelation of this complicated subject, which includes ev- erything under the sun and above it also. An infallible exposition would predicate omniscience upon the part of the writer, and even the Elder Brothers tell us that they are sometimes at fault in their judgment, so a book which shall say the last word on the World-Mystery is out of the question, and the writer of the present work does not pretend to give aught but the most elementary teachings of the Rosicrucians. The Rosicrucian Brotherhood has the most far-reaching, the most logical conception of the World-Mystery of which the writer has gained any knowledge during the many years he has devoted exclusively to the study of this sub- ject. So far as he has been able to investigate, their teachings have been found in accordance with facts as he knows them. Yet he is convinced that the Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception is far from being the last word on the subject; that as we advance greater vistas of truth will open to us and make clear many things which we now "see through a glass, darkly." At the same time he firmly believes that all other philosophies of the future will follow the same main lines, for they appear to be absolutely true. In view of the foregoing it will be plain that this book is not consid- ered by the writer as the Alpha and Omega, the ultimate of occult knowledge, and even though is entitled "The Rosicrucian Cosmo-conception," the writer desires to strongly emphasize that is not to be understood as a "faith once for all delivered" to the Rosicrucians by a founder of the Order or by any other individual. It is emphatically stated that THIS WORD EMBODIES ONLY THE WRITER'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE ROSICRUCIAN TEACHINGS concerning the World-Mystery, strengthened by his personal investigations of the inner [PAGE 9] A WORD TO THE WISE Worlds, the ante-natal and post-mortem states of man, etc. The responsibil- ity upon one who wittingly or unwittingly leads others astray is clearly re- alized by the writer, and he wishes to guard as far as possible against that contingency, and also to guard others against going wrong inadvertently. What is said in this work is to be accepted or rejected by the reader according to his own discretion. All care has been used in trying to make plain the teaching; great pains have been taken to put it into words that shall be easily understood. For that reason only one term has been used throughout to convey each idea. The same word will have the same meaning wherever used. When any word descriptive of an idea is first used, the clearest definition possible to the writer is given. None but English terms and the simplest language have been used. The writer has tried to give as exact and definite descriptions of the subject under consideration as pos- sible; to eliminate all ambiguity and to make everything clear. How far he has succeeded must be left to the student to judge; but having used every possible means to convey the teaching, he feels obliged to guard also against the possibility of this work being taken as a verbatim statement of the Rosicrucian teachings. Neglect of this precaution might give undue weight to this work in the minds of some students. That would not be fair to the Brotherhood nor to the reader. It would tend to throw the responsibility upon the Brotherhood for the mistakes which must occur in this as in all other human works. Hence the above warming. [PAGE 10] A WORD TO THE WISE During the four years which have elapsed since the foregoing paragraphs were written, the writer has continued his investigations of the invisible worlds, and experienced the expansion of consciousness relative to these realms of nature which comes by practice of the precepts taught in the West- ern Mystery School. Others also who have followed the method of soul-unfoldment herein described as particularly suited to the Western peoples, have likewise been enabled to verify for themselves many things here taught. Thus the writer's understanding of what was given by the Elder Brothers has received some corroboration and seems to have been substan- tially correct, therefore he feels it a duty to state this for the encour- agement of those who are still unable to see for themselves. If we said that the vital body is built of PRISMS instead of points, it would have been better, for it is by refraction through these minute prisms that the colorless solar fluid changes to a rosy hue as observed by other writers beside the author. Other new and important discoveries have also been made; for instance, we know now that the Silver Cord is grown anew in each life, that one part sprouts from the seed atom of the desire body in the great vortex of the liver, that the other part grows out of the seed atom of the dense body in the heart, that both parts meet in the seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus, and that this union of the higher and lower vehicles causes the quickening. Further development of the cord between the heart and solar plexus during the first seven years has an important bearing on the mystery of childlife, likewise its fuller growth from the liver to the solar plexus, which takes place during the second septenary period, is a contributory cause of adolescence. Completion of the Silver Cord marks the end of childlife, and from that time the solar energy which enters through the spleen and is tinted by refraction through the prismatic seed atom of the vital body located in the solar plexus, commences to give a distinctive and individual coloring to the aura which we observe in adults. [PAGE 11] LIST OF CONTENTS LIST OF CONTENTS. PART I. MAN'S PRESENT CONSTITUTION AND METHOD OF DEVELOPMENT. A Word to the Wise ................................................... 5 The Four Kingdoms, diagram ........................................... 16 Introduction ......................................................... 17 CHAPTER I. The Visible and Invisible Worlds ......................... 24 Chemical Region of the Physical World ............................ 29 Etheric Region of the Physical World ............................. 34 The Desire World ................................................. 38 The World of Thought ............................................. 48 Diagram 1. The Material World a Reverse Reflection of the Spiritual Worlds .................................... 52 Diagram 2. The Seven Worlds ..................................... 54 CHAPTER II. The Four Kingdoms ....................................... 56 Diagram 3. The Vehicles of the Four Kingdoms .................... 73 Diagram 4. The Consciousness of the Four Kingdoms ............... 74 CHAPTER III. Man and the Method of Evolution. Activities of Life; Memory and Soul-growth ....................... 87 The Constitution of the Seven-fold Man ........................... 88 Diagram 5. The Three-fold Spirit, the Three-fold Body and the Three-fold Soul ........................................ 95 Death and Purgatory .............................................. 96 Diagram 5 1/2. The Silver Cord .................................. 98 The Borderland ................................................... 112 The First Heaven ................................................. 113 The Second Heaven ................................................ 121 The Third Heaven ................................................. 129 Preparations for Rebirth ......................................... 133 Birth of the Dense Body .......................................... 139 Birth of the Vital Body and Growth ............................... 141 Birth of the Desire Body and Puberty ............................. 142 Birth of the Mind and Majority ................................... 142 The Blood; the Vehicle of the Ego ................................ 143 A Life Cycle (diagram) ........................................... 146 CHAPTER IV. Rebirth and the Law of Consequence ...................... 147 Wine as a Factor in Evolution .................................... 165 A Remarkable Story ............................................... 172 [PAGE 12] LIST OF CONTENTS PART II. COSMOGENESIS AND ANTHROPOGENESIS. CHAPTER V. The Relation of Man to God ............................... 177 Diagram 6. The Supreme Being, the Cosmic Planes and God ......... 178 CHAPTER VI. The Scheme of Evolution. The Beginning .................................................... 183 The Seven Worlds ................................................. 186 The Seven Periods ................................................ 188 Diagram 7. The Saturn Period..................................... 193 CHAPTER VII. The Path of Evolution .................................. 194 Revolutions and Cosmic Nights .................................... 195 Diagram 8. The Seven Worlds, Seven Globes and Seven Periods ...... 197 CHAPTER VIII. The Work of Evolution. Ariadne's Thread ................................................. 201 The Saturn Period ................................................ 204 Recapitulation ................................................... 208 The Sun Period ................................................... 209 The Moon Period .................................................. 213 Diagram 9. The Twelve Creative Hierarchies ...................... 221 CHAPTER IX. Stragglers and Newcomers ................................ 223 Classes of Beings at the Beginning of the Moon Period ............ 226 Diagram 10. Classes at the Beginning of Earth Period ............ 230 CHAPTER X. The Earth Period .......................................... 233 Saturn Revolution of the Earth Period ............................ 236 Sun Revolution of the Earth Period ............................... 240 Moon Revolution of the Earth Period ............................. 242 Rest Periods Between Revolutions ................................. 243 The Fourth Revolution of the Earth Period ........................ 245 CHAPTER XI. Genesis and Evolution of Our Solar System. Chaos ............................................................ 246 The Birth of the Planets ......................................... 252 Diagram 11. Aspects of God and Man .............................. 253 Diagram 12. A Man's Past, Present and Future Form ............... 257 CHAPTER XII. Evolution on the Earth. The Polarian Epoch ............................................... 261 The Hyperborean Epoch ............................................ 262 The Moon; the Eighth Sphere ...................................... 264 The Lemurian Epoch ............................................... 265 [PAGE 13] LIST OF CONTENTS Birth of the Individual .......................................... 266 Separation of the Sexes .......................................... 267 Influence of Mars ................................................ 268 The Races and Their Leaders ...................................... 270 Influence of Mercury ............................................. 273 The Lemurian Race ................................................ 275 The Fall of Man .................................................. 282 The Lucifer Spirits .............................................. 286 The Atlantean Epoch .............................................. 291 The Aryan Epoch .................................................. 304 The Sixteen Paths to Destruction ................................. 306 CHAPTER XIII. Back to the Bible ..................................... 308 CHAPTER XIV. Occult Analysis of Genesis. Limitations of the Bible ......................................... 317 In the Beginning ................................................. 321 The Nebular Theory ............................................... 322 The Creative Hierarchies ......................................... 325 The Saturn Period ................................................ 327 The Sun Period, the Moon Period .................................. 328 The Earth Period ................................................. 329 Jehovah and His Mission .......................................... 333 Involution, Evolution and Epigenesis ............................. 336 A Living Soul? ................................................... 344 Adam's Rib ....................................................... 346 Guardian Angels .................................................. 347 Mixing Blood in Marriage ......................................... 352 The Fall of Man .................................................. 360 Diagram 13. The Beginning and End of Sex ........................ 364 PART III. MAN'S FUTURE DEVELOPMENT AND INITIATION. Diagram. The Seven Days of Creation ............................. 366 CHAPTER XV. Christ and His Mission. The Evolution of Religion ........................................ 367 Jesus and Christ-Jesus ........................................... 374 Diagram 14. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ............. 377 Not Peace but a Sword ............................................ 383 The Star of Bethlehem ............................................ 388 The Heart an Anomaly ............................................. 393 The Mystery of Golgotha .......................................... 400 The Cleansing Blood .............................................. 406 Diagram, "As Above, so Below" .................................... 410 CHAPTER XVI. Future Development and Initiation. The Seven Days of Creation ....................................... 411 Diagram 15. The Symbolism of the Caduceus ....................... 413 Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates and Vertebrates .................. 416 Spirals within Spirals ........................................... 420 [PAGE 14] LIST OF CONTENTS Alchemy and Soulgrowth ........................................... 421 The Creative Word ................................................ 425 CHAPTER XVII. The Method of Acquiring First-Hand Knowledge. The First Steps .................................................. 430 Western Methods for Western People ............................... 437 The Science of Nutrition ......................................... 441 Table of Food Values ............................................. 450 The Law of Assimilation .......................................... 457 Live and Let Live ................................................ 460 The Lord's Prayer ................................................ 462 Diagram 16. The Lord's Prayer ................................... 464 The Vow of Celibacy .............................................. 467 The Pituitary Body and the Pineal Gland .......................... 473 Diagram 17. Path of the Unused Sex Currents ..................... 475 Esoteric Training ................................................ 477 How the Inner Vehicle is Built ................................... 480 Concentration .................................................... 486 Meditation ....................................................... 489 Observation ...................................................... 492 Discrimination ................................................... 493 Contemplation .................................................... 494 Adoration ........................................................ 495 CHAPTER XVIII. The Constitution of the Earth and Volcanic Eruptions . 498 The Number of the Beast .......................................... 499 Diagram 18. The Constitution of the Earth ....................... 509 CHAPTER XIX. Christian Rosenkreuz and the Order of Rosicrucians ..... 515 Ancient Truths in Modern Dress ................................... 515 Initiation ....................................................... 524 The Rosicrucian Fellowship ....................................... 530 Correspondence Courses ........................................... 533 Symbolism of Rose Cross .......................................... 534 Topical Index ........................................................ 539 Index ............................................................ 543 Index of Diagrams and Tables ..................................... 599 Morning and Evening Exercises Evening Exercise ................................................. 601 Morning Exercise ................................................. 602 [PAGE 15] PART I _________________ MAN'S PRESENT CONSTITUTION AND METHOD OF DEVELOPMENT [PAGE 16] DIAGRAM: THE FOUR KINGDOMS [PAGE 17] INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION The Western world is undoubtedly the vanguard of the human race, and, for reasons given in the following pages, it is held by the Rosicrucian that neither Judaism nor "popular Christianity," but true Esoteric Christianity is to be its world-religion. Buddha, great, grand and sublime, may be the "light of Asia," but Christ will yet be acknowledged the "Light of the World." As the sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and obliterate all other religions, to the eternal benefit of mankind. In our civilization the chasm that stretches between mind and heart yawns deep and wide and, as the mind flies on from discovery to discovery in the realms of science, the gulf becomes ever deeper and wider and the heart is left further and further behind. The mind loudly demands and will be satis- fied with nothing less than a materially demonstrable explanation of man and his fellow-creatures that make up the phenomenal world. The heart feels in- stinctively that there is something greater, and it years for that which it feels is a higher truth than can be grasped by the mind alone. The human soul would fain soar upon ethereal pinions of intuition; would fain love in the eternal found of spiritual light and love; but modern scientific views have shorn its wings and it sits fettered and mute, unsatisfied longings gnawing at its tendrils as the vulture of Prometheus' liver. [PAGE 18] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Is this necessary? Is there no common ground upon which head and heart may meet, each assisting the other, each by the help of the other becoming more effective in the search for universal truth, and each receiving equal satisfaction? As surely as the pre-existing light created the eye whereby the light is seen; as surely as the primordial desire for growth created the digestive and assimilative system for the attainment of that end; as surely as thought existed before the brain and built and still is building the brain for its expression; as surely as the mind is now forging ahead and wringing her se- crets from nature by the very force of its audacity, just so surely will the heart find a way to burst its bonds and gratify its longings. At present it is shackled by the dominant brain. Some day it will gather strength to burst its prison bars and become a power greater than the mind. It is equally certain that there can be no contradiction in nature, therefore the heart and the mind must be capable of uniting. To indicate this common ground is precisely the purpose of this book. To show where and how the mind, helped by the intuition of the heart, can probe more deeply into the mysteries of being than either could do alone; where the heart, by union with the mind, can be kept from going astray; where each can have full scope for action, neither doing violence to the other and where both mind and heart can be satisfied. Only when that co-operation is attained and perfected will man attain the higher, truer understanding of himself and of the world of which he is a part; only that can give him a broad mind and a great heart. [PAGE 19] INTRODUCTION At every birth what appears to be a new life comes among us. We see the little form as it lives and grows, becoming a factor in our lives for days, months or years. At last there comes a day when the form dies and goes to decay. The life that came, whence we know not, has passed to the invisible beyond, and in sorrow we ask ourselves, Whence came it? What was it here? and Whither has it gone? Across every threshold the skeleton form of Death throws his fearsome shadow. Old or young, well or ill, rich or poor, all, all alike must pass out into that shadow and throughout the ages has sounded the piteous cry for a solution of the riddle of life--the riddle of death. So far as the vast majority of people are concerned the three great questions, Whence have we come? Why are we here? Whither are we going? remain unanswered to this day. It has unfortunately come to be the popularly accepted opinion that nothing can be definitely known about these matters of deepest interest to humanity. Nothing could be more erroneous than such an idea. Each and every one, without exception, may become ca- pable of obtaining first-hand, definite information upon this subject; may personally investigate the state of the human spirit, both before birth and after death. There is no favoritism, nor are special gifts required. Each of us has inherently the faculty for knowing all of these matters; but!-- Yes, there is a "but," and a "BUT" that must be written large. These facul- ties are present in all, though latent in most people. It requires persis- tent effort to awaken them and that seems to be a powerful deterrent. If these faculties, "awake and aware," could be had for a monetary consider- ation, even if the price were high, many people would pay it to gain such immense advantage over their fellow-men, but few indeed are those [PAGE 20] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION willing to live the life that is required to awaken them. That awakening comes only by patient, persistent effort. It cannot be bought; there is no royal road to it. It is conceded that practice is necessary to learn to play the piano, and that it is useless to think of being a watchmaker without being willing to serve an apprenticeship. Yet when the matter of the soul, of death and the beyond, of the great causes of being, are the questions at issue, many think they know as much as anyone and have an equal right to express an opinion, though they may never have given the subject an hour's study. As a matter of fact, no one unless qualified by study of the subject should expect serious consideration for an opinion. In legal cases, where experts are called to testify, they are first examined as to their compe- tency. The weight of their testimony will be nil, unless they are found to be thoroughly proficient in the branch of knowledge regarding which their testimony is sought. If, however, they are found to be qualified--by study and practice-- to express an expert opinion, it is received with the utmost respect and deference; and if the testimony of one expert is corroborated by others equally proficient, the testimony of each additional man adds immensely to the weight of the previous evidence. The irrefutable testimony of one such man easily counterbalances that of one or a dozen or a million men who know nothing of that whereof they speak, for nothing, even though multiplied by a million, will still remain nothing. This is as true of any other subject as of mathematics. As previously said, we recognize these facts readily enough in material affairs, but when things beyond the world of sense, when the super-physical world is under discussion; when the relations of God to man, the inner-most [PAGE 21] INTRODUCTION mysteries of the immortal spark of divinity, loosely termed the soul, are to be probed, then each clamors for as serious consideration of his opinions and ideas regarding spiritual matters as is given to the sage, who by a life of patient and toilsome research has acquired wisdom in these higher things. Nay, more; many will not even content themselves with claiming EQUAL consideration for their opinions, but will even jeer and scoff at the words of the sage, seek to impugn his testimony as fraud, and, with the supreme confidence of deepest ignorance, asseverate that as THEY know nothing of such matters, it is absolutely impossible that anyone else can. The man who realizes his ignorance has taken the first step toward knowledge. The path to first-hand knowledge is not easy. Nothing worth having ever comes without persistent effort. It cannot be too often repeated that there are no such things as special gifts of "luck." All that anyone is or has, is the result of effort. What one lacks in comparison with another is la- tent in himself and capable of development by proper methods. If the reader, having grasped this idea thoroughly, should ask, what he must do to obtain this first-hand knowledge, the following story may serve to impress the idea, which is the central one in occultism: A young man came to a sage one day and asked, "Sire, what must I do to become wise?" The sage vouchsafed no answer. The youth after repeating his question a number of times, with a like result, at last left him, to return the next day with the same question. Again no answer was given and the youth returned on the third day, still repeating his question, "Sire what [PAGE 22] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION must I do to become wise?" Finally the sage turned and went down to a near-by river. He entered the water, bidding the youth follow him. Upon arriving at a sufficient depth the sage took the young man by the shoulders and held him under the water, despite his struggles to free himself. At last, however, he released him and when the youth had regained his breath the sage questioned him: "Son, when you were under the water what did you most desire?" The youth answered without hesitation, "Air, air! I wanted air!" "Would you not rather have had riches, pleasure, power or love, my son? Did you not think of any of these?" queried the sage. "No, sire! I wanted air and though only of air," came the instant re- sponse. "Then," said the sage, "To become wise you must desire wisdom with as great intensity as you just now desired air. You must struggle for it, to the exclusion of every other aim in life. It must be your one and only as- piration, by day and by night. If you seek wisdom with that fervor, my son, you will surely become wise." That is the first and central requisite the aspirant to occult knowledge must possess--an unswerving desire, a burning thirst for knowledge; a zeal that allows no obstacle to conquer it; but the supreme motive for seeking this occult knowledge must be an ardent desire to benefit humanity, entirely disregarding self in order to work for others. Unless prompted by the motive, occult knowledge is dangerous. Without possessing these qualifications--especially the latter--in some measure, any attempt to tread the arduous path of occultism would be a [PAGE 23] INTRODUCTION hazardous undertaking. Another prerequisite to this first-hand knowledge, however, is the study of occultism at second-hand. Certain occult powers are necessary for the first-hand investigation of matters connected with the pre-natal and post-mortem states of man, but no one need despair of acquir- ing information about this conditions because of undeveloped occult powers. As a man may know about Africa either by going there personally or by read- ing descriptions written by travelers who have been there, so may he visit the superphysical realms if he will but qualify himself therefor, or he may learn what others who have so qualified themselves report as a result of their investigations. Christ said, "The Truth shall make you free," but Truth is not found once and forever. Truth is eternal, and the quest for Truth must also be eternal. Occultism knows of no "faith once for all delivered." There are certain basic truths which remain, but which may be looked at from many sides, each giving a different view, which complements the previous ones; therefore, so far as we can see at present, there is no such achievement possible as arriving at the ultimate truth. Wherein this work differs from some philosophical works the variations are caused by difference of viewpoint, and all respect is paid to the con- clusions reached and the ideas set forth by other investigators. It is the earnest hope of the writer that the study of the following pages may help to make the student's ideas fuller and more rounded than they were before. [PAGE 24] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CHAPTER I THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS The first step in Occultism is the study of the invisible Worlds. These Worlds are invisible to the majority of people because of the dormancy of the finer and higher senses whereby they may be perceived, in the same way that the Physical World about us is perceived through the physical senses. The majority of people are on a similar footing in regard to the super-physical Worlds as the man who is born blind is to our world of sense; although light and color are all about him, he is unable to see them. To him they are non-existent and incomprehensible, simply because he lacks the sense of sight wherewith to perceive them. Objects he can feel; they seem real; but light and color are beyond his ken. So with the greater part of humanity. They feel, and see objects and hear sounds in the Physical World, but the other realms, which the clairvoy- ant calls the higher Worlds, are as incomprehensible to them as light and color are to the blind man. Because the blind man cannot see color and light, however, is no argument against their existence and reality. Neither is it an argument, that because most people cannot see the super-physical Worlds no one can do so. If the blind an obtains his sight, he will see light and color. If the higher senses of those blind to the super-physical Worlds are awakened by proper methods, they also will be able to behold the Worlds which are now hidden from them. [PAGE 25] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS While many people make the mistake of being incredulous concerning the existence or reality of the super-sensuous Worlds, there are also many who go to the other extreme, and, having become convinced of the verity of in- visible Worlds, think that when a person is clairvoyant all truth is at once open to him; that when one can "see," he at once "knows all about" these higher Worlds. This is a great mistake. We readily recognize the fallacy of such a contention in matters of everyday life. We do not think that a man who was born blind, but has obtained his sight, at once "knows all about" the Physi- cal World. Nay, more; we know that even those of us who have been able to see the things about us all our lives are far from having a universal knowledge of them. We know that it requires arduous study and years of application to know about even that infinitesimal part of things that we handle in our daily lives, and reversing the Hermetic aphorism, "as above, so below," we gather at once that it must be the same in the other Worlds. At the same time it is also true that there are much greater facilities for acquiring knowledge in the super-physical Worlds than in our present dense physical condition, but not so great as to eliminate the necessity for close study and the possibility of making a mistake in observation. In fact, all the testimony of reliable and qualified observers prove that much more care in observation is needed there than here. Clairvoyants must first be trained before their observations are of any real value, and the more proficient they become the more modest they are about telling of what they see; the more they defer to the versions of oth- ers, knowing how much there is to learn and realizing how little the single [PAGE 26] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION investigator can grasp of all the detail incident to his investigations. This also accounts for the varied versions, which superficial people think are an argument against the existence of the higher Worlds. They con- tend that if these Worlds exist, investigators must necessarily bring back identical descriptions. If we take an illustration from everyday life, the fallacy of this becomes apparent. Suppose a newspaper sends twenty reporters to a city with orders to "write it up." Reporters are, or ought to be, trained observers. It is their business to see everything and they should be able to give as good de- scriptions as can be expected from any source. Yet it is certain that of the twenty reports, no two would be exactly alike. It is much more likely that they would be totally different. Although some of them might contain leading features in common, others might be unique in quality and quantity of description. Is it an argument against the existence of the city that these reports differ? Certainly not! It is easily accounted for by the fact that each saw the city from his own particular point of view and instead of these varying reports being confusing and detrimental, it is safe to say that a perusal of them all would give a fuller, better understanding and descrip- tion of the city than if only one were read and the others were thrown in the wastebasket. Each report would round out and complement the others. The same is true regarding accounts made by investigators of the higher Worlds. Each has his own peculiar way of looking at things and can describe only what he sees from his particular point of view. The account he gives may differ from those of others, yet all be equally truthful from each indi- vidual observer's viewpoint. [PAGE 27] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS It is sometimes asked, Why investigate these Worlds? Why is it not best to take one World at a time; to be content for the present time with the lessons to be learned in the Physical World, and, if there are invisible Worlds why not wait until we reach them before investigating? "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!" Why borrow more? If we knew without doubt that at some time, sooner or later, each one of us must be transported to a far country where, under new and strange con- ditions, we must live for many years, is it not reasonable to believe that if we had an opportunity to learn of that country in advance of our removal to it we would gladly do so? Knowledge would render it much easier for us to accommodate ourselves to new conditions. There is only one certainty in life and that is--Death! As we pass into the beyond and are confronted by new conditions, knowledge of them is sure to be of the greatest help. But that is not all. To understand the Physical World, which is the world of effects, it is necessary to understand the super-physical World, which is the world of causes. We see street cars in motion and we hear the clicking of telegraph instruments, but the mysterious force which causes phenomena remains invisible to us. We say it is electricity, but the name gives us no explanation. We learn nothing of the force itself; we see and hear only its effects. If a dish of cold water be placed in an atmosphere of a sufficiently low temperature ice crystals immediately begin to form and we can see the process of their formation. The lines along which the water crystallizes were in it all the time as lines of force but they were invisible until the water congealed. The beautiful "frost flowers" on a windowpane are visible [PAGE 28] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION manifestations of currents of the higher Worlds which operate upon us all the time, unrecognized by most of us, but none the less potent. The higher Worlds are thus the worlds of causes, of forces; and we can- not really understand this lower World unless we know the others and realize the forces and causes of which all material things are but the effects. As to the reality of these higher Worlds compared with that of the Physical World, strange as it may seem, these higher Worlds, which to the majority appear as mirages, or even less substantial, are, in truth, much more real and the objects in them more lasting and indestructible than the objects in the Physical World. If we take an example we shall readily see this. An architect does not start to build a house by procuring the mate- rial and setting the workmen to laying stone upon stone in a haphazard way, without thought or plan. He "thinks the house out." Gradually it takes form in his mind and finally there stands a clear idea of the house that is to be--a thought-form of a house. This house is yet invisible to all but the architect. He makes it ob- jective on paper. He draws the plans and from this objective image of the thought-form the workmen construct the house of wood, iron, or stone, ac- curately corresponding to the thought-form originated by the architect. Thus the thought-form becomes a material reality. The materialist would assert that it is much more real, lasting and substantial that the im- age in the architect's mind. But let us see. The house could not have been constructed without the thought-form. The material object can be destroyed by dynamite, earthquake, fire, or decay, but the thought-form will remain. It will exist as long as the architect lives and from it any number of [PAGE 29] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS houses similar to the one destroyed may be constructed. Not even the archi- tect himself can destroy it. Even after his death this thought-form can be recovered by those who are qualified to read the memory of nature, which will be dealt with later. Having thus seen the reasonableness of such Worlds existing around and about us, and having satisfied ourselves of their reality, their permanency, and of the utility of a knowledge concerning them, we shall now examine them severally and singly, commencing with the Physical World. CHEMICAL REGION OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD In the Rosicrucian teaching the universe is divided into seven differ- ent Worlds, or states of matter, as follows: 1-World of God. 2-World of Virgin Spirits. 3-World of Divine Spirit. 4-World of Life Spirit. 5-World of Thought. 6-Desire World. 7-Physical World. The division is not arbitrary but necessary, because the substance of each of these Worlds is amenable to laws which are practically inoperative in others. For instance, in the Physical World, matter is subject to grav- ity, contraction and expansion. In the Desire World there is neither heat nor cold, and forms levitate as easily as they gravitate. Distance and time are also governing factors of existence in the Physical World, but are al- most non-existent in the Desire World. The matter of these worlds also varies in density, the Physical World being the densest of the seven. Each World is subdivided into seven Regions or sub-divisions of matter. [PAGE 30] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION In the Physical World, the solids, liquids and gases form the three denser subdivisions, the remaining four being ethers of varying densities. In the other Worlds similar subdivisions are necessary, because the matter of which they are composed is not of uniform density. There are still two further distinctions to be made. The three dense subdivisions of the Physical World--the solids, liquids and gases--consti- tute what is termed the Chemical Region. The substance in this Region is the basis of all dense Form. The Ether is also physical matter. It is not homogeneous, as material science alleges, but exists in four different states. It is the medium of ingress for the quickening spirit which imparts VITALITY to the Forms in the Chemical Region. The four finer or etheric subdivisions of the Physical World constitute what is known as the Etheric Region. In the World of Thought the three higher subdivisions are the basis of abstract thought, hence they, collectively, are called the Region of Ab- stract Thought. The four denser subdivisions supply the mind-stuff in which we embody and concrete our ideas and are therefore termed the Region of Con- crete Thought. The careful consideration given by the occultist to the characteristics of the Physical World might seem superfluous were it not that he regards all things from a view point differing widely from that of the materialist. The latter recognizes three states of matter--solids, liquids, and gases. These are all chemical, because derived from the chemical constituents of Earth. From this chemical matter all the FORMS of mineral, plant, animal, and man have been built, hence they are as truly chemical as the substances which [PAGE 31] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS are commonly so termed. Thus whether we consider the mountain or the cloud that envelops its top, the juice of the plant or the blood of the animal, the spider's thread, the wing of the butterfly or the bones of the elephant, the air we breathe or the water we drink--all are composed of the same chemical substance. What is it then which determines the conformation of this basic sub- stance into the multiplex variety of Forms which we see about us? It is the One Universal Spirit, expressing Itself in the visible world as four great streams of Life, at varying stages of development. This fourfold spiritual impulse molds the chemical matter of the Earth into variegated forms of the four Kingdoms--mineral, plant, animal, and man. When a form has served its purpose as a vehicle of expression for the three higher streams of life, the chemical forces disintegrate that form so that the matter may be returned to its primordial state, and thus made available for the building of new forms. The spirit or life which molds the form into an expression of itself is, therefore, as extraneous to the matter it uses as a carpenter is apart from and personally independent of the house he builds for his own occupancy. As all the forms of mineral, plant, animal, and man are chemical, they must logically be as dead and devoid of feeling as chemical matter in it primitive state, and the Rosicrucian asserts that they are. Some scientists contend that there is feeling in all tissue, living or dead, to whatever kingdom it belongs. They include even the substances or- dinarily classed as mineral in their category of objects having feeling, and to prove their contentions they submit diagrams with curves of energy ob- tained from tests. Another class of investigators teach that there is no [PAGE 32] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION feeling even in the human body, except in the brain, which is the SEAT of feeling. They say it is the brain and not the finger which feels the pain when the latter is injured. Thus is the house of Science divided against itself on this as on most other points. The position taken by each is partly right. It depends upon what we mean by "feeling." If we mean simply response to impacts, such as the rebound of a rubber ball that is dropped to the ground, of course it is correct to attribute feeling to mineral, plant, and animal tissue; but if we mean pleasure and pain, love and hate, joy and sorrow, it would be absurd to attribute them to the lower forms of life, to detached tissue, to minerals in their native state, or even to the brain, because such feelings are expressions of the self-conscious immortal spirit, and the brain is only the keyboard of the wonderful instrument upon which the human spirit plays its symphony of life, just as the musician expresses himself upon his violin. As there are people who are quite unable to understand that there must be and are higher Worlds, so there are some who, having become slightly ac- quainted with the higher realms, acquire the habit of undervaluing this Physical World. Such an attitude is as incorrect as that of the material- ist. The great and wise Beings who carry out the will and design of God placed us in this physical environment to learn great and important lessons which could not be learned under other conditions, and it is our duty to use our knowledge of the higher Worlds in learning to the best of our ability the lessons which this material world has to teach us. In one sense the Physical World is a sort of model school or experiment station to teach us to work correctly in the others. It does this whether or not we know of the existence of those other worlds, thereby proving the [PAGE 33] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS great wisdom of the originators of the plan. If we had knowledge of none but the higher Worlds, we would make many mistakes which would become appar- ent only when physical conditions are brought to bear as criterion. To il- lustrate: Let us imagine the case of an inventor working out his idea of a machine. First he builds the machine in thought, and in his mind he sees it complete and in operation, performing most beautifully the work it is de- signed to do. He next makes a drawing of the design, and in doing so per- haps finds that modifications in his first conception are necessary. When, from the drawings, he has become satisfied that the plan is feasible, he proceeds to build the actual machine from suitable material. Now it is almost certain that still further modifications will be found necessary before the machine will work as intended. It may be found that it must be entirely remodeled, or even that it is altogether useless in its present form, must be discarded and a new plan evolved. But mark this, for here is the point: the new idea or plan will be formulated for the purpose of eliminating the defects in the useless machine. Had there been no mate- rial machine constructed, thereby making evident the faults of the first idea, a second and correct idea would not have been formed. This applies equally to all conditions of life--social, mercantile, and philanthropic. Many plans appear excellent to those conceiving them, and may even look well on paper, but when brought down in the actual test of utility they often fail. That however, should not discourage us. It is true that "we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes," and the proper light in which to regard this Physical World is as a school of valu- able experience, in which we learn lessons of the utmost importance. [PAGE 34] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION THE ETHERIC REGION OF THE PHYSICAL WORLD. As soon as we enter this realm of nature we are in the invisible, in- tangible World, where our ordinary senses fail us, hence this part of the Physical World is practically unexplored by material science. Air is invisible, yet modern science knows that it exists. By means of instruments its velocity as wind can be measured; by compression it can be made visible as liquid air. With either, however, that is not so easy. Ma- terial science finds that it is necessary to account in some way for the transmission of electricity, with or without wires. It is forced to postu- late some substance of a finer kind that it knows, and it calls that sub- stance "ether." It does not really know that ether exists, as the ingenuity of the scientist has not, as yet, been able to devise a vessel in which it is possible to confine this substance, which is altogether too elusive for the comfort of the "wizard of the laboratory." He cannot measure, weigh, nor analyze it by any apparatus now at his disposal. Truly, the achievements of modern science are marvelous. The best way to learn the secrets of nature, however, is not by inventing instruments, but by improving the investigator himself. Man has within himself faculties which eliminate distance and compensate for lack of size to a degree as much greater than the power of telescope and microscope as theirs exceeds that of the naked eye. These senses or faculties are the means of investigation used by occultists. They are their "open sesame" in searching for truth. To the trained clairvoyant ether is as tangible as are the solids, li- quids, and gases of the Chemical Region to ordinary beings. He sees that the [PAGE 35] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS vital forces which give life to the mineral forms of plant, animal and man flow into these forms, by means of the four states of ether. The names and specific functions of these four ethers are as follows. (1) Chemical Ether--This ether is both positive and negative in manifesta- tion. The forces which cause assimilation and excretion work through it. Assimilation is the process whereby the different nutritive elements of food are incorporated into the body of plant, animal and man. This is carried on by forces with which we shall become acquainted later. They work along the positive pole of the chemical ether and attract the needed elements, build- ing them into the forms concerned. These forces do not act blindly nor me- chanically, but in a selective way (well-known to scientists by its effects) thereby accomplishing their purpose, which is the growth and maintenance of the body. Excretion is carried on by forces of the same kind, but working along the negative pole of the chemical ether. By means of this pole they expel from the body the materials in the food which are unfit for use, or those which have outlived their usefulness in the body and should be expurgated from the system. This, like all other processes independent of man's voli- tion, is also wide, selective, and not merely mechanical in its operation, as seen, for instance, in the case of the action of the kidneys, where only the urine is filtered through when the organs are in health; but it is known that when the organs are not in health, the valuable albumen is allowed to escape with the urine, the proper selection not being made because of an ab- normal condition. [PAGE 36] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION (2) Life Ether--As the chemical ether is the avenue for the operation of the forces the object of which is the maintenance of the individual form, so the life ether is the avenue for the operation of the forces which have for their object the maintenance of the species--the forces of propagation. Like the chemical ether, the life ether also has its positive and negative pole. The forces which work along the positive pole are those which work in the female during gestation. They enable her to do the positive, active work of bringing forth a new being. On the other hand the forces which work along the negative pole of the life ether enable the male to produce semen. In the work on the impregnated ovum of the animal and man, or upon the seed of the plant, the forces working along the positive pole of the life ether produce male plants, animals and men; while the forces which express themselves through the negative pole generate females. (3) Light Ether--This ether is both positive and negative, and the forces which play along its positive pole are the forces which generate that blood heat in the higher species of animal and in man, which makes them in- dividual sources of heat. The forces which work along the negative pole of the light ether are those which operate through the senses, manifesting as the passive functions of sight, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling. They also build and nourish the eye. In the cold-blooded animals the positive pole of the light ether is the avenue of the forces which circulate the blood, and the negative forces have the same functions in regard to the eye as in the case of the higher animals and man. Where eyes are lacking, the forces working in the negative pole of the light ether are perhaps building or nourishing other sense organs, as they do in all that have sense organs. [PAGE 37] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS In plants the forces which work along the positive pole of the light ether cause the circulation of the juices of the plant. Thus in winter, when the light ether is not charged with sunlight as in summer, the sap ceases to flow until the summer sun again invests the light ether with its force. The forces which work along the negative pole of the light ether de- posit the chlorophyll, the green substance of the plant and also color the flowers. In fact, all color, in all kingdoms is deposited by means of the negative pole of the light ether. Therefore animals have the deepest color on the back and flowers are deepest colored on the side turned towards the light. In the polar regions of the earth, where the rays of the sun are weak, all color is lighter and in some cases is so sparingly deposited that in winter it is withdrawn altogether and the animals become white. (4) Reflecting Ether--It has heretofore been stated that the idea of the house which has existed in the mind can be recovered from the memory of nature, even after the death of the architect. Everything that has ever happened has left behind it an ineffaceable picture in this reflecting ether. As the giant ferns of the childhood of the Earth have left their pictures in the coal beds, and as the progress of the glacier of a bygone day may be traced by means of the trail it has left upon the rocks along its path, even so are the thoughts and acts of men ineffaceably recorded by na- ture in this reflecting ether, where the trained seer may read their story with an accuracy commensurate with his ability. The reflecting ether deserves its name for more than one reason, for the pictures in it are but REFLECTIONS of the memory of nature. The real [PAGE 38] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION memory of nature is found in a much higher realm. In this reflecting ether no thoroughly trained clairvoyant cares to read, as the pictures are blurred and vague compared to those found in the higher realm. Those who read in the reflecting ether are generally those who have no choice, who, in fact, do not know what they are reading. As a rule ordinary psychometrists and mediums obtain their knowledge through the reflecting ether. To some slight extent the pupil of the occult school in the first stages of his training also reads in the reflecting ether, but he is warned by his teacher of his insufficiencies of this ether as a means of acquiring accurate information, so that he does not easily draw wrong conclusions. This ether is also the medium through which thought makes an impression upon the human brain. It is most intimately connected with the fourth sub- division of the World of Thought. This is the highest of the four subdivi- sions contained in the Region of Concrete Thought and the homeworld of the human mind. There a much clearer version of the memory of nature is found than in the reflecting ether. THE DESIRE WORLD Like the Physical World, and every other realm of nature, the Desire World has the seven subdivisions called "Regions," but unlike the Physical World, it does not have the great divisions corresponding to the Chemical and Etheric Regions. Desire stuff in the Desire World persists through its seven subdivisions or regions as material for the embodiment of desire. As the Chemical Region is the realm of form and as the Etheric Region is the home of the forces carrying on life activities in those forms, enabling them [PAGE 39] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS to live, move and propagate, so the forces in the Desire World, working in the quickened dense body, impel it to move in this or that direction. If there were only the activities of the Chemical and Etheric Regions of the Physical World, there would be forms having life, able to move, but WITH NO INCENTIVE FOR SO DOING. This incentive is supplied by the cosmic forces active in the Desire World and without this activity playing through every fibre of the vitalized body, urging action in this direction or that, there would be no experience and no moral growth. The functions of the dif- ferent ethers would take care of the growth of the form, but moral growth would entirely lacking. Evolution would be an impossibility, both as to form and life, for it is only in response to the requirements of spiritual growth that forms evolve to higher states. Thus we at once see the great importance of this realm of nature. Desires, wishes, passions, and feelings express themselves in the mat- ter of the different regions of the Desire World as form and feature express themselves in the Chemical Region of the Physical World. They take forms which last for a longer or shorter time, according to the intensity of the desire, wish, or feeling embodied in them. In the Desire World the distinc- tion between the forces and the matter is not so definite and apparent as in the Physical World. One might almost say that here the ideas of force and matter are identical or interchangeable. It is not quite so, but we may say that to a certain extent the Desire World consists of force-matter. When speaking of the matter of the Desire World, it is true that it is one degree less dense that the matter of the Physical World, but we enter- tain an entirely wrong idea if we imaging it is finer physical matter. That [PAGE 40] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION idea, though held by many who have studied occult philosophies, is entirely erroneous. The wrong impression is caused principally by the difficulty of giving the full and accurate description necessary for a thorough under- standing of the higher worlds. Unfortunately, our language is descriptive of material things and therefore entirely inadequate to describe the condi- tions of the super-physical realms, hence all that is said about these realms must be taken tentatively, as similes, rather than as accurate de- scriptions. Though the mountain and the daisy, the man, the horse, and a piece of iron, are composed of one ultimate atomic substance, we do not say that the daisy is a finer form of iron. Similarly it is impossible to explain in words the change or difference in physical matter when it is broken up into desire-stuff. If there were no difference it would be amenable to the laws of the Physical World, which it is not. The law of matter of the Chemical Region is inertia-the tendency to re- main IN STATU QUO. It takes a certain amount of force to overcome this in- ertia and cause a body which is at rest to move, or to stop a body in mo- tion. Not so with the matter of the Desire World. That matter itself is almost living. It is in unceasing motion, fluid, taking all imaginable and unimaginable forms with inconceivable facility and rapidity, at the same time coruscating and scintillating in a thousand ever-changing shades of color, incomparable to anything we know in this physical state of conscious- ness. Something very faintly resembling the action and appearance of this matter will be seen in the play of colors on an abalone shell when held in the sunlight and moved to and fro. That is what the Desire World is--ever-changing light and color--in which the forces of animal and man intermingle with the forces of innumerable [PAGE 41] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS Hierarchies of spiritual beings which do not appear in our Physical World, but are as active in the Desire World as we are here. Some of them will be dealt with later and their connection with man's evolution described. The forces sent out by this vast and varied hose of Beings mold the ever-changing matter of the Desire World into innumerable and differing forms of more or less durability, according to the kinetic energy of the im- pulse which gave them birth. From this slight description it may be understood how difficult it is for a neophyte who has just had his inner eyes opened to find his balance in the World of Desire. The trained clairvoyant soon ceases to wonder at the impossible descriptions sometimes brought through by mediums. They may be perfectly honest, but the possibilities of parallax, and of getting out of focus are legion, and of the subtlest nature, and the real wonder is that they ever communicate anything correctly. All of us had to learn to see, in the days of our infancy, as we may readily find by watching a young babe. It will be found that the little one will reach for objects on the other side of the room or the street, or for the Moon. He is entirely unable to gauge distances. The blind man who has been made to see will, at first, of- ten close his eyes to walk from one place to another, declaring, until he has learned to use his eyes, that it is easier to walk by feeling than by sight. So the one whose inner organs of perception have been vivified must also be trained in the use of his newly acquired faculty. At first the neo- phyte will try to apply to the Desire World the knowledge derived from his experience in the Physical World, because he has not yet learned the laws of the world into which he is entering. This is the source of a vast amount of [PAGE 42] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION trouble and perplexity. Before he can understand, he must become as a little child, which imbibed knowledge without reference to any previous ex- perience. To arrive at a correct understanding of the Desire World it is neces- sary to realize that it is the world of feeling, desires, and emotions. These are all under the domination of two great forces--Attraction and Re- pulsion, which act in a different way in the three denser Regions of the De- sire World from that in which they act in the three finer or upper Regions, while the central Region may be called neutral ground. This central Region is the Region of feeling. Here interest in or in- difference to an object or an idea sways the balance in favor of one of the two previously mentioned forces, thereby relegating the object or idea to the three higher or the three lower Regions of the Desire World, or else they will expel it. We shall see presently how this is accomplished. In the finest and rarest substance of the three higher Regions of the Desire World the force of Attraction alone holds sway, but it is also present in some degree in the denser matter of the three lower Regions, where it works against the force of Repulsion, which is dominant there. The disintegrating force of Repulsion would soon destroy every form coming into these three lower Regions were it not that it is thus counteracted. In the densest or lowest Region, where it is strongest, it tears and shatters the forms built there in a way dreadful to see, yet it is not a fatalistic force. Nothing in nature is vandalistic. All that appears so is but work- ing towards good. So with this force in its work in the lowest Region of [PAGE 43] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS the Desire World. The forms here are demoniac creations, built by the coarsest passions and desires of man and beast. The tendency of every form in the Desire World is to attract itself all it can of a like nature and grow thereby. If this tendency to attraction were predominate in the lowest Regions, evil would grow like a weed. There would be anarchy instead of order in the Cosmos. This prevented by the pre- ponderating power of the force of Repulsion in this Region. When a coarse desire form is being attracted to another of the same nature, there is a disharmony in their vibrations, whereby one has a disintegrating effect upon the other. Thus, instead of uniting and amalgamating evil with evil, they act with mutual destructiveness and in that way the evil in the world is kept within reasonable bounds. When we understand the working of the twin forces in this respect we are in a position to understand the occult maxim, "A lie is both murder and suicide in the Desire World." Anything happening in the Physical World is reflected in all the other realms of nature and, as we have seen, builds its appropriate form in the Desire World. When a true account of the occurrence is given, another form is built, exactly like the first. They are then drawn together and coalesce, strengthening each other. If, however, an untrue is given, a form different from and antagonistic to the first, or true one, is created. As they deal with the same occurrence, they are drawn together, but as their vibrations are different they act upon each other with mutual destructive- ness. Therefore, evil and malicious lies can kill anything that is good, if they are strong enough and repeated often enough. But, conversely, seeking for the good in evil will, in time, transmute the evil into good. If the form that is built to minimize the evil is weak, it will have no effect and [PAGE 44] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION will be destroyed by the evil form, but if it is strong and frequently re- peated it will have the effect of disintegrating the evil and substituting the good. That effect, be it distinctly understood, it not brought about by lying, nor denying the evil, but by looking for the good. The occult scien- tist practices very rigidly this principle of looking for good in all things, because he knows what a power it possesses in keeping down evil. There is a story of Christ which illustrates this point. Once when walking with His disciples they passed the decaying and ill-smelling carcass of a dog. The disciples turned in disgust, commenting upon the nauseating nature of this sight; but Christ looked at the dead body and said "Pearls are not whiter than its teeth." He was determined to find the good, because He knew the beneficial effect which would result in the Desire World from giving it expression. The lowest Region of the Desire World is called "the Region of Passion and Sensual Desire." The second subdivision is best described by the name of "Region of Impressionability." Here the effect of the twin forces of At- traction and Repulsion is evenly balanced. This is a neutral Region, hence all our impressions which are built of the matter of this Region are neu- tral. Only when the twin feelings, which we shall meet in the fourth Re- gion, are brought to bear, do the twin forces come into play. The mere im- pression of anything, however, in and of itself, is entirely separate from the feeling it engenders. The impression is neutral and is an activity of the second Region of the Desire World, where pictures are formed by the forces of sense-perception in the vital body of man. In the third Region of the Desire World, the force of Attraction, the integrating, upbuilding force, has already gained the upper hand over the [PAGE 45] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS force of Repulsion, with its destructive tendency. When we understand that the mainspring in this force of Repulsion is self-assertion, a pushing away of all others that it may have room, we shall understand that it gives way most easily to a desire for other things, so that the substance of the third Region of the Desire World is principally dominated by the force of Attrac- tion towards other things, but in a selfish way, and therefore this is the Region of Wishes. The Region of Coarse Desires may be likened to the solids in the Physical World; the Region of Impressionability to the fluids; and the fluc- tuating, evanescent nature of the Region of Wishes will make that compare with the gaseous portion of the Physical World. These three Regions give the substance for the forms which make for experience, soul-growth and evolution, purging the altogether destructive and retaining the materials which may be used for progress. The fourth Region of the Desire World is the "Region of Feeling." From it comes the feeling concerning the already described forms and upon the feeling engendered by them depends the life which they have for us and also their effect upon us. Whether the objects and ideas presented are good or bad in themselves is not important this stage. It is our feeling, whether of Interest or Indifference that is the determining factor as to the fate of the object or idea. If the feeling with which we meet an impression of an object or an idea is Interest, it has the same effect upon that impression as sunlight and air have upon a plant. That idea will grow and flourish in our lives. If, on the other hand, we meet an impression or idea with Indifference, it withers as does a plant when put in a dark cellar. [PAGE 46] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Thus from this central Region of the Desire World come the incentive to action, or the decision to refrain therefrom (though the latter is also ac- tion in the eyes of the occult scientist), for at the present stage of our development the twin feelings, Interest and Indifference furnish the incen- tive to action and are the springs that move the world. At a later stage these feelings will cease to have any weight. Then the determining factor will be DUTY. Interest starts the forces of Attraction or Repulsion. Indifference simply withers the object or idea against which it is di- rected, so far as our connection with it is concerned. If our interest in an object or an idea generates Repulsion, that naturally causes us to expurgate from our lives any connection with the ob- ject or idea which roused it; but there is a great difference between the action of the force of Repulsion and the mere feeling of Indifference. Per- haps an illustration will make more clear the operation of the twin Feelings and the twin Forces. Three men are walking along a road. They see a sick dog; it is covered with sores and is evidently suffering intensely from pain and thirst. This much is evident to all three men-their senses tell them that. Now Feeling comes. Two of them take an "interest" in the animal, but in the third there is a feeling of "indifference." He passes on, leaving the dog to its fate. The others remain; they are both interested, but each manifests it in a quite different way. The interest of one man is sympathetic and helpful, impelling him to care for the poor beast, to assuage pains and nurse it back to health. In him the feeling of interest has aroused the force of Attrac- tion. The other man's interest is of a different kind. He sees only a [PAGE 47] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS loathsome sight which is revolting to him and wishes to rid himself and the world of it as quickly as possible. He advises killing the animal outright and burying it. In him the feeling of interest generates the destructive force of Repulsion. When the feeling of Interest arouses the force of Attraction and it is directed toward low objects and desires, these work themselves out in the lower Regions of the Desire World, where the counteracting force of Repul- sion operates, as previously described. From the battle of the twin forces--Attraction and Repulsion--results all the pain and suffering inci- dent to wrongdoing or misdirected effort, whether intentional or otherwise. Thus we may see how very important Feeling we have concerning anything, for upon that depends the nature of the atmosphere we create for ourselves. If we love the good, we shall keep and nourish as guardian angels all that is good about us; if the reverse, we shall people our path with demons and our own breeding. The names of the three upper Regions of the Desire World are "Region of Soul-Life," "Region of Soul-Light," and "Region of Soul-Power." In these abide Art, Altruism, Philanthropy, and all the activities of the higher soul-life. When we think of these Regions as radiating the qualities indicated by their names, into the forms of the three lower Regions, we shall understand correctly the higher and lower activities. Soul-power, however, may for a time be used for evil purposes as well as for good, but eventually the force of Repulsion destroys vice and the force of Attraction builds virtue upon its shattered ruins. All things, in the ultimate, work together for GOOD. The Physical and the Desire Worlds are not separated from each other by [PAGE 48] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION space. They are "closer than hands and feet." It is not necessary to move to get from one to the other, nor from one Region to the next. Just as sol- ids, liquids, and gases are all together in our bodies, inter-penetrating one another, so are the different Regions of the Desire World within us also. We may again compare the lines of force along which ice-crystals form in water to the invisible causes originating in the Desire World, which ap- pear in the Physical World and give us the incentive to action, in whatever direction it may be. The Desire World, with it innumerable inhabitants, permeates the Physical World, as the lines of force do the water--invisible, but every- where present and potent as the cause of everything in the Physical World. THE WORLD OF THOUGHT The World of Thought also consists of seven Regions of varying qualities and densities, and, like the Physical World, the World of Thought is divided into two main divisions--the Region of Concrete Thought, compris- ing the four densest Regions; and the Region of Abstract Thought, comprising the three Regions of finest substance. This World of Thought is the central one of the five Worlds from which man obtains his vehicles. Here spirit and body meet. It is also the highest of the three Worlds in which man's evolu- tion is being carried forward at the present time, the two higher Worlds be- ing practically in abeyance as yet, so far as man is concerned. We know that the materials of the Chemical Region are used in building all physical forms. These are forms are given life and the power of motion by the forces at work in the Etheric Region, and some of these living forms are stirred into activity by means of the twin Feelings of the Desire World. [PAGE 49] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS The Region of Concrete Thought furnishes the mind-stuff in which ideas gen- erated in the Region of Abstract Thought clothe themselves as THOUGHT-FORMS, to act as regulators and balance wheels upon the impulses engendered in the Desire World by impacts from the phenomenal World. Thus we see how the three Worlds, in which man is at present evolving, complement one another, making a whole that shows forth the Supreme Wisdom of the Great Architect of the system to which we belong, and Whom we rever- ence by the holy name of God. Taking a more detailed view of the several divisions of the Region of Concrete Thought we find that the archetypes of PHYSICAL form no matter to what kingdom they may belong, are found in its lowest subdivision, or the "Continental Region." In this Continental Region are also the archetypes of the continents and the isles of the world, and corresponding to these arche- types are they fashioned. Modifications in the crust of the Earth must first be wrought in the Continental Region. Not until the archetypal model has been changed can the Intelligences which we (to hide our ignorance con- cerning them) call the "Laws of Nature," bring about the physical conditions which alter the physical features of the Earth according to the modifica- tions designed by the Hierarchies in charge of evolution. They plan changes as an architect plants the alteration of a building before the workmen five it concrete expression. In like manner are changes in the FLORA and FAUNA due to metamorphoses in their respective archetypes. When we speak of the archetypes of all the different forms in the dense world it must not be thought that these archetypes are merely models in the same sense in which we speak of an object constructed in miniature, or in [PAGE 50] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION some material other than that appropriate for its proper and final use. They are not merely likenesses nor models of the forms we see about us, but are CREATIVE archetypes; that is, they fashion the forms of the Physical World in their own likeness or likenesses, for often many work together to form one certain species, each archetype giving part of itself to build the required form The second subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought is called the "Oceanic Region." It is best described as flowing, pulsating vitality. All the forces that work through the four ethers which constitute the Etheric Region are there seen as archetypes. It is a stream of flowing life, pul- sating through all forms, as blood pulsates through the body, the same life in all forms. Here the trained clairvoyant sees how true it is that "all life is one." The "Aerial Region" is the third division of the Region of Concrete Thought. Here we find the archetype of desires, passions, wishes, feelings, and emotions such as we experience in the Desire World. Here all the ac- tivities of the Desire World appear as atmospheric conditions. Like the kiss of summer breeze come the feelings of pleasure and joy to the clairvoy- ant sense; as the sighing of the wind in the tree-tops seem the longings of the soul and like flashes of lighting the passions of warring nations. In this atmosphere of the Region of Concrete Thought are also pictures of the emotions of man and beast. The "Region of Archetypal Forces" is the fourth division of the Region of Concrete Thought. It is the central and most important region in the five Worlds wherein man's entire evolution is carried on. On the one side of this Region are the three higher Regions of the World of Thought, the World of Life Spirit and the World of Divine Spirit. On the other side of [PAGE 51] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS this Region of Archetypal Forces are the three lower Regions of the World of Thought, the Desire and the Physical Worlds. Thus this Region becomes a sort of "crux," bounded on one side by the Realms of Spirit, on the other by the Worlds of Form. It is a focusing point, where Spirit reflects itself in matter. As the name implies, this Region is the home of the Archetypal Forces which direct the activity of the archetypes in the Region of Concrete Thought. From this Region Spirit works on matter in a formative manner. Diagram 1 shows the idea in a schematic way, the forms in the lower World being reflections of the Spirit in the higher Worlds. The fifth Region, which is the one nearest to the focusing point on the Spirit side, reflects itself in the third Region, which is nearest the focusing point on the Form side. The sixth Region reflects itself in the second and the seventh re- flects itself in the first. The whole of the Region of Abstract thought is reflected in the World of Desire; the World of Life Spirit in the Etheric Region of the Physical World; and the World of Divine Spirit in the Chemical Region of the Physical World. Diagram 2 will give a comprehensive idea of the seven Worlds which are the sphere of our development, but we must carefully keep in mind that these Worlds are not placed one above another, as shown in the diagram. They inter-penetrate--that is to say, that as in the case where the relation of the Physical World and the Desire World was compared, where we likened the Desire World to the lines for force in freezing water and the water itself to the Physical World, in the same way we may think of the lines of force as [PAGE 52] THE INVISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS DIAGRAM 1: THE RELATIVE PERMANENCY OF THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS [PAGE 53] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS being any of the seven Worlds, and the water, as in our illustration, would correspond to the next denser World in the scale. Another illustration may perhaps make the subject clearer. Let us use a spherical sponge to represent the dense earth--the Chemical Region. Imagine that sand permeates every part of the sponge and also forms a layer outside the sponge. Let the sand represent the Etheric Region, which in a similar manner permeates the dense earth and extends be- yond its atmosphere. Let us further imagine this sponge and sand immersed in a spherical glass vessel filled with clear water, and a little larger than the sponge and sand. We place the sponge and sand in the center of the vessel as the yolk is place in the center of an egg. We have now a space of clear water between the sand and the vessel. The water as a whole will represent the Desire World, for just as the water percolates between the grains of sand, through very pore of the sponge, and forms that clear layer, so the Desire World permeates both the dense Earth and the ether and extends beyond both of these substances. We know there is air in water, and if we think of the air in the water (in our illustration), as representing the World of Thought, we shall have a fir mental picture of the way in which the World of Thought, being finer and more subtle, inter-penetrates the two denser Worlds. Finally, imagine that the vessel containing the sponge, sand and water is placed in the center of a large spherical vessel; then the air in the space between the two vessels would represent that part of the World of Thought which extends beyond the Desire World. Each of the planets in our solar system has three such inter-penetrating Worlds, and if we think of each of the planets consisting [PAGE 54] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM 2: THE SEVEN WORLDS [PAGE 55] THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLDS of three Worlds as being individual sponges, and of the fourth World, the World of Life Spirit, as being the water in a large vessel where these three fold separate sponges swim, we shall understand that as the water in the vessel fills the space between the sponges and percolates through them, so the World of Life Spirit pervades inter-planetary space and inter-pene- trates the individual planets. It forms a common bond between them, so that as it is necessary to have a boat and be able to control it, if we wish to sail from America to Africa, so it is necessary to have a vehicle correlat- ed to the World of Life Spirit under our conscious control in order to be able to travel from one planet to another. In a manner similar to that in which the World of Life Spirit corre- lates us to the other planets in our own solar system does the World Divine Spirit correlate us to the other solar systems. We may regard the solar systems as separate sponges, swimming in a World of Divine Spirit, and thus it will be apparent that in order to travel from one solar system to another it would be necessary to be able to function consciously in the highest ve- hicle of man, the Divine Spirit. --- END OF FILE --- [PAGE 56] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CHAPTER II. THE FOUR KINGDOMS. The three Worlds of our planet are at present the field of evolution for a number of different kingdoms of life, at various stages of develop- ment. Only four of these need concern us at present, viz.: the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms. These four kingdoms are related to the three Worlds in different ways, according to the progress these groups of evolving life have made in the school of experience. So far as form is concerned the dense bodies of all the kingdoms are composed of the same chemical substances-the solids, liq- uids, and gases of the Chemical Region. The dense body of a man is as truly a chemical compound as is the stone, although the latter is ensouled by min- eral life only. But even when speaking from the purely physical standpoint, and laying aside all other considerations for the time being, there are sev- eral important differences when we compare the dense body of the human being with the mineral of the Earth. Man moves, grows, and propagates his species--the mineral, in its native state, does none of these things. Comparing man with the forms of the plant kingdom, we find that both plant and man have a dense body, capable of growth and propagation. But Man has faculties not possessed by the plant. He feels, has the power of mo- tion, and the faculty of perceiving things exterior to himself. [PAGE 57] THE FOUR KINGDOMS When we compare man with the animal with the animal we see that both have the faculties of feeling, motion, growth, propagation, and sense-perception. In addition, man has the faculty of speech, a superior structure of the brain, and also hands--which are a very great physical ad- vantage. We may note especially the development of the thumb, which makes the hand much more valuable than even that of the anthropoid. Man has also evolved a definite language in which to express his feelings and thoughts, all of which places the dense body of the human being in a class by itself, beyond the three lower kingdoms. To account for these differences in the four kingdoms we must go to the invisible Worlds, and seek the causes which give one kingdom that which is denied to another. To function in any world, and express the qualities peculiar to it, we must first possess a vehicle made of its material. In order to function in the dense Physical World it is necessary to have a dense body, adapted to our environment. Otherwise we should be ghosts, as they are commonly called, and be invisible to most physical beings. So we must have a vital body before we can express life, grow, or externalize the other qualities peculiar to the Etheric Region. To show feeling and emotion it is necessary to have a vehicle composed of the materials of the Desire World, and a mind formed of the substance of the Region of Concrete Thought is necessary to render thinking possible. When we examine the four kingdoms in relation to the Etheric Region, we find that the mineral does not possess a separate vital body, and at once we see the reason why it cannot grow, propagate, or show sentient life. As an hypothesis necessary to account for other known facts, material science holds that in the densest solid, as in the rarest and most [PAGE 58] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION attenuated gas, no two atoms touch each other; that there is an envelope of ether around each atom; that the atoms in the universe float in an ocean of ether. The occult scientist knows this to be true of the Chemical Region and that the mineral does not possess a separate vital body of ether. And as it is the planetary ether alone which envelops the atoms of the mineral, that makes the difference described. It is necessary, as we have shown, to have a separate, vital BODY, desire BODY, etc., to express the qualities of a particular realm, because the atoms of the World of Desire, of the World of Thought and even of the Higher Worlds, inter-penetrate the Mineral as well as the dense human body, and if the inter-penetration of the planetary ether, which is the ether that envelops the atoms of the mineral, were enough to make it feel and propagate its inter-penetration by the planetary World of Thought would also be sufficient to make it think. This it cannot do, because it lacks a SEPARATE vehicle. It is penetrated by the planetary ether only, and is therefore incapable of individual growth. Only the low- est of the four states of ether--the chemical--is active in the mineral. The chemical forces in minerals are due to that fact. When we consider plant, animal, and man in relation to the Etheric Re- gion we note that each has a separate, vital body, in addition to being pen- etrated by the planetary ether which forms the Etheric Region. There is a difference, however, between the vital bodies of the plants and the vital bodies of animal and man. In the vital body of the plant only the chemical and the life ethers are fully active. Hence the plant can grow by the ac- tion of the chemical ether and propagate its species through the activity of the life ether of the separate, vital body which it possesses. The light [PAGE 59] THE FOUR KINGDOMS ether is present, but is partially latent or dormant and reflecting ether is lacking. Therefore it is evident that the faculties of sense-perception and memory, which are the qualities of these ethers, cannot be expressed by the plant kingdom. Turning our attention to the vital body of the animal we find that in it the chemical, life and light ethers are dynamically active. Hence the animal has the faculties of assimilation and growth, caused by the ac- tivities of the chemical ether; and the faculty of propagation by means of the life ether--these being the same as in plants. But in addition, it has the faculties of generating internal heat and of sense-perception. The fourth ether, however, is inactive in the animal, hence it has no thought nor memory. That which appears as such will be shown later to be of a dif- ferent nature. When we analyze the human being, we find that in him all four ethers are dynamically active in the highly organized vital body. By means of the activities of the chemical he is able to assimilate food and to grow; the forces at work in the life ether enable him to propagate his species; the forces in the light ether supply the dense body with heat, work on the ner- vous system and muscles, thus opening the doors of communication with the outside world by way of the senses; and the reflecting ether enables the spirit to control its vehicle by means of thought. This ether also stores past experience as memory. The vital body of plant, animal, and man, extends beyond the periphery of the dense body as the Etheric Region, which is the vital body of a planet, extends beyond its dense part, showing again the truth of the Her- metic axiom "As above, so below." The distance of this extension of the [PAGE 60] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION vital body of man is about an inch and a half. The part which is outside the dense body is very luminous and about the color of a new-blown peach-blossom. It is often seen by persons having very slight involuntary clairvoyance. The writer has found, when speaking with such persons, that they frequently are not aware they see anything unusual and do not know what they see. The dense body is built into the matrix of this vital body during ante-natal life, and with one exception, it is an exact copy, molecule for molecule, of the vital body. As the lines of force in freezing water are the avenues of formation for ice crystals, so the lines of force in the vi- tal body determine the shape of the dense body. All through life the vital body is the builder and restorer of the dense form. Were it not for the etheric heart the dense heart would break quickly under the constant strain we put upon it. All the abuses to which we subject the dense body are coun- teracted, so far as lies in it power, by the vital body, which is con- tinually fighting against the death of the sense body. The exception mentioned above is that the vital body of a man is female or negative, while that of a woman is male or positive. In that fact we have the key to numerous puzzling problems of life. That woman gives way to her emotions is due to the polarity noted, for her positive, vital body gen- erates an excess of blood and causes her to labor under an enormous internal pressure that would break the physical casement were not a safety-valve pro- vided in the periodical flow, and another in the tears which relieve the pressure on special occasions--for tears are "white bleeding." Man may have and has as strong emotions as woman, but he is usually able to suppress them without tears, because his negative vital body does not generate more blood than he can comfortably control. [PAGE 61] THE FOUR KINGDOMS Unlike the higher vehicles of humanity, the vital body (except under certain circumstances, to be explained when the subject of "Initiation" is dealt with) does not ordinarily leave the dense body until the death of the latter. Then the chemical forces of the dense body are no longer held in check by the evolving life. They proceed to restore the matter to its primordial condition by disintegration so that it may be available for the formation of other forms in the economy of nature. Disintegration is thus due to the activity of the planetary forces in the chemical ether. In texture the vital body may be crudely compared to one of those pic- ture frames made of hundreds of little pieces of wood which interlock and present innumerable points to the observer. These points enter into the hollow centers of the dense atoms, imbuing them with vital force that sets them vibrating at a higher rate than that of the mineral of the earth which is not thus accelerated and ensouled. When a person is drowning, or falling from a height, or freezing, the vital body leaves the dense body, the atoms of which become temporarily in- ert in consequence, but at resuscitation it re-enters the dense body and the "points" are again inserted in the dense atoms. The inertia of the atoms causes them to resist the resumption of vibration and that is the cause of the intense prickly pain and the tingling sensation noted at such times, but not ordinarily, for the same reason that we become conscious of the starting or stopping of a clock, but are oblivious to its tick when it is running. There are certain cases where the vital body partly leaves the dense [PAGE 62] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION body, such as when a hand "goes to sleep." Then the etheric hand of the vi- tal body ay be seen hanging below the dense arm like a glove and the points cause the peculiar pricking sensation felt when the etheric hand re-enters the dense hand. Sometimes in hypnosis the head of the vital body divides and hangs outside the dense head, one half over each shoulder, or lies around the neck like the collar of a sweater. The absence of prickly sensa- tion at awakening in cases like this is because during the hypnosis part of the hypnotist's vital body had been substituted for that of the victim. When anesthetics are used the vital body is partially driven out, along with the higher vehicles, and if the application is too strong and the life ether is driven out, death ensues. This same phenomenon may also be ob- served in the case of materializing mediums. In fact the difference between a materializing medium and an ordinary man or woman is just this: In the ordinary man or woman the vital body and the dense body are, at the present stage of evolution, quite firmly interlocked, while in the medium they are loosely connected. It has not always been so, and the time will come again when the vital body may normally leave the dense vehicle, but that is not normally accomplished at present. When a medium allows his or her vital body to be used by entities from the Desire World who wish to materialize, the vital body generally oozes from the left side--through the spleen, which is its particular "gate." Then the vital forces cannot flow into the body as they do normally, the medium becomes greatly exhausted, and some of them resort to stimulants to counteract the effects, in time becoming incurable drunkards. The vital force from the sun, which surrounds us as a colorless fluid, is absorbed by the vital body through the etheric counterpart of the spleen, [PAGE 63] THE FOUR KINGDOMS wherein in undergoes a curious transformation of color. It becomes pale rosehued and spreads along the nerves all over the dense body. It is to the nervous system what the force of electricity is to a telegraph system. Thought there be wires, instruments, and telegraph operators all in order, if the electricity is lacking, no message can be sent. The Ego, the brain, and the nervous system may be in seemingly perfect order, but if the vital force be lacking to carry the message of the Ego through the nerves to the muscles, the dense body will remain inert. This is exactly what happens when part of the dense body becomes paralyzed. The vital body has become diseased and the vital force can no longer flow. In such cases, as in most sickness, the trouble is with the finer invisible vehicles. In conscious or unconscious recognition of this fact, the most successful physicians use suggestion--which works upon the higher vehicles--as aid to medicine. The more a physician can imbue his patient with faith and hope, the speedier disease will vanish and give place to perfect health. During the health the vital body specializes a superabundance of vital force,which, after passing through a dense body, radiates in straight lines in every direction from the periphery thereof, as the radii of a circle do from the center; but during ill-health, when the vital body becomes at- tenuated, it is not able to draw to itself the same amount of force and in addition the dense body is feeding upon it. Then the lines of the vital fluid which pass out from the body are crumpled and bent, showing the lack of force behind them. In health the great force of these radiations carries with it germs and microbes which are inimical to the health of the dense body, but in sickness, when the vital force is weak, these emanations do not [PAGE 64] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION so readily eliminate disease germs. Therefore the danger of contracting disease is much greater when the vital forces are low than when one is in robust health. In cases where parts of the dense body are amputated, only the plan- etary ether accompanies the separated part. The separate vital body and the dense body disintegrate synchronously after death. So with the etheric counterpart of the amputated limb. It will gradually disintegrate as the dense member decays, but in the meantime the fact that the man still pos- sesses the etheric limb accounts for his assertion that he can feel his fin- gers or suffers pain in them. There is also a connection with a buried mem- ber, irrespective of distance. A case is on record where a man felt severe paid, as if a nail had been driven into the flesh of an amputated limb, and he persisted until the limb was exhumed, when it was found that a nail had been driven into it at the time it was boxed for burial. The nail was re- moved and the pain instantly stopped. It is also in accordance with these facts that people complain of pain in a limb for perhaps two or three years after the amputation. The pain will then cease. This is because the dis- ease remains in the still undetached etheric limb, but as the amputated part disintegrates, the etheric limb follows suit and thus the pain ceases. Having noted the relations of the four kingdoms to the Etheric Region of the Physical World, we will next turn our attention to their relation to the Desire World. Here we find that both minerals and plants lack the separate desire body. They are permeated only by the planetary desire body, the Desire World. Lacking the separate vehicle, they are incapable of feeling, desire, and emotion, which are faculties pertaining to the Desire World. [PAGE 65] THE FOUR KINGDOMS When a stone is broken, it does not feel; but it would be wrong to infer that there is no feeling connected with such an action. That is the materi- alistic view, or the view taken by the uncomprehending multitude. The oc- cult scientist knows that there is no act, great or small, which is not felt throughout the universe, and even though the stone, because it has no separate desire body, cannot feel, the Spirit of the Earth feels because it is Earth's desire body that permeates the stone. When a man cuts his fin- ger, the finger, having no separate desire body, does not feel the paid, but the man does, because it is his desire body which permeates the finger. If a plant is torn up by the roots, it is felt by the Spirit of the Earth as a man would feel if a hair were torn from his head. This Earth is a living, feeling body, and all the forms which are without separate desire bodies through which their informing spirits may experience feeling, are included in the desire body of the Earth and THAT desire body has feeling. The breaking of a stone and the breaking off of flowers are productive of plea- sure to the Earth, while the pulling our of plants by the root causes paid. The reason is given in the latter part of this work, for at this stage of our study the explanation would be incomprehensible to the general reader. The planetary Desire World pulsates through the dense and vital bodies of animal and man in the same way that it penetrates the mineral and plant, but in addition to this, animal and man have separate desire bodies, which enable them to feel desire, emotion and passion. There is a difference, however. The desire body of the animal is built entirely of the material of the denser regions of the Desire World, while in the case of even the lowest of human races a little matter of the higher Regions enters into the [PAGE 66] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION composition of the desire body. The feelings of animals and the lowest hu- man races are almost entirely concerned with the gratification of the lowest desires and passions which find their expression in the matter of the lower Regions of the Desire World. Hence, in order that they may have such emo- tions to educate them for something higher, it is necessary that they should have the corresponding materials in their desire bodies. As man progresses in the school of life, his experiences teach him, and his desires become purer and better. Thus by degrees the material of his desire body undergoes a corresponding change. The purer and brighter material of the higher Re- gions of the Desire World replaces the murky colors of the lower part. The desire body also grows in size, so that in a saint it is truly a glorious object to behold, the purity of its colors and its luminous transparency be- ing beyond adequate simile. It must be seen to be appreciated. At present the materials of both the lower and the higher Regions enter into the composition of the desire bodies of the great majority of mankind. None are so bad that they have not some good trait. This is expressed in the materials of the higher Regions which we find in their desire bodies. But, on the other hand, very, very few are so good that they do not use some of the materials of the lower Regions. In the same way that the planetary vital and desire bodies inter-penetrate the dense material of the Earth, as we saw in the illustra- tion of the sponge, the sand and the water, so the vital and desire bodies inter-penetrate the dense body of plant, animal, and man. But during the life of man his desire body is not shaped like his dense and vital bodies. After death it assumes that shape. During life it has the appearance of a [In the original printing, the following three un-numbered pages contain charts: Ordinary Man: Currents in the Desire Body; Voluntary Clairvoyant: Currents in the Desire Body; Involuntary Clairvoyant: Currents in the De- sire Body.] [PAGE 67] THE FOUR KINGDOMS luminous ovoid which, in waking hours, completely surrounds the dense body, as the albumen does the yolk of an egg. It extends from twelve to sixteen inches beyond the dense body. In this desire body there are a number of sense centers, but, in the great majority of people, they are latent. It is the awakening of these centers of perception that corresponds to the opening of the blind man's eyes in our former illustration. The matter in the human desire body is in incessant motion of inconceivable rapidity. There is in it no settled place for any particle, as in the dense body. The matter that is at the head one moment may be at the feet in the next and back again. There are no organs in the desire body, as in the dense and vital bodies, but there are centers of perception, which, when active, ap- pear as vortices, always remaining in the same relative position to the dense body, most of them about the head. In the majority of people they are mere eddies and are of no use as centers of perception. They may be awak- ened in all, however, but different methods produce different results. In the involuntary clairvoyant developed along improper, negative lines, these vortices turn from right to left, or in the opposite direction to the hands of a clock--counterclockwise. In the desire body of the properly trained voluntary clairvoyant, they turn in the same direction as the hands of a clock--clockwise, glowing with exceeding splendor, far surpassing the brilliant luminosity of the ordinary desire body. These centers furnish him with means for the perception of things in the Desire World and he sees, and investigates as he wills, while the person whose centers turn counter-clockwise is like a mirror, which re- flects what passes before it. Such a person is incapable of reaching out for information. The reason for this belongs to a later chapter, but the [PAGE 68] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION above is one of the fundamental differences between a medium and a properly trained clairvoyant. It is impossible for most people to distinguish between the two; yet there is one infallible rule that can be followed by anyone: NO GENUINELY DEVELOPED SEER WILL EVER EXERCISE THIS FACULTY FOR MONEY OR ITS EQUIVALENT; NOT WILL HE USE IT TO GRATIFY CURIOSITY; BUT ONLY TO HELP HUMANITY. No one capable of teaching the proper method for the development of this faculty will every charge so much a lesson. Those demanding money for the exercise of, or for giving lessons in these things never have anything worth paying for. The above rule is a safe and sure guide, which all may follow with absolute confidence. In a far distant future man's desire body will become as definitely or- ganized as are the vital and dense bodies. When that stage is reached we shall all have the power to function in the desire body as we do know in the dense body, which is the oldest and best organized of these bodies of man--the desire body being the youngest. The desire body is rooted in the liver, as the vital body is in the spleen. In all warm-blooded creatures, which are the highest evolved, and have feelings, passions and emotions, which reach outward into the world with de- sire, which may be said to really live in the fuller meaning of the term and not merely vegetate--in all such creatures the currents of the desire body flow outward from the liver. The desire stuff is continually welling out in streams or currents which travel in curved lines to every point of the pe- riphery of the ovoid and then return to the liver through a number of vorti- ces, much as boiling water is continually welling outward from the source of heat and returning to it after completing its cycle. [PAGE 69] THE FOUR KINGDOMS The plants are devoid of this impelling, energizing principle, hence they cannot show life and motion as can the more highly developed organisms. Where there is vitality and motion, but no RED blood, there is no separate desire body. The creature is simply in the transition stage from plant to animal and therefore it moves entirely in the strength of the group-spirit. In the COLD-blooded animals which have a liver and RED blood, there is a separate desire body and the group-spirit directs the currents INWARD, be- cause in their case the separate spirit (of the individual fish or reptile for instance) is entirely outside the dense vehicle. When the organism has evolved so far that the separate spirit can com- mence to draw into its vehicles then it (the individual spirit) commences to direct the currents OUTWARD, and we see the beginning of passionate exist- ence and warm blood. It is the warm, red blood in the liver of the organism sufficiently evolved to have an Indwelling spirit which energizes the outgo- ing currents of desire stuff that cause the animal or the man to display de- sire and passion. In the case of the animal the spirit is not yet entirely INdwelling. It does not become so until the points in the vital body and the dense body come into correspondence, as explained in Chapter XII. For this reason the animal is not a "liver," that is, he does not live as com- pletely as does man, not being capable of as fine desires and emotions, be- cause not as fully conscious. The mammalia of today are on a higher plane than was man at the animal stage of his evolution, because they have warm, red blood, which man did not have at that stage. This difference in status is accounted for by the spiral path of evolution, which also accounts for the fact that man is a higher type of humanity than the present Angels were [PAGE 70] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION in their human stage. The present mammalia, which have in their animal stage attained to the possession of warm, red blood, and are therefore capable of experiencing desire and emotion to some extent will, in the Jupi- ter Period, be a purer and better type of humanity than we are now, while from among our present humanity there will be some, even in the Jupiter Pe- riod, who will be openly and avowedly wicked. Moreover, they will not then be able to conceal their passions as is now possible, but will be unabashed about their evil doing. In the light of this exposition of the connection between the liver and the life of the organism, it is noteworthy that in several European lan- guages (English, German, and the Scandinavian tongues) the same word signi- fies the organ of the body (the liver) and also "one who lives." When we turn our attention to the four kingdoms in their relation to the World of Thought we find that minerals, plants and animals lack a ve- hicle correlating them to that World. Yet we know some animals think, but they are the highest domesticated animals which have come into close touch with man for generations and have thus developed a faculty not possessed by other animals, which have not had that advantage. This is on the same prin- ciple that a highly wire will "induce" a weaker current of electricity in a wire brought close to it; or that a man of strong morals will arouse a like tendency in a weaker nature, while one morally weak will be overthrown if brought within the influence of evil characters. All we do, say, or are, reflects itself in our surroundings. This is why the highest domestic animals think. They are the highest of their kind, almost on the point of individualization, and man's thought vibrations have "induced" in them a similar activity of a lower order. With the exceptions noted, the animal [PAGE 71] THE FOUR KINGDOMS kingdom has not acquired the faculty of thought. The are not INDIVIDUAL- IZED. This is the great and cardinal difference between the human and other kingdoms. Man is an individual. The animals, plants and minerals are di- vided into species. They are not individualized in the same sense than man is. It is true that we divide mankind into races, tribes and nations; we note the difference between the Caucasian, , the Negro, the Indian, etc.; but that is not to the point. If we wish to study the characteristics of the lion or the elephant or any other species of the lower animals, all that is necessary is to take any member of that species for that purpose. When we learn the characteristics of one animal, we know the characteristics of the species to which it belongs. All members of the same animal tribe are alike. That is the point. A lion, or its father, or it son, all look alike; there is no difference in the way they will act under like condi- tions. All have the same likes and dislikes; one is the same as another. Not so with human beings. If we want to know about the characteristics of Negroes, it is not enough that we examine one single individual. It would be necessary to examine each individually, and even then we will ar- rive at no knowledge concerning Negroes as a whole, simply because that which was a characteristic of the single individual does not apply to the race collectively. If we desire to know the character of Abraham Lincoln it will avail us nothing to study his father, his grandfather, or his son, for they would differ entirely. Each would have his own peculiarities quite distinct from the idiosyncrasies of Abraham Lincoln. On the other hand, minerals, plants, and animals are described if we devote our attention to the description of one of each species; while there [PAGE 72] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION are as many species among human beings as there are individuals. Each indi- vidual person is a "species," a law unto himself, altogether separate and apart from any other individual, as different from his fellow men as one species in the lower kingdom is from another. We may write the biography of a man, but an animal can have no biography. This is because there is in each man an individual, INDWELLING spirit which dictates the thoughts and actions of each individual human being; while there is one "group-spirit" COMMON TO ALL the different animals or plants of the same species. The group-spirit works on the all FROM THE OUTSIDE. The tiger which roams in the wilds of the Indian jungle and the tiger penned up in the cage of a me- nagerie are both expressions of the same group-spirit. It influences both alike from the Desire World, distance being almost annihilated in the inner Worlds. The group-spirits of the three lower kingdoms are variously located in the higher Worlds, as we shall see when we investigate the consciousness of the different kingdoms; but to properly comprehend the positions of these group-spirits in the inner Worlds it is necessary to remember and to clearly understand what has been said about all the forms that are in the visible world having crystallized from models and ideas in the inner Worlds, as il- lustrated by the architect's house and the inventor's machine. As the juices of the soft body of the snail crystallize into the hard shell which it carries upon its back, so the Spirits in the higher Worlds have, in a similar manner, crystallized our from themselves the dense, material bodies of the different kingdoms. Thus the so-called "higher" bodies, although so fine and cloudy as to be invisible, are not by any means "emanations" from the dense body, but the [PAGE 73] THE FOUR KINGDOMS dense vehicles of all kingdoms correspond to the shell of the snail, which is crystallized from its juices, the snail representing the spirit; and the juices of its body in their progress towards crystallization representing the mind, desire body and vital body. THESE VARIOUS VEHICLES WERE EMANATED BY THE SPIRIT FROM ITSELF for the purpose of gaining experience through them. It is the spirit that moves the dense body where it will, as the snail moves its house, and not the body that controls the movements of the spirit. The more closely the spirit is able to enter into touch with its vehicle the better can it control and express itself through that vehicle, and vice versa. That is the key to the different states of consciousness in the different kingdoms. A study of diagrams 3 and 4 should give a clear un- derstanding of the vehicles of each kingdom, the manner in which they are DIAGRAM 3: Showing the vehicles of each kingdom, and the manner in which such ve- hicles are correlated to the different worlds. [PAGE 74] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM 4: Showing the state of consciousness appertaining to each kingdom. correlated to the different Worlds and the resulting state of consciousness. From diagram 3 we learn that the separate Ego is definitely segregated within the Universal Spirit in the Region of Abstract Thought. It shows that only man possesses the complete chain of vehicles correlating him to all divisions to the three Worlds. The animal lacks one link of chain--the mind; the plant lacks two links; the mind and the desire body; and the min- eral lacks three links of the chain of the vehicles necessary to function in a self-conscious manner in the Physical World-the mind, the desire and the vital bodies. The reason for the various deficiencies is that the Mineral Kingdom is the expression of the latest stream of evolving life; the Plant Kingdom is ensouled by a life wave that has been longer upon the path of evolution; the [PAGE 75] THE FOUR KINGDOMS life wave of the animal kingdom has a still longer past; while Man, that is to say, the life now expressing itself in the human form, has behind it the longest journey of all the four kingdoms, and therefore leads. In time, the three life-waves which now animate the three lower kingdoms will reach the human, and we shall have passed to higher stages of development. To understand the degree of consciousness which results from the pos- session of the vehicles used by the life evolving in the four kingdoms, we turn our attention to diagram 4, which shows that man, the Ego, the Thinker, has descended into the Chemical Region of the Physical World. Here he has marshaled all his vehicles, thereby attaining the state of waking conscious- ness. He learning to control his vehicles. The organs of neither the de- sire body nor the mind are yet evolved. The latter is not yet even a body. At present it is simply a link, a sheath for the use of the Ego as a focus- ing point. It is the last of the vehicles that have been built. The spirit works gradually from finer into coarser substance, the vehicles also being built in finer substance first, then in coarser and coarser substance. The dense body was built first and has now come into its fourth stage of den- sity; the vital body is in its third stage and the desire body in its sec- ond, hence it is still cloud-like, and the sheath of mind is filmier still. As those vehicles have not, as yet, evolved any organs, it is clear that they ALONE would be useless as vehicles of consciousness. The Ego, however, enters INTO the dense body and connects these organless vehicles with the physical sense centers and thus attains the waking state of consciousness in the Physical World. The student should particularly note that it is because of their con- nection with the splendidly organized mechanism of the dense body that these [PAGE 76] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION higher vehicles become of value at present. He will thus avoid a mistake frequently made by people who, when they come into the knowledge that there are higher bodies, grow to despise the dense vehicle; to speak of it as "low" and "vile"--turning their eyes to heaven and wishing that they might soon be able to leave this earthly lump of clay and fly about in their "higher vehicles." These people generally do not realize the difference between "higher" and "perfect." Certainly, the dense body is the lowest vehicle in the sense that it is the most unwieldy, correlating man to the world of sense with all the limitations thus implied. As stated, it has an enormous period of evolution back of it; is in it fourth state of development and has now reached a great and marvelous degree of efficiency. It will, in time, reach perfection, but even at present it is the best organized of man's vehicles. The vital body is in its third stage of evolution, and less completely orga- nized than the dense body. The desire body and the mind are, as yet, mere clouds--almost entirely unorganized. In the very lowest human beings these vehicles are not even definite ovoids; they are more or less undefined in form. The dense body is a wonderfully constructed instrument and should be recognized as such by everyone pretending to have any knowledge of the con- stitution of man. Observe the femur, for instance. This bone carries the entire weight of the body. On the outside it is built of a thin layer of compact bone, strengthened on the inside by beams and cross-beams of cancellated bone, in such a marvelous manner that the most skilled bridge or construction engineer could never accomplish the feat of building a pillar of equal strength with so little weight. The bones of the skull are built [PAGE 77] THE FOUR KINGDOMS in a similar manner, always the least possible material is used and the maximum of strength obtained. Consider the wisdom manifested in the con- struction of the heart and then question if this superb mechanism deserves to be despised. The wise man is grateful for his dense body and takes the best possible care of it, because he knows that it is the most valuable of his present instruments. The animal spirit has in its descent reached only the Desire World. It has not yet evolved to the point where it can "enter" a dense body. There- fore the animal has no individual INdwelling spirit, but a group-spirit, which directs it FROM WITHOUT. The animal has the dense body, the vital body and the desire body, but the group-spirit which directs it is outside. The vital body and the desire body of an animal are not entirely within the dense body, especially where the head is concerned. For instance, the etheric head of a horse projects far beyond and above the dense physical head. When, as in rare cases it happens, the etheric head of a horse draws into the head of the dense body, that horse can learn to read, count and work examples in elementary arithmetic. To this peculiarity is also due the fact that horses, dogs, cats and other domesticated animals sense the Desire World, though not always realizing the difference between it and the Physical World. A horse will shy at the sight of a figure invisible to the driver; a cat will go through the motions of rubbing itself against invis- ible legs. The cat sees the ghost, however without realizing that it has no dense legs available for frictional purposes. The dog, wiser than a cat or horse, will often sense that there is something he does not understand about the appearance of a dead master whose hands it cannot lick. It will howl mournfully and slink into a corner with its tail between its legs. The fol- lowing illustration may perhaps be of service to show the difference between [PAGE 78] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the man with his indwelling spirit and the animal with its group-spirit. Let us imagine a room divided by means of a curtain, one side of the curtain representing the Desire World and the other the Physical. There are two men in the room, one in each division; they cannot see each other, nor can they get into the same division. There are, however, ten holes in the curtain and the man who is in the division representing the Desire World can put his ten fingers through these holes into the other division, represent- ing the Physical World. He now furnishes an excellent representation of the group-spirit which is in the Desire World. The fingers represent the animals belonging to one species. He is able to move them as he wills, but he cannot use them freely nor as intelligently as the man who is walking about in the Physical division uses his body. The latter sees the fingers which are thrust through the curtain and he observes that they all move, but he does not see the connection between them. To him it appears as if they were all separate and distinct from one another. He cannot see that they are fingers of the man behind the veil and are governed in their movements by his intelligence. If he hurts one of the fingers, it is not only the finger that he hurts, but chiefly the man on the other side of the curtain. If an animal is hurt, it suffers, but not to the degree that the group-spirit does. The finger has no individualized consciousness; it moves as the man dictates--so do the animals moves as the group-spirit dictates. We hear of "animal instinct" and "blind instinct." There is no such vague, indefinite thing as "blind" instinct. There is nothing "blind" about the way the group-spirit guides its members--there is Wisdom, spelled with [PAGE 79] THE FOUR KINGDOMS capitals. The trained clairvoyant, when functioning in the Desire World, can communicate with these spirits of the animal species and finds them much more intelligent than a large percent of human beings. He can see the mar- velous insight they display in marshaling the animals which are their physical bodies. It is the spirit of the group which gathers its flocks of birds in the fall and compels them to migrate to the south, neither too early nor too late to escape the winter's chilly blast; that directs their return in the spring, causing them to fly at just the proper altitude, which differs for the different species. The group-spirit of the beaver teaches it to build its dam across a stream at exactly the proper angle. It considers the rapidity of the flow, and all the circumstances, precisely as a skilled engineer would do, showing that it is as up-to-date in every particular of the craft as the college-bred, technically-educated man. It is the wisdom of the group-spirit that directs the building of the hexagon cell of the bee with such geometrical nicety; that teaches the snail to fashion its house in an accurate, beautiful spiral; that teaches the ocean mollusk the art of decorating its iridescent shell. Wisdom, wisdom everywhere! So grand, so great that one who looks with an observant eye is filed with amazement and reverence. At this point the thought will naturally occur that if the animal group-spirit is so wise, considering the short period of evolution of the animal as compared with that of man, why does not the latter display wisdom to a much greater degree and why must man be taught to build dams and geom- etrize, all of which the group spirit does without being taught? [PAGE 80] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The answer to that question has to do with the descent of the Universal Spirit into matter of ever-increasing density. In the higher Worlds, where its vehicles are fewer and finer, it is in closer touch with cosmic wisdom which shines out in a manner inconceivable in the dense Physical World, but as the spirit descends, the light of wisdom becomes tem- porarily more and more dimmed, until in the densest of all the Worlds, it is held almost entirely in abeyance. An illustration will make this clearer. The hand is man's most valu- able servant; its dexterity enables it to respond to his slightest bidding. In some vocations, such as bank teller, the delicate touch of the hand be- comes so sensitive, that it is able to distinguish a counterfeit coin from a genuine in a way so marvelous that one would almost think the hand were en- dowed with individual intelligence. Its greatest efficiency is perhaps reached in the production of music. It is capable of producing the most beautiful, soul-stirring melodies. The delicate, caressing touch of the hand elicits the tenderest strains of soul-speech from the instrument, telling of the sorrows, the joys, the hopes, the fears and the longings of the soul in a way that nothing but mu- sic can do. It is the language of the heaven world, the spirit's true home, and comes to the divine spark imprisoned in flesh as a message from its na- tive land. Music appeals to all, regardless of race, creed, or other worldly distinction. The higher and more spiritual the individual the plainer does it speak to him and even "the savage breast" is not unmoved by it. Let us now imagine a master musician putting on thin gloves and trying to play his violin. We note at once that the delicate touch is less subtle; the soul of the music is gone. If he puts another and a heavier pair of [PAGE 81] THE FOUR KINGDOMS gloves over the first pair, his hand is hampered to such an extent that he may occasionally create a discord instead of the former harmony. Should he at last put on, in addition to the two pairs of gloves already hampering him, a pair of still heavier mittens, he would, temporarily, be entirely un- able to play, and one who had not heard him play previously to the time he put on the gloves and the mittens, would naturally think that he had never been able to do so, especially if ignorant of the hampering of his hands. So it is with the Spirit; every step down, every descent into coarser matter is to it what the putting on of a pair of gloves would be to the mu- sician. Every step down limits its power of expression until it has become accustomed to the limitations and has found its focus, in the same way that the eye must find its focus after we enter a house on a bright summer day. The pupil of the eye contracts to its limit in the glare of the sun and on entering the house all seems dark; but, as the pupil expands, and admits the light, the man is enabled to see as well in the dimmer light of the house as he did in the sunlight. The purpose of man's evolution here is to enable him to find his focus in the Physical World, where at present the light of wisdom seems obscured. But when in time we have "found the light," the wisdom of man will shine for forth in his actions, and far surpass the wisdom expressed by the group-spirit of the animal. Besides, a distinction must be made between the group spirit and the virgin spirits of the life wave now expressing itself as animals. The group-spirit belongs to a different evolution and is the guardian of the animal spirits. The dense body in which we function is composed of numerous cells, each having separate cellconsciousness, though of a very low order. While these cells from part of our body they are subjected to an dominated by OUR [PAGE 82] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION consciousness. An animal group-spirit functions in a SPIRITUAL BODY, which is its lowest vehicle This vehicle consists of a varying number of virgin spirits imbued for the time being with the consciousness of the group-spirit. The latter directs the vehicles built by the virgin spirits in its charge, caring for them and helping them to evolve their vehicles. As its wards evolve, the group-spirit also evolves, undergoing a series of metamorphoses, in a manner similar to that in which we grow and gain experi- ence by taking into our bodies the cells of the food we eat, thereby also raising their consciousness by enduing them with ours for a time. Thus while a separate, self-conscious Ego is within each human body and dominates the actions of its particular vehicle, the spirit of the separate animal is not yet individualized and self-conscious, but forms part of the vehicle of a self-conscious entity belonging to a different evolution--the group-spirit. The group-spirit dominates the actions of the animals in harmony with cosmic law, until the virgin spirits in its charge shall have gained self-consciousness and become human. Then they will gradually manifest wills of their own, gaining more and more freedom from the group-spirit and becoming responsible for their own actions. The group-spirit will influence them, however (although in a decreasing degree), as race, tribe, community, or family spirit until each individual has become capable of acting in full harmony with cosmic law. Not until that time will the Ego be entirely free and independent of the group-spirit, which will then enter a higher phase of evolution. The position occupied by the group-spirit in the Desire World gives to [PAGE 83] THE FOUR KINGDOMS the animal a consciousness different form that of man, who has a clear, definite waking consciousness. Man sees things OUTSIDE of himself in sharp, distinct outlines. Owing to the spiral path of evolution, the higher domes- tic animals, particularly the dog, horse, cat and elephant see objects in somewhat the same way, though perhaps not so clearly defined. All other animals have an internal "picture consciousness" similar to the dream-state in man. When such an animal is confronted by an object, a picture is im- mediately perceived WITHIN, accompanied by a strong impression that the ob- ject is inimical or beneficial to its welfare. If the feeling is one of fear, it is associated with a suggestion from the group-spirit how to escape the threatened danger. This negative state of consciousness renders it easy for the group-spirit to guide the dense bodies of its charges by suggestion, as the animals have no will of their own. Man is not so easily managed from without, either with or without his consent. As evolution progresses and man's will develops more and more, he will become non-amenable to outside suggestion and free to do as he pleases regardless of suggestions from others. This is the chief difference between man and the other kingdoms. They act according to law and the dictates of the group-spirit (which we call instinct), while man is becoming more and more a law unto himself. We do not ask the mineral whether or not it will crystallize, nor the flower whether it will or will not bloom, nor the lion whether it will or will not cease to prey. They are all, in the smallest as in the greatest matter, under the absolute domination of the group-spirit, being without free will and initiative which, in some degree, are possessed by every human being. All animals of the same species look nearly alike, [PAGE 84] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION because they emanate from the same group-spirit, while among the fifteen hundred millions of human beings who people the Earth no two look exactly alike, not even twins when adolescent, because the stamp that is put upon each by the indwelling individual Ego makes the difference in appearance as well as in character. That all oxen thrive on grass, and all lions eat flesh, while "one man's meat is another man's poison" is another illustration of the all-inclusive influence of the group-spirit as contrasted with the Ego which makes each human being require a different proportion of food from every other. Doctors note with perplexity the same peculiarity in administering medicine. Its acts differently upon different individuals, while the same medicine will produce identical effects on two animals of the same species, owing to the fact that animals all follow the dictates of the group-spirit and Cosmic Law--always act similarly in identical circumstances. Man alone is, in some measure, able to follow his own desires within certain limits. That his mistakes are many and grievous, is granted, and to many it might seem better if he were forced into the right way, but if this were done, he would never learn to do right. Lessons of discrimination between good and evil cannot be learned unless he is free to choose his own course and has learned to eschew the wrong as a veritable "womb of pain." If he did right only because he had no choice, and had no chance to do otherwise, he would be but an automaton and not an evolving God. As the builder learns by his mistakes, correcting past errors in future buildings, so man, by means of his blunders, and the pain they cause him, is attaining to a higher (because self-conscious) wisdom than the animal, which acts wisely because it is im- pelled to action by the group-spirit. In time the animal will become human, [PAGE 85] THE FOUR KINGDOMS have liberty of choice and will make mistakes and learn by them as we do now. Diagram 4 shows that the group-spirit of the plant kingdom has its low- est vehicle in the Region of Concrete Thought. It is two steps removed from its dense vehicle and consequently the plants have a consciousness corre- sponding to that of DREAMLESS SLEEP. The group-spirit of the mineral has it slowest vehicle in the Region of Abstract Thought and it is, therefore, three steps removed from its dense vehicle; hence it is in a state of deep unconsciousness similar to the TRANCE condition. We have now shown that man is an individual indwelling spirit, an Ego separate from all other entities, directing and working in one set of ve- hicles from WITHIN , and that plants and animals are directed from WITHOUT by a group-spirit having jurisdiction over a number of animals or plants in our Physical World. They are separate only in appearance. The relations of plant, animal and man to the life currents in the Earth's atmosphere are symbolically represented by the cross. The Mineral Kingdom is not represented, because as we have seen, it possesses no indi- vidual vital body, hence cannot be the vehicle for currents belonging to the higher realms. Plato, who was an Initiate, often gave occult truths. He said "The World-Soul is crucified." The lower limb of the cross indicates the plant with its root in the chemical mineral soil. The group-spirits of plants are at the center of the Earth. They are (it will be remembered) in the Region of Concrete Thought, which inter-penetrates the Earth, as do all the other Worlds. From these group-spirits flow streams or currents in all directions to the periphery of [PAGE 86] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the Earth, passing outward through the length of plant or tree. Man is represented by the upper limb; his is the INVERTED PLANT. The plant takes its food through the root. Man takes his food through the head. The plant stretches its generative organs towards the sun. Man, the in- verted plant, turns his towards the center of the earth. The plant is sus- tained by the spiritual currents of the group-spirit in the center of the earth, which enter into it by way of the root. Later it will be shown that the highest spiritual influence comes to man from the sun, which sends its rays through man, the inverted plant, from the head downwards. The plant inhales the poisonous carbon-dioxide exhales by man and exhales the life-giving oxygen used by him. The animal, which is symbolized by the horizontal limb of the cross, is between the plant and the man. Its spine is in a horizontal position and through it play the currents of the animal group-spirit which encircle the Earth. No animal can be made to remain constantly upright, because in that case the currents of the group-spirit could not guide it, and if it were not sufficiently individualized to endure the spiritual currents which enter the vertical human spine, it would die. It is necessary that a vehicle for the expression of an individual Ego shall have three things--an upright walk, that it may come into touch with the currents just mentioned; an upright larynx, for only such a larynx is capable of speech (parrots and starlings are examples of this effect of the upright larynx); and, owing to the solar currents, it must have warm blood. The latter is of the utmost importance to the Ego, which will be logically explained and illustrated later. These requisites are simply mentioned here as the last words on the status of the four kingdoms in relation to each other and to the Worlds. [PAGE 87] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION CHAPTER III. MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION ACTIVITIES OF LIFE; MEMORY AND SOUL-GROWTH Our study thus far of the seven Worlds or states of matter has shown us that each serves a definite purpose in the economy of nature, and that God, the Great Spirit, in Whom we actually and in fact "live and move and have our being," is the Power that permeates and sustains the whole Universe with Its Life; but while that Life flows into and is immanent in every atom of the six lower Worlds and all contained therein, in the Seventh--the highest--the Triune God alone IS. The next highest or sixth realm is the World of Virgin Spirits. Here those sparks from the divine "Flame: have their being before they commence their long pilgrimage through the five denser Worlds for the purpose of de- veloping latent potentialities into dynamic powers. As the seed unfolds its hidden possibilities by being buried in the soil, so these virgin spirits will, in time, when they have passed through matter (the school of experi- ence), also become divine "Flames," capable of bringing forth universes from themselves. The five Worlds constitute the field of man's evolution, the three lower or denser being the scene of the present phase of his development. We will now consider his as related to these five Worlds by means of his appropriate vehicles, remembering the two grand divisions into which two of these Worlds are divided, and than man has a vehicle for each of these divisions. [PAGE 88] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM: THE SEVENFOLD CONSTITUTION OF MAN In the waking state these vehicles are all together. They inter-penetrate one another as the blood, the lymph, and other juices of the body inter-penetrate. Thus is the Ego enabled to act in the Physical World. We ourselves, as Egos, function directly in the subtle substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, which we have specialized within the periphery of our individual aura. Thence we view the impressions made by the outer world upon the vital body through the senses, together with the feelings and emotions generated by them in the desire body, and mirrored in the mind. From these mental images we form our conclusions, in the substance of the Region of Abstract Thought, concerning the subjects with which they deal. Those conclusions are ideas. By the power of will we project an idea through the mind, where it takes concrete shape as a thought-form by drawing mind-stuff around itself from the Region of Concrete Thought. [PAGE 89] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION The mind is like the projecting lens of a stereopticon. It projects the image in one of three directions, according to the will of the thinker, which ensouls the thought-form. (1) It may be projected against the desire body in an endeavor to arouse feeling which will lead to immediate action. (a) If the thought awakens Interest, one of the twin forces, Attraction or Repulsion, will be stirred up. If Attraction, the centripetal force, is aroused, it seizes the thought, whirls it into the desire body, endows the image with added life and clothes it with desire-stuff. Then the thought is able to act on the etheric brain, and propel the vital force through the appropriate brain centers and nerves to the voluntary muscles which perform the necessary action. Thus the force in the thought is expended and the image remains in the ether of the vital body as memory of the act and the feeling that caused it. (b) Repulsion is the centrifugal force and if that is aroused by the thought there will be a struggle between the spiritual force (the will of the man) within the thought-form, and the desire body. This is the battle between conscience and desire, the higher and the lower nature. The spiritual force, in spite of resistance will seek to clothe the thought-form in the desire-stuff needed to manipulate the brain and muscles. The force of Repulsion will endeavor to scatter the appropriated material and oust the thought. If the spiritual energy is strong it may force its way through to the brain centers and hold its clothing of desire-stuff while manipulating the vital force, thus compelling action, and will then leave upon the memory a vivid impression of the struggle and the victory. If the spiritual energy is exhausted before action has resulted, it will be overcome by the force of [PAGE 90] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Repulsion, and will be stored in the memory, as are all other thought-forms when they have expended their energy. (c) If the thought-form meets the withering feeling of Indifference it depends upon the spiritual energy contained in it whether it will be able to compel action, or simply leave a weak impress upon the reflecting ether of the vital body after its kinetic energy has been exhausted. (2) Where no immediate action is called for by the mental images of im- pacts from without, these may be projected directly upon the reflecting ether, together with the thoughts occasioned by them, to be used at some fu- ture time. The spirit, working through the mind, has instant access to the storehouse of conscious memory and may at any time resurrect any of the pic- tures found there, endue them with new spiritual force, and project them upon the desire body to compel action. Each time such a picture is thus used it will gain in vividness, strength and efficiency, and will compel ac- tion along its particular line grooves, and produces the phenomenon of thought, "gaining" or "growing" upon us by repetition. (3) A third way of using a thought-form is when the thinker projects it toward another mind to act as a suggestion, to carry information, etc., as in thought-transference, or it may be directed against the desire body of another person to compel action, as in the case of a hypnotist influencing a victim at a distance. It will then act in precisely the same manner as if it were the victim's own thought. If in line with his proclivities it will act as per paragraph 1a. If contrary to his nature, as described in 1b or 1c. When the work designed for such a projected thought-form has been ac- complished, or its energy expended in vain attempts to achieve its object, [PAGE 91] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION it gravitates back to its creator, bearing with it the indelible record of the journey. It success or failure is imprinted on the negative atoms of the reflecting ether of its creator's vital body, where it forms that part of the record of the thinker's life and action which is sometimes called the sub-conscious mind. This record is much more important than the memory to which we have con- scious access, for the latter is made up from imperfect and illusive sense-perceptions and is the voluntary memory or conscious mind. The involuntary memory or sub-conscious mind comes into being in a dif- ferent way, altogether beyond our control at present. As the ether carries to the sensitive film in the camera an accurate impression of the surround- ing landscape, taking in the minutest detail regardless of whether the pho- tographer has observed it or not, so the ether contained in the air we in- spire carries with it an accurate and detailed picture of all our surroundings. Not only of material things, but also the conditions existing each moment within our aura. The slightest thought, feeling or emotion is transmitted to the lungs, where it is injected into the blood. The blood is one of the highest products of the vital body as it is the carrier of nour- ishment to every part of the body, and the direct vehicle of the Ego. The pictures it contains are impressed upon the negative atoms of the vital body, to serve as arbiters of the man's destiny in the POST MORTEM state. The memory (or so-called mind), both conscious and sub-conscious, re- lates WHOLLY to the experiences of this life. It consists of impressions of events on the vital body. These may be changed or even eradicated, as noted in the explanation concerning the forgiveness of sins which is given a few [PAGE 92] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION pages further on, which change or eradication depends upon the elimination of these impressions from the ether of the vital body. There is also a superconscious memory. That is the storehouse of all faculties acquired and knowledge gained in previous lives, though perhaps latent in the present life. This record is indelibly engraven on the life spirit. It manifests ordinarily, thought not to the full extent, as con- science and character which ensoul all thought-forms, sometimes as counsel- lor, sometimes compelling action with resistless force, even contrary to reason and desire. In many women, in whom the vital body is positive, and in advanced people of either sex where the vital body has been sensitized by a pure and holy life, by prayer and concentration, this superconscious memory inherent in the life spirit is occasionally, to some extent, above the necessity of clothing itself in mind stuff and desire matter in order to compel action. It does not always need to incur the danger of being subjected to and per- haps overruled by a process of reasoning. Sometimes, in the form of intu- ition or teaching from within, it impresses itself directly upon the re- flecting ether of the vital body. The more readily we learn to recognize it and follow its dictates, the oftener it will speak, to our eternal welfare. By their activities during waking hours the desire body and the mind are constantly destroying the dense vehicle. Every thought and movement breaks down tissue. On the other hand, the vital body faithfully endeavors to re- store harmony and build up what the other vehicles are tearing down. It is not able, however, to entirely withstand the powerful onslaughts of the im- pulses and thoughts. It gradually loses ground and at last there comes a [PAGE 93] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION time when it collapses. Its "points" shrivel-up, so to say. The vital fluid ceases to flow along the nerves is sufficient quantity; the body be- comes drowsy, the Thinker is hampered by its drowsiness and forced to with- draw, taking the desire body with him. This withdrawal of the higher ve- hicle leaves the dense body interpenetrated by the vital body in the senseless state we call sleep. Sleep, however, is not by any means an inactive state, as people gener- ally suppose. It it were, the body would be no different on awakening in the morning from its condition when it went to sleep at night; its fatigue would be just as great. On the contrary, sleep is a period of intense ac- tivity and the more intense it is the greater its value, for it eliminates the poisons resulting from tissue destroyed by the mental and physical ac- tivities of the day. The tissues are re-built and the rhythm of the body restored. The more thoroughly this work is done the greater the benefit ac- cruing from sleep. The Desire World is an ocean of wisdom and harmony. Into this the Ego takes the mind and the desire body when the lower vehicles have been left to sleep. There the first care of the Ego is the restoration of the rhythm and harmony of the mind and the desire body. This restoration is accomplished gradually as the harmonious vibrations of the Desire World flow through them. There is an essence in the Desire World corresponding to the vital fluid which permeates the dense body by means of the vital body. The higher vehicles, as it were, steep themselves in this elixir of life. When strengthened, they commence work on the vital body, which was left with the sleeping dense body. Then the vital body begins to specialize the solar [PAGE 94] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION energy anew, rebuilding the dense body, using particularly the chemical ether as its medium in the process of restoration. It is this activity of the different vehicles during sleep which forms the basis for the activity of the following day. Without that there would be no awakening, for the Ego was forced to abandon his vehicles because their weariness rendered them useless. If the work of removing that fatigue were not done, the bodies would remain asleep, as sometimes happens in natural trance. It is just because of this harmonizing, recuperative activ- ity that sleep is better than doctor or medicine in preserving health. Mere rest is nothing is comparison with sleep. It is only while the higher ve- hicles are in the Desire World that there is a total suspension of waste and an influx of restoring force. It is true that during rest the vital body is not hampered in its work by tissue being broken down by active motion and tense muscles, but still it must contend with the wasting energy of thought and it does not then receive the OUTSIDE recuperative force from the desire body as during sleep. It happens, however, that at times the desire body does not fully with- draw, so that part of it remains connected with the vital body, the vehicle for sense perception and memory. The result is that restoration is only partly accomplished and that the senses and actions of the Desire World are brought into the physical consciousness as dreams. Of course most dreams are confused as the axis of perception is askew, because of the improper re- lation of one body to another. The memory is also confused by this incon- gruous relation of the vehicles and as a result of the loss of the restoring force, dream-filled sleep is restless and the body feels tired on awakening. During the life the threefold spirit, the Ego, works on and in the [PAGE 95] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION threefold body, to which it is connected by the link of mind. This work brings the threefold soul into being. The soul is the spiritualized product of the body. DIAGRAM 5: SHOWS THE TENFOLD CONSTITUTION OF MAN. [PAGE 96] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION As proper food feeds the body in a material sense, so the activity of the spirit in the dense body, which results in RIGHT ACTION, promotes the growth of the Conscious Soul. As the forces from the sun play in the vital body and nourish it, that it may act on the dense body, so the memory of ac- tions done in the dense body-the desires, feelings and emotions of the de- sire body and the thoughts and ideas in the mind-cause the growth of the In- tellectual Soul. In like manner the HIGHEST DESIRES and EMOTIONS of the desire body form the Emotional Soul. This threefold soul in turn enhances the consciousness of the threefold spirit. The Emotional Soul, which is the extract of the desire body, adds to the efficiency of the Human Spirit, which is the spiritual counterpart of the desire body. The Intellectual Soul gives added power to the Life Spirit, because the Intellectual Soul is extracted from the vital body, which is the material counterpart of the Life Spirit. The Conscious Soul increases the consciousness of the Divine Spirit be- cause it (the Conscious Soul) is the extract of the dense body, which latter is the counterpart of the Divine Spirit. DEATH AND PURGATORY So man builds and sows until the moment of death arrives. Then the seed-time and the periods of growth and ripening are past. The harvest time has come, when the skeleton spectre of Death arrives with his scythe and hour-glass. That is a good symbol. The skeleton symbolizes the relatively permanent part of the body. The scythe represents the fact that this perma- nent part, which is about to be harvested by the spirit, is the fruitage of [PAGE 97] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION the life now drawing to a close. The hour-glass in his hand indicates that the hour does not strike until the full course has been run in harmony with unvarying laws. When that moment arrives a separation of the vehicles takes place. As his life in the Physical World is ended for the time being, it is not necessary for man to retain his dense body. The vital body, which as we have explained, also belongs to the Physical World, is withdrawn by way of the head, leaving the dense body inanimate. The higher vehicles--vital body, desire body and mind-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. The results of the experiences passed through in the dense body during the life just ended have been impressed upon this particular atom. While all the other atoms of the dense body have been renewed from time to time, this permanent atom has remained. It has remained stable, not only through one life, but it has been a part of every dense body ever used by a particular Ego. It is withdrawn at death only to reawaken at the dawn of another 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." During life the seed-atom is situated in the left ventricle of the heart, near the apex. At death it rises to the brain by way of the pneumogastric nerve, leaving the dense body, together with the higher ve- hicles, by way of the sutures between the parietal and occipital bones. When the higher vehicles have left the dense body they are still con- nected with it by a slender, glistening, silvery cord shaped much like two [PAGE 98] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION figure sixes reversed, one upright and one horizontally placed, the two con- nected at the extremities of the hooks. (See diagram 5 1/2.) 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 it- self is not snapped until the panorama of the past life, contained in the vital body, has been reviewed. Care should be taken, however, not to cremate or embalm the body until at least three days after death, for while the vital body is with the higher vehicles, and they are still connected with the dense body by means of the silver cord, any POST MORTEM examination or other injury to the dense body will be felt, in a measure, by the man. DIAGRAM 5 1/2: THE SILVER CORD Cremation should be particularly avoided in the first three days after death, because it 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. The silver cord snaps at the point where the sixes unite, half remaining with the dense body and the other half with the higher vehicles. From the [PAGE 99] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION time the cord snaps the dense body is quite dead. In the beginning of 1906 Dr. McDougall made a series of experiments in the Massachusetts General Hospital, to determine, if possible, whether any- thing not ordinarily visible left the body at death. For this purpose he constructed a pair of scales capable of registering differences of one-tenth of an ounce. The dying person and his bed were placed on one of the platforms of the scale, which was then balanced by weights placed on the opposite platform. In every instance it was noted that at the precise moment when the dying person drew the last breath, the platform containing the weights dropped with startling suddenness, lifting the bed and the body, thus showing that something invisible, but having weight, had left the body. Thereupon the newspapers all over the country announced in glaring headlines that Dr. McDougall had "weighed the soul." Occultism hails with joy the discoveries of modern science, as they in- variably corroborate what occult science has long taught. The experiments of Dr. McDougall showed conclusively that something invisible to ordinary sight left the body at death, as trained clairvoyants had seen, and as had been stated in lectures and literature for many years previous to Dr. McDougall's discovery. But this invisible "something" is not the soul. There is a great dif- ference. The reporters jump at conclusions when they state that the scien- tists have "weighed the soul." The soul belongs to higher realms and can never be weighed on physical scales, even though they registered variations of one-millionth part of a grain instead of one-tenth of an ounce. [PAGE 100] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION IT WAS THE VITAL BODY WHICH THE SCIENTIST WEIGHED. It is formed of the four ethers and they belong to the Physical World. As we have seen, a certain amount of this ether is "superimposed" upon the ether which envelops the particles of the human body and is confined there during physical life, adding in a slight degree to the weight of the dense body of plant, animal and man. In death it escapes; hence the diminu- tion in weight noticed by Dr. McDougall when the persons with whom he ex- perimented expired. Dr. McDougall also tried his scales in weighing dying animals. No diminution was found here, though one of the animals was a St. Bernard dog. That was taken to indicate that animals have no souls. A little later, how- ever, Professor La V. Twining, head of the Science Department of the Los Angeles Polytechnic School, experimented with mice and kittens, which he en- closed in hermetically sealed glass flasks. His scales were the most sensi- tive procurable and were enclosed in a glass case from which all moisture had been removed. It was found that all the animals observed lost weight at death. A good sized mouse, weighing 12.886 grams, suddenly lost 3.1 mil- ligrams at death. A kitten used in another experiment lost one hundred milligrams while dying and at its last gasp it suddenly lost an additional sixty milligrams. After that it lost weight slowly, due to evaporation. Thus the teaching of occult science in regard to the possession of vital bodies by animals was also vindicated when sufficiently fine scales were used, and the case where the rather insensitive scales did not show diminu- tion in the weight of the St. Bernard dog shows that the vital bodies of animals are proportionately lighter than in man. [PAGE 101] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION When the "silver cord" is loosened in the heart, and man has been re- leased from his dense body, a moment of the highest importance comes to the Ego, and it cannot be too seriously impressed upon the relatives of a dying person that it is a great crime against the departing soul to give expres- sion to loud grief and lamentations, for it is just then engaged in a matter of supreme importance and a great deal of the value of the past life depends upon how much attention the soul can give to this matter. This will be made clearer when we come to the description of man's life in the Desire World. It is also a crime against the dying to administer stimulants which have the effect of forcing the higher vehicles back into the dense body with a jerk, thus imparting a great shock to the man. It is not torture to pass out, but it is torture to be dragged back to endure further suffering. Some who have passed out have told investigators that they had, in that way, been kept dying for hours and had prayed that their relatives would cease their mistaken kindness and let them die. When the man is freed from the dense body, which was the heaviest clog upon his spiritual power (like the heavy mitten on the hand of the musician in our previous illustration), his spiritual power comes back in some mea- sure, and he is able to read the pictures in the negative pole of the re- flecting ether of his vital body, which is the seat of the sub-conscious memory. The whole of his past life passes before his sight like a panorama, the events being presented IN REVERSE ORDER. The incidents of the days immedi- ately preceding death come first and so on back through manhood or womanhood to youth, childhood and infancy. Everything is remembered. [PAGE 102] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The man stands as a spectator before this panorama of his past life. He sees the pictures as they pass and they impress themselves upon his higher vehicles, but he has no feeling about them at this time. That is reserved until the time when he enters into the Desire World, which is the world of feeling and emotion. At present he is only in the Etheric Region of the Physical World. This panorama lasts from a few hours to several days, depending upon the length of time the man could keep awake, if necessary. Some people can keep awake only twelve hours, or even less; others can do so, upon occasion, for a number of days, but as long as the man can remain awake, the panorama lasts. This feature of life after death is similar to that with takes place when one is drowning or falling from a height. In such cases the vital body also leaves the dense body and the man sees his life in a flash, because he loses consciousness at once. Of course the "silver cord" is not broken, or there could be no resuscitation. When the endurance of the vital body has reached its limit, it collapses in the way described when we were considering the phenomenon of sleep. Dur- ing physical life, when the Ego controls its vehicles, this collapse termi- nates the waking hours; after death the collapse of the vital body termi- nates the panorama and forces the man to withdraw into the Desire World. The silver cord breaks at the point where the sixes unite (see diagram 5 1/2), and the same division is made as during sleep, but with this important difference, that thought the vital body returns to the dense body, it no longer interpenetrates it, but simply hovers over it. It remains floating over the grave, decaying synchronously with the dense vehicle. Hence, to the trained clairvoyant, a graveyard is a nauseating sight and if only more [PAGE 103] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION people could see it as he does, little argument would be necessary to induce them to change from the present unsanitary method of disposing of the dead to the more rational method of cremation, which restores the elements to their primordial condition without the objectionable features incident to the process of slow decay. In leaving the vital body the process is much the same as when the dense body is discarded. The life forces of one atom are taken, to be used as a nucleus for the vital body of a future embodiment. Thus, upon his entrance into the Desire World the man has the seed-atoms of the dense and the vital bodies, in addition to the desire body and the mind. If the dying man could leave all desires behind, the desire body would very quickly fall away from him, leaving him free to proceed into the heaven world, but that is not generally the case. Most people, especially if they die in the prime of life, have many ties and much interest in life on earth. They have not altered their desires because they have lost their physical bodies. In fact often their desires are even augmented by a very intense longing to return. This acts in such a manner as to bind them to the Desire World in a very unpleasant way, although unfortunately, they do not realize it. On the other hand, old and decrepit persons and those who are weakened by long illness and are tired of life, pass on very quickly. The matter 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. Thus it is especially hard for people to die who were taken out of their bodies by accident while at the height of their physical health and strength, en- gaged in numerous ways in the activities of physical life; held by the ties [PAGE 104] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION of wife, family, relatives, friends, pursuits of business and pleasure. The suicide, who tries to get away from life, only to find that he is as much alive as ever, is in the most pitiable plight. He is able to watch those whom he has, perhaps, disgraced by his act, and worst of all, he has an unspeakable feeling of being "hollowed out." 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 properly have lived. 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 suicide that awful feeling of "emptiness" remains until the time comes when, in the natural course of events, his death would have occurred. As long as the man entertains the desires connected with earth life he must stay in his desire body and as the progress of the individual requires that he pass on to higher Regions, the existence in the Desire World must necessarily become purgative, tending to purify him from his binding de- sires. How this is done is best seen by taking some radical instances. The miser who loved his gold in earth life loves it just as dearly after death; but in the first place he cannot acquire any more, because he has no longer a dense body wherewith to grasp it and worst of all, he cannot even keep what he hoarded during life. He will, perhaps, go and sit by his safe and watch the cherished gold or bonds; but the heirs appear and with, it may be, a stinging jeer at the "stingy old fool" (whom they do not see, but who [PAGE 105] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION both sees and hears them), will open his safe, and though he may throw himself over his gold to protect it, they will put their hands through him, neither knowing nor caring that he is there, and will then proceed to spend his hoard, while he suffers in sorrow and impotent rage. He will suffer keenly, his sufferings all the more terrible on account of being entirely mental, because the dense body dulls even suffering to some extent. In the Desire World, however, these sufferings have full sway and the man suffers until he learns that gold may be a curse. Thus he gradually becomes contented with his lot and at last is freed from his de- sire body and is ready to go on. Or take the case of the drunkard. He is just as fond of intoxicants af- ter death as he was before. It is not the dense body that craves drink. It is made sick by alcohol and would rather be without it. It vainly protests in different ways, but the desire body of the drunkard craves the drink and forces the dense body to take it, that the desire body may have the sensa- tion of pleasure resulting from the increased vibration. That desire re- mains after the death of the dense body, but the drunkard has in his desire body neither mouth to drink not stomach to contain physical liquor. He may and does get into saloons, where he interpolates his body into to bodies of the drinkers to get a little of their vibrations by induction, but that is too weak to give him much satisfaction. He may and also does sometimes get inside a whiskey cask, but that is of no avail either for there are in the cask no such fumes as are generated in the digestive organs of a tippler. It has no effect upon him and he is like a man in an open boat on the ocean. "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink;" consequently he suffers [PAGE 106] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION intensely. In time, however, he learns the uselessness of longing for drink which he cannot obtain. As with so many of our desires in the Earth life, all desires in the Desire World die for want of opportunity to gratify them. When the drunkard has been purged, he is ready, so far as this habit is concerned, to leave this state of "purgatory" and ascend into the heaven world. Thus we see that it is not an avenging Deity that makes purgatory or hell for us, but our own individual evil habits and acts. According to the intensity of our desires will be the time and suffering entailed in their expurgation. In the cases mentioned it would have been no suffering to the drunkard to lose his worldly possessions. If he had any, he did not cling to them. Neither would it have caused the miser any paid to have been de- prived of intoxicants. It is safe to say that he would not have cared if there were not a drop of liquor in the world. But he did care about his gold, and the drunkard cared about his drink and so the unerring law gave to each that which was needed to purge him of his unhallowed desires and evil habits. This is the law that is symbolized in the scythe of the reaper, Death; the law that says, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." It is the law of cause and effect, which rules all things in the three Worlds, in every realm of nature--physical, moral and mental. Everywhere it works inexorably, adjusting all things, restoring the equilibrium wherever even the slightest action has brought about a disturbance, as all action must. The result may be manifested immediately or it may be delayed for years or for lives, but sometime, somewhere, just and equal retribution will be made. The student should particularly note that its work is absolutely impersonal. [PAGE 107] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION There is in the universe neither reward nor punishment. All is the result of invariable law. The action of this law will be more fully elucidated in the next chapter, where we shall find it associated with another Great Law of the Cosmos, which also operates in the evolution of man. The law we are now considering is called the law of Consequence. In the Desire World it operates in purging man of the baser desires and the correction of the weaknesses and vices which hinder his progress, by making him suffer in the manner best adapted to that purpose. If he had made others suffer, or has dealt unjustly with them, he will be made to suf- fer in that identical way. Be it noted, however, that if a person has been subject to vices, or has done wrong to others, but has overcome his vices, or repented and, as far as possible, made right the wrong done, such repen- tance, reform and restitution have purged him of those special vices and evil acts. The equilibrium has been restored and the lesson learned during that embodiment, and therefore will not b a cause of suffering after death. In the Desire World life is lived about three times as rapidly as in the Physical World. 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. This is, of course, only a general gauge. There are persons who remain in the Desire World much longer than their term of physical life. Others again, who have led lives with few gross desires, pass through in a much shorter period, but the measure above given is very nearly correct for the average man of present day. [PAGE 108] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION It will be remembered that as the man leaves the dense body at death, his past life passes before him in pictures; but at that time he has no feeling concerning them. During his life in the Desire World also these life pictures roll back- wards, as before; but not the man has all the feelings that it is possible for him to have as, one by one, the scenes pass before him. Every incident in his past life is now lived over again. When he comes to a point where he has injured someone, he himself feels the pain as the injured person felt it. He lives through all the sorrow and suffering he has caused to others and learns just how painful is the hurt and how hard to bear is the sorrow he has caused. In addition there is the fact already mentioned that the suffering is much keener because he has no dense body to dull the pain. Perhaps that is why the speed of life there is tripled--that the suffering may lose in duration what it gains in sharpness. Nature's measures are won- derfully just and true. There is another characteristic peculiar to this phase of post mortem existence which intimately connected with the fact (already mentioned) that distance is almost annihilated in the Desire World. When a man dies, he at once seems to swell out in his vital body; he appears to himself to grow into immense proportions. This feeling is due to the fact, not that the body really grows, but that the perceptive faculties receive so many impres- sions from various sources, all seeming to be close at hand. The same is true of the desire body. The man seems to be present with all the people with whom on earth he had relations of a nature which require correction. If he has injured one man in San Francisco and another in New York, he will feel as if part of him were in each place. This gives him a peculiar feel- ing of being cut to pieces. [PAGE 109] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION The student will now understand the importance of the panorama of the past life during the purgative existence, where this panorama is realized in definite feelings. If it lasted long and the man were undisturbed, the full, deep, clear impression etched into the desire body would make life in the Desire World more vivid and conscious and the purgation more thorough than if, because 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 had only vague impression of his past life. The spirit which has etched a deep clear record into its desire body will realize the mistakes of the past life so much more clearly and definitely than if the pictures were blurred on account of the individual's attention being di- verted by the suffering and grief around him. His feeling concerning the things which cause his present suffering in the Desire World will be much more definite if they are drawn from a distinct panoramic impression than if the duration of the process were short. This sharp, clear-cut feeling is of immense value in future lives. 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. When opportunities occur to repeat the error in later lives, this Feeling will speak to us clearly and unmistakably. It is the "still, small voice" which warns us, though we do not know why; but the clearer and more definite the panoramas of past lives has been, the oftener, stronger and clearer shall we hear this voice. Thus we see how important it is that we leave the passing spirit in absolute quietness after death. By so doing we help it to reap the greatest possible benefit from the life just ended and to avoid perpetuating the same mistakes in future lives, while our [PAGE 110] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION selfish, hysterical lamentations may deprive it of much of the value of the life it has just concluded. The mission of purgatory is to eradicate the injurious habits by making their gratification impossible. The individual suffers exactly as he has made others suffer through his dishonesty, cruelty, intolerance, or what not. Because of this suffering he learns to act kindly, honestly, and with forbearance toward others in future. Thus, in consequence of the existence of this beneficent state, man learns virtue and right action. When he is reborn he is free from evil habits, at least every evil act committed is one of free will. The tendencies to repeat the evil of past lives remain, for we must learn to do right consciously and of our own will. Upon occasion these tendencies tempt us, thereby affording us an opportunity of ranging ourselves on the side of mercy and virtue as against vice and cruelty. But to indicate right action and to help us resist the snares and wiles of temp- tation, we have the feeling resulting from the expurgation of evil habits and the expiation of the wrong acts of past lives. If we heed that feeling and abstain from the particular evil involved, the temptation will cease. We have freed ourselves from it for all time. If we yield we shall experi- ence keener suffering than before until at last we have learned to live by the Golden Rule, because the way of the transgressor is hard. Even then we have not reached the ultimate. To good to others because we want them to do good to us is essentially selfish. In time we must learn to do good REGARD- LESS of how we are treated by others; as Christ said, we must love even our enemies. There is an inestimable benefit in knowing about the method and object of this purgation, because we are thus enabled to forestall it by living our [PAGE 111] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION purgatory here and now day by day, thus advancing much faster than would otherwise be possible. An exercise is given in the latter part of this work, the object of which is purification as an aid to the development of spiritual sight. It consists of thinking over the happenings of the day af- ter retiring at night. We review each incident of the day, in reverse or- der, taking particular note of the moral aspect, considering whether we acted rightly or wrongly in each particular case regarding actions, mental attitude and actions, mental attitude and habits. By thus judging ourselves day by day, endeavoring to correct mistakes and wrong actions, we shall ma- terially shorten or perhaps even eliminate the necessity for purgatory and be able to pass to the first heaven directly after death. If in this man- ner, we consciously overcome our weaknesses, we also make a very material advance in the school of evolution. Even if we fail to correct our actions, we derive an immense benefit from judging ourselves, thereby generating as- pirations toward good, which in time will surely bear fruit in right action. In reviewing the day's happenings and blaming ourselves for wrong, we should not forget to impersonally approve of the good we have done and de- termine to do still better. In this way we enhance the good by approval as much as we abjure the evil by blame. Repentance and reform are also powerful factors in shortening the purga- torial existence, for nature never wastes effort in useless processes. When we realize the wrong of certain habits or acts in our past life, and deter- mine to eradicate the habit and to redress the wrong committed, we are ex- punging the pictures of them from the sub-conscious memory and they will not be there to judge us after death. Even though we are not able to make [PAGE 112] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION restitution for a wrong, the sincerity of our regret will suffice. Nature does not aim to "get even," or to take revenge. Recompense may be given to our victim in other ways. Much progress ordinarily reserved for future lives will be made by the man who thus takes time by the forelock, judging himself and eradicating vice by reforming his character. This practice is earnestly recommended. It is perhaps the most important teaching in the present work. THE BORDERLAND. Purgatory occupies the three lower Regions of the Desire World. The first heaven is in the upper Regions. The central Regions is a sort of borderland--neither heaven nor hell. In this Region we find people who are honest and upright; who wronged no one, but were deeply immersed in business and thought nothing of the higher life. For them the Desire World is a state of the most indescribable monotony. There is no "business" in that world nor is there, for a man of that kind, anything that will take its place. He has a very hard time until he learns to think of higher things than ledgers and drafts. The men who thought of the problem of life and came to the conclusion that "death ends it all;" who denied the existence of things outside the material-sense world--these men also feel this dreadful monotony. They had expected annihilation of consciousness, but instead of that they find themselves with an augmented perception of persons and things about them. They had been accustomed to denying these things so vehemently that they often fancy the Desire World an hallucination, and may frequently be heard exclaiming in the deepest despair, "When will it end? When will it end?" [PAGE 113] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION Such people are really in a pitiable state. They are generally beyond the reach of any help whatever and suffer much longer than almost anyone else. Besides, they have scarcely any life in the Heaven world, where the building of bodies for future use is taught, so they put all their crystal- lizing thoughts into whatsoever body they build for a future life, and thus a body is built that has the hardening tendencies we see, for instance, in consumption. Sometimes the suffering incident to such decrepit bodies will turn the thoughts of the entities ensouling them to God, and their evolution can proceed; but in the materialistic mind lies the greatest danger of los- ing touch with the spirit and becoming an outcast. Therefore the Elder Brothers have been very seriously concerned for the last century regarding the fate of the Western World and were it not for their special beneficent action in its behalf, we should have had a social cataclysm compared with which the French Revolution were child's play. The trained clairvoyant can see how narrowly humanity has escaped disasters of a nature so devastating that continents would have been swept into the sea. The reader will find a more extended and thorough exposition of the connection of materialism with volcanic outbursts in Chapter XVIII, where the list of the eruptions of Vesuvius would seem to corroborate the statement of such a connection, un- less it is credited to "coincidence," as the sceptic generally does when confronted with facts and figures he cannot explain. --- END OF FILE --- [PAGE 113 cont'd] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION THE FIRST HEAVEN. When the purgatorial existence is over the purified spirit rises into the first heaven, which is located in the three highest Regions of the De- sire World, where the results of its sufferings are incorporated in the [PAGE 114] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION seed-atom of the desire body, thus imparting to it the quality of right feeling, which acts as an impulse to good and a deterrent from evil in the future. 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. When we come to scenes where we helped others we realize anew all the joy of helping which was ours at the time, and in addition we feel all the gratitude poured out to us by the recipient of our help. When we come to scenes where we were helped by others, we again feel all the gratitude that we then felt toward our benefactor. Thus we see the importance of appreci- ating the favors shown us by others, because gratitude makes for soul-growth. Our happiness in heaven depends upon the joy we gave others, and the valuation we placed upon what others did for us. It should be ever borne in mind that the power of giving is not vested chiefly in the monied man. Indiscriminate giving of money may even be an evil. It is well to give money for a purpose we are convinced is good, but service is a thousandfold better. As Whitman says, Behold! I do not give lectures, or a little charity; When I give, I give myself. A kind look, expression of confidence, a sympathetic and loving helpfulness--these can be given by all regardless of wealth. Moreover, we should particularly endeavor 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. The ethics of giving, with the effect on the giver as a spiritual les- son, are most beautifully shown in Lowell's "The Vision of Sir Launfal." The young and ambitious knight, Sir Launfal, clad in shining armor and [PAGE 115] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION astride a splendid charger, is setting out from his castle to seek The Holy Grail. On his shield gleams the cross, the symbol of the benignity and ten- derness of Our Savior, the meek and lowly One, but the knight's heart is filled with pride and haughty disdain for the poor and needy. He meets a leper asking alms and with a contemptuous frown throws him a coin, as one might cast a bone to a hungry cur, but The leper raised not the gold from the dust, "Better to me the poor man's crust, Better the blessing of the poor, Though I turn empty from his door. That is not true alms which the hand can hold; He gives only worthless gold Who gives from a send of duty; But he who gives from a slender mite, And gives to that which is out of sight-- That thread of all-sustaining Beauty Which runs through all and doth all unite,-- The hand cannot clasp the whole of his alms, The heart outstretches its eager palms, For a god goes with it and makes it store To the soul that was starving in darkness before. On his return sir Launfal finds another in possession of his castle, and is driven from the gate. An old bent man, worn out and frail, He came back from seeking the Holy Grail; Little he recked of his earldom's loss, No more on his surcoat was blazoned the cross, But deep in his heart the sign he wore, The badge of the suffering and the poor. Again he meets the leper, who again asks alms. This time the knight re- sponds differently. And Sir Launfal said: "I behold in thee An image of Him Who died on the tree; Thou also hast had they crown of thorns, Thou also hast had the world's buffets and scorns, [PAGE 116] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION And to thy life were not denied The wounds in the hands and feet and side; Mild Mary's Son, acknowledge me; Behold, through him I give to Thee!" A look in the leper's eye brings remembrance and recognition, and The heart within him was ashes and dust; He parted in twain his single crust, He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink, And gave the leper to eat and drink. A transformation takes place: The leper no longer crouched by his side, But stood before him glorified, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And the Voice that was softer that silence said, "Lo, it is I, be not afraid! In many lands, without avail, Thou has spent thy life for the Holy Grail; Behold, it is here!--This cup which thou Did'st fill at the streamlet for me but now; This crust is by body broken for thee, This water the blood I shed on the tree; The Holy Supper is kept, indeed, In whatso we share with another's need; Not what we five, but what we share-- For the gift without the giver is bare; Who gives himself with his alms feeds three-- Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me." The first heaven is a place of joy without a single drop of bitterness. 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 fullest measure. It is a place of rest, and the harder has been the life, the more keenly will rest be enjoyed. Sickness, sorrow, and pain are un- known quantities. This is the Summerland of the spiritualists. There the thoughts of the devout Christian have built the New Jerusalem. [PAGE 117] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION Beautiful houses, flowers, etc., are the portion of those who aspired to them; they build them themselves by thought from the subtle desire stuff. Nevertheless these things are just as real and tangible to them as our mate- rial houses are to us. All gain here the satisfaction which earth life lacked for them. There is one class there who lead a particularly beautiful life--the children. If we could but see them we would quickly cease our grief. 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, be- cause it is not responsible for its actions, any more than the unborn child is responsible for the pain it causes the mother by turning and twisting in her womb. Therefore the child has not purgatorial existence. That which is not quickened cannot die, hence the desire body of a child, together with the mind, will persist until a new birth, and for that reason such children are very apt to remember their previous life as instanced in the case cited elsewhere. For such children the first heaven is a waiting-place where they dwell from one to twenty years, until an opportunity for a new birth is offered. Yet it is more than simply a waiting-place, because there is much progress made during this interim. When a child dies there is always some relative awaiting it, or, failing that there are people who loved to "mother" children in the earth life who find delight in taking care of a little waif. The extreme plasticity of the desire stuff makes it easy to form the most exquisite living toys for the children, and their life is one beautiful play; nevertheless their instruc- tion is not neglected. They are formed into classes according to their tem- peraments, but quite regardless of age. In the Desire World it is easy to [PAGE 118] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION give object-lessons in the influence of good and evil passions on conduct and happiness. These lessons are indelibly imprinted upon the child's sen- sitive and emotional desire body, and remain with it after rebirth, so that many a one living a noble life owes much of it to the fact that he was given this training. Often when a weak spirit is born, the Compassionate ones (the invisible Leaders who guide our evolution) cause it to die in early life that it may have this extra training to fit it for what may be perhaps a hard life. This seems to be the case particularly where the etching on the desire body was weak in consequence of a dying person having been dis- turbed by the lamentations of his relatives, or because he met death by ac- cident or on the battle-field. He did not under those circumstances experi- ence the appropriate intensity of feeling in his POST MORTEM existence, therefore, when he is born and dies early life, the loss is made us as above. Often the duty of caring for such a child in the heaven life falls to those who were the cause of the anomaly. They are thus afforded a chance to make up for the fault and to learn better. Or perhaps they become the parents of the one they harmed and care for it during the few years it lives. It does not matter then if they do lament hysterically over its death, because there would be no pictures of any consequence in a child's vital body. This heaven is also a place of progression for all who have been studi- ous, artistic, or altruistic. The student and the philosopher have instant access to all the libraries of the world. The painter has endless delight in ever-changing color combinations. He soon learns that his thought blends and shapes these colors at will. His creations glow and scintillate with a life impossible of attainment to one works with the dull pigments of Earth. [PAGE 119] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION He is, as it were, painting with living, glowing materials and able to ex- ecute his designs with a facility which fills his soul with delight. The musician has not yet reached the place where his art will express itself to the fullest extent. The Physical World is the world of FORM. The Desire World, where we find purgatory and the first heaven, is particularly the world of COLOR.; but the World of Thought, where the second and third heav- ens are located, is the sphere of TONE. Celestial music is a fact and not a mere figure of speech. Pythagoras was not romancing when spoke of the music of the spheres, for each one of the heavenly orbs has its definite tone and together they sound the celestial symphony which Goethe also mentions in the prolog to his "Faust," where the scene is laid in heaven. The Archangel Raphael says, The Sun intones his ancient song 'Mid rival chant of brother spheres. His prescribed course he speeds along In thund'rous way throughout the years. Echoes of that heavenly music reach us even here in the Physical World. They are our most precious possession, even though they are as elusive as a will-o'-the-wisp, and cannot be permanently created, as can other works of art--a statue, a painting, or a book. In the Physical World tone dies and vanishes the moment after it is born. In the first heaven these echoes are, of course, much more beautiful and have more permanency, hence there the mu- sician hears sweeter strains than ever he did during earth life. The experiences of the poet are akin to those of the musician, for po- etry is the soul's expression of it innermost feelings in words which are ordered according to the same laws of harmony and rhythm that govern the [PAGE 120] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION outpouring of the spirit in music. In addition, the poet finds a wonderful inspiration in the pictures and colors which are the chief characteristics of the Desire World. Thence he will draw the material for use in his next incarnation. In like manner does the author accumulate material and fac- ulty. The philanthropist works out his altruistic plans for the upliftment of man. If he failed in one life, he will see the reason for it in the first heaven and will there learn how to overcome the obstacles and avoid the errors that made his plan impracticable. 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. Together these 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. Then man leaves his desire body to disintegrate, as he left his dense body and vital body. He takes with him the forces only of the seed-atom, which are to form the nucleus of future desire bodies, as it was the persistent particle of his past vehicles of feeling. As stated above, the forces of the seed-atom are withdrawn. To the ma- terialist force and matter are inseparable. The occultist knows differ- ently. To him they are not two entirely distinct and separate concepts, but the two poles of one spirit. MATTER is crystallized spirit. FORCE is the same spirit not yet crystallized. This has been said before, but it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the mind. In this connection the illustration of the snail is very helpful. Matter, which is crystallized spirit, corresponds to the snail's house, [PAGE 121] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION which is crystallized snail. The chemical force which moves matter, making it available for the building of form, and the snail which moves its house are also good correspondences. That which is now the snail will in time be- come the house, and that which is now force will in time become matter when it has crystallized further. The reverse process of resolving matter back into spirit is also going on continually. The coarser phase of this process we see as decay when a man is leaving his vehicles behind and at that time the spirit of an atom is easily detachable from the coarser spirit which has been manifesting as matter. THE SECOND HEAVEN At last the man, the Ego, the threefold spirit, enters the second heaven. He is clad in the sheath of mind, which contains the three seed-atoms--the quintessence of the three discarded vehicles. When the man dies and loses his dense and vital bodies there is the same condition as when one falls asleep. The desire body, as has been explained, has no organs ready for use. It is now transformed from an ovoid to a fig- ure resembling the dense body which has been abandoned. We can easily un- derstand that there must be an interval of unconsciousness resembling sleep and then the man awakes in the Desire World. It not infrequently happens, however, that such people are, for a long time, unaware of what has happened to them. They do not realize that they have died. They know that they are able to move and think. It is sometimes even a very hard matter to get them to believe that they are really "dead." They realize that something is dif- ferent, but they are not able to understand what it is. [PAGE 122] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Not so, however, when the change is made from the first heaven, which is in the Desire World, to the second heaven, which is in the Region of Con- crete Thought. Then the man leaves his desire body. He is perfectly con- scious. He passes into a great stillness. For the time being everything seems to fade away. He cannot think. No faculty is alive, yet he knows that he IS. He has a feeling of standing in "The Great Forever;" of stand- ing utterly alone, yet unafraid; and his soul is filled with a wonderful peace, "which passeth all understanding." In occult science this is called "THE GREAT SILENCE." Then comes the awakening. The spirit is now in its home-World--heaven. Here the first awakening brings to the spirit the sound of "the music of the spheres." In our Earth life we are so immersed in the little noises and sounds of our limited environment that we are incapable of hearing the music of the marching orbs, but the occult scientist hears it. He knows that the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the seven planets from the sounding-board and strings of "Apollo's seven-stringed lyre." He knows that were a single dis- cord to mar the celestial harmony from that grand Instrument there would be "a wreck of matter and a crash of worlds." The power of rhythmic vibration is well known to all who have given the subject even the least study. For instance, soldiers are commanded to break step when crossing a bridge, otherwise their rhythmic tramp would shatter the strongest structure. The Bible story of the sounding of the ram's horn while marching around the walls of the city of Jericho is not nonsensical in the eyes of the occultist. In some cases similar things have happened with- out the world smiling in supercilious incredulity. A few years ago, a band [PAGE 123] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION of musicians were practicing in a garden close to the very solid wall of an old castle. There occurred at a certain place in the music a prolonged and very piercing tone. When this note was sounded the wall of the castle sud- denly fell. The musicians has struck the keynote of the wall and it was sufficiently prolonged to shatter it. When it is said that this is the world of tone, it must not be thought that there are no colors. Many people know that there is an intimate con- nection between color and tone; than when a certain note is struck, a cer- tain color appears simultaneously. So it is also in the Heaven World. Color and sound are both present; 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. The musician can hear certain tones in different parts of nature, such as the wind in the forest, the breaking of the surf on the beach, the roar of the ocean and the sounding of many waters. These combined tones make a whole which is the key-note of the Earth--its "tone." As geometrical figures are created by drawing a violin bow over the edge of a glass plate containing sand, 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. The work done my man is the Heaven World is many-sided. It is not in the least an inactive, dreamy not illusory existence. 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. Here the quintessence of the three bodies is built into the threefold spirit. As much of the desire body as the man had worked upon during life, [PAGE 124] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION by purifying his desires and emotions, will be welded into the human spirit, thus giving an improved mind in the future. As much of the vital body as the life spirit had worked upon, trans- formed, spiritualized, and thus saved from the decay to which the rest of the vital body is subject, will be amalgamated with the life spirit to in- sure a better vital body and temperament in the succeeding lives. As much of the dense body as the divine spirit has save by right action will be worked into it and will bring better environment and opportunities. The spiritualization of the vehicle is accomplished by cultivation of the faculties of observation, discrimination and memory, devotion to high ideals, prayer, concentration, persistence and right use of the life forces. The second heaven is the real home of man--the Ego, the Thinker. Here he dwells for centuries, assimilating the fruit of the last earth life and preparing the earthly conditions which will be best suited for his next step in progress. The sound or tone which pervades this Region, and is every- where apparent as color, is his instrument, so to speak. It is this harmo- nious sound vibration which, as an elixir of life, builds into the threefold spirit the quintessence of the threefold body, upon which it depends for growth. The life in the second heaven is an exceedingly active one, varied in many different ways. The Ego assimilates the fruits of the last earth life and prepares the environment for a new physical existence. It is not enough to say that the new conditions will be determined by conduct and action in the life just closed. It is required that the fruits of the past be worked into the World which is to be the next scene of activity while the Ego is gaining fresh physical experiences and gathering further fruit. Therefore all the denizens of the Heaven World work upon the models of the Earth, all [PAGE 125] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION of which are in the Region of Concrete Thought. They alter the physical features of the Earth, and bring 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. Climate, FLORA, and FAUNA are altered by man under the direction of higher Beings, to be de- scribed later. Thus the world is just what we ourselves, individually and collectively, have made it; and it will be what we make it. The occult sci- entist sees in everything that happens a cause of a spiritual nature manifesting itself, not omitting the prevalence and alarmingly increasing frequency of seismic disturbances, which it traces to the materialistic thought of modern science. It is true that purely physical causes can bring about such distur- bances, but is that the last word on the subject? Can we always get the full explanation by merely recording what appears on the surface? Surely not! We see two men conversing on the street and one suddenly strikes the other, knocking him down. One observer may say that an angry knocked the man down. Another may scoff at this answer and declare that he saw the arm lifted, the muscles contract, the arm shooting out and coming in contact with the victim, who was knocked down. That is also true, but it is safe to say that had there not FIRST been the angry thought, the blow would not have been struck. In like manner the occultist says that if materialism had not been, seismic disturbances would not have occurred. Man's work in the Heaven World is not confined solely to the alternation of the surface of the Earth which is to be the scene of his future struggles in the subjugation of the Physical World. He is also actively engaged in [PAGE 126] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION learning how to build a body which shall afford a better means of expres- sion. It is man's destiny to become a Creative Intelligence and he is serv- ing his apprenticeship all the time. During his heaven life he is learning to build all kinds of bodies--the human included. We have spoken of the forces which work along the positive and negative poles of the different ethers. MAN HIMSELF IS PART OF THAT FORCE. Those whom we call dead are the ones who help us to live. They in turn are helped by the so-called "nature spirits," which they command. Man is directed in this work by Teachers from the higher creative Hierarchies, which helped him to build his vehicles before he attained self-consciousness, in the same way he himself now builds his bodies in sleep. During heaven life they teach him 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. The mathematician has to deal with space, and the faculty for space per- ception is connected with the delicate adjustment of the three semi-circular canals which are situated inside the ear, each pointing in one of the three dimensions in space. Logical thought and mathematical ability are in pro- portion to the accuracy of the adjustment of these semi-circular canals. Musical ability is also dependent upon the same factor, but in addition to the necessity for the proper adjustment of the semi-circular canals, the musician requires extreme delicacy of the "fibres of Corti," of which there are about ten thousand in the human ear, each capable of interpreting about twenty-five gradations of tone. In the ears of the majority of people they do not respond to more than from three to ten of the possible gradations. [PAGE 127] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION Among ordinary musical people the greatest degree of efficiency is about fifteen sounds to each fivre; but the master musician, who is able to inter- pret and bring down music from the Heaven World, requires a greater range to be able to distinguish the different notes and detect the slightest discord in the most complicated chords. Persons who require organs of such exceed- ing delicacy for the expression of their faculties are specially taken care of, as the higher state of their development merits and demands. None other ranks so high as the musician, which is reasonable when we consider that while the painter draws his inspiration chiefly from the world of color--the nearer Desire World--the musician attempts to bring us the atmosphere of our heavenly home world (where, as spirits, we are citizens), and to translate them into the sounds of earth life. His is the highest mission, because as a mode of expression for soul life, music reigns supreme. That music is different from and higher than all the other arts can be understood when we reflect that a statue or painting, when once created, is permanent. They are drawn from the Desire World and are therefore more easily crystallized, while music, being of the Heaven World, is more elusive and must be re-cre- ated each time we hear it. It cannot be imprisoned, as shown by the unsuc- cessful attempts to do so partially by means of such mechanical devices as phonographs and piano-players. The music so reproduced loses much of the soul-stirring sweetness it possesses when it comes fresh from its own world, carrying to the soul memories of its home and speaking to it in a language that no beauty expressed in marble or upon canvas can equal. The instrument through which man senses music is the most perfect sense organ in the human body. The eye is not by any means true, but the ear is, [PAGE 128] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION in the sense that it hears every sound without distortion, while the eye of- ten distorts what it sees. In addition to the musical ear, the musician must also learn to build a long, fine hand with slender fingers and sensitive nerves, otherwise he would not be able to reproduce the melodies he hears. It is a law of nature that no one can inhabit a more efficient body that he is capable of building. He first learns to build a certain grade of body and afterwards he learns to live in it. In that way he discovers its de- fects and is taught how to remedy them. All men work unconsciously at the building of their bodies during ante-natal life until they have reached the point where the quintessence of former bodies--which they have saved--is to be built in. Then they work con- sciously. It will therefore be seen that 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. The advanced pupil of an occult school some- times commences to build for himself as soon as the work during the first three weeks (which belongs exclusively to the mother) has been completed. When the period of unconscious building has passed the man has a chance to exercise his nascent creative power, and the true original creative process--"Epigenesis"--begins. Thus we see that man learns to BUILD his vehicles in the Heaven World, and to use them in the Physical World. Nature provides all phases of expe- rience in such a marvelous manner and with such consummate wisdom that as we learn to see deeper and deeper into her secrets we are more and more im- pressed with our own insignificance and with an ever-growing reverence for God, whose visible symbol nature is. The more we learn of her wonders, the [PAGE 129] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION more we realize that this world system is not the vast perpetual motion ma- chine unthinking people would have us believe. It would be quite as logical to think that if we toss a box of loose type into the air the characters will have arranged themselves into the words of a beautiful poem by the time they reach the ground. The greater the complexity of the plan the greater the argumental weight in favor of the theory of an intelligent Divine Au- thor. THE THIRD HEAVEN Having assimilated all the fruits of his last life and altered the ap- pearance of the Earth in such a manner as to afford him the necessary envi- ronment for his next step towards perfection; having also learned by work on the bodies of others, to build a suitable body through which to express him- self in the Physical World and having at last resolved the mind into the es- sence which builds the three-fold spirit, the naked individual spirit as- cends into the higher Region of the World of Thought--the third heaven, Here, by the ineffable harmony of this higher world, it is strengthened for its next dip into matter. After a time comes the desire for new experience and the contemplation of a new birth. This conjures up a series of pictures before the vision of the spirit--a panorama of the new life in store for it. But, mark this well--this panorama contains only principal events. The spirit has free will as to detail. It is as if a man going to a distant city had a time-limit ticket, with initial choice of route. After he has chosen and begun his journey it is not sure that he can change to another route during the trip. He may stop over in as many places as he wishes, within his time limit, but he cannot go back. Thus as he proceeds on his journey, he becomes more and [PAGE 130] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION more limited by his past choice. If he had chosen a steam road, using soft coal, he must expect to be soiled and dusty. Had he chosen a road burning anthracite or using electricity he would have been cleaner. So it is with the man in a new life. 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. Other condi- tions are also within his control, subject to limits of his past choices and acts. The pictures in the panorama of the coming life, of which we have just spoken, begin at the cradle and end at the grave. This is the opposite di- rection to that in which they travel in the after-death panorama, already explained, which passes before the vision of the spirit immediately follow- ing its release from the dense body. The reason for this radical difference in the two panoramas is that in the before-birth panorama the object is to show the returning Ego how certain CAUSES or acts always PRODUCE certain EF- FECTS. In the case of the after-death panorama the object is the reverse, i.e., to show how each event in the past life was the EFFECT of some CAUSE further back in the life. Nature, or God, does nothing without a logical reason, and the further we search the more apparent it becomes to us that Nature is a wise mother, always using the best means to accomplish her ends. But it may be asked, Why should we be reborn? Why must we return to this limited and miserable earth existence? Why can we not get experience in those higher realms without coming to Earth? We are tired of this dreary, weary earth life! Such queries are based upon misunderstandings of several kinds. In the first place, let us realize and engrave it deep upon the tablets of our memory that THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS NOT HAPPINESS, BUT EXPERIENCE. Sorrow [PAGE 131] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION and pain are our most benevolent teachers, while the joys of life are but fleeting. This seems a stern doctrine and the heart cries out passionately at even the thought that it may possibly be true. Nevertheless, it is true, and upon examination it will be found not such a stern doctrine after all. Consider the blessings of pain. If we could place our hand upon a hot stove and feel no pain, the hand might be allowed to remain until it and perhaps the arm were burned away, without our knowing anything about it un- til too late to save them. It is the pain resulting from the contact with the hot stove which makes us snatch our hand away before serious damage is done. Instead of losing the hand, we escape with a blister which quickly heals. This is an illustration from the Physical World. We find that same principle applies in the Moral and Mental Worlds. If we outrage morality 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 conscious- ness that "the way of the transgressor is hard." This will continue until at last we are forced to turn in a new direction and take a step onward to- ward a better life. Experience is "knowledge of the effects which follow acts." This is the object of life, together with the development of "Will," which is the force whereby we apply the results of experience. Experience must be gained, but we have the choice whether we gain it by the hard path of personal experi- ence or by observation of other people's acts, reasoning and reflecting thereon, guided by the light of whatever experience we have already had. [PAGE 132] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION This is the method by which the occult student should learn, instead of requiring the lash of adversity and pain. The more willing we are to learn in that way, the less we shall feel the stinging thorns of "the path of pain" and the more quickly shall we gain "the path of peace." The choice is ours, but so long as we have not learned all there is to learn in this world, we must come back to it. We cannot stay in the higher worlds and learn there until we have mastered the lessons of earth life. That would be as sensible as to send a child to kindergarten one day and to college the next. The child must return to the kindergarten day after day and spend years in the grammar school and the high school before its study has developed its capacity sufficiently to enable it to understand the les- sons taught in college. Man is also in school--the school of experience. He must return many times before he can hope to master all the knowledge in the world of sense. No one earth life, however rich in experience, could furnish the knowledge, so nature decrees that he must return to Earth, after intervals of rest, to take up his work where he dropped it, exactly as a child takes up its work in school each day, after the intervening sleep of night. It is not argu- ment against this theory to say that man does not remember his former lives. We cannot recall all the events of our present lives. We do not recollect our labors in learning to write, yet we have acquired a knowledge of the art of writing, which proves that we did learn. All the faculties we possess are a proof that we acquired them sometime, somewhere. Some people do re- member their past, however, as a remarkable instance related at the end of the next chapter will show, and is but one among many. Again, if their were no return to Earth, what is the use of living? Why [PAGE 133] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION strive for anything? Why should a life of happiness in an eternal heaven be the reward for a good life? What benefit could come from a good life in a heaven where everybody is already happy? Surely in a place where everybody is happy and contented there is no need for sympathy, self-sacrifice or wise counsel! No one would need them here; but on Earth there are many who need those very things and such humanitarian and altruistic qualities are of the greatest service to struggling humanity. Therefore the Great Law, which works for Good, brings man back to work again in the world for the benefit to himself and others, with his acquired treasures, instead of letting them go to waste in a heaven where no one needs them. PREPARATIONS FOR REBIRTH Having thus seen the necessity for repeated embodiments, we will next consider the method by which this purpose is accomplished. Previous to taking the dip into matter, the threefold spirit is naked, having only the forces of the four seed-atoms (which are the nuclei of the threefold body and the sheath of mind). Its descent resembles the putting on of several pairs of gloves of increasing thickness, as previously illus- trated. The forces of the mind of the last life are awakened from their la- tency in the seed-atom. This begins to attract to itself materials from the highest subdivision of the Region of Concrete Thought, in a manner similar to that in which a magnet draws to itself iron filings. If we hold a magnet over a miscellaneous heap of filings of brass, sil- ver, gold, iron, lead and other metals, we shall find that it selects only iron filings and that even of them it will take no more than its strength [PAGE 134] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION enables it to lift. Its attractive power is of a certain kind and is lim- ited to a certain quantity of that kind. The same is true of the seed-atom. It can take, in each Region, nothing except the material for which it has an affinity and nothing beyond a certain definite quantity even of that. Thus the vehicle built around this nucleus becomes an exact counterpart of the corresponding vehicle of the last life minus the evil which has been expur- gated and plus the quintessence of good which has been incorporated in the seed-atom. The material selected by the threefold spirit forms itself into a great bell-shaped figure, open at the bottom and with the seed-atom at the top. If we conceive of the illustration spiritually we may compare it to a div- ing-bell descending into a sea composed of fluids of increasing density. These correspond to the different subdivisions of each World. The matter taken into the texture of the bell-shaped body makes it heavier, so that it sinks into the next lower subdivision and it takes from that its proper quota of matter. Thus it becomes still heavier and sinks yet deeper until it has passed through the four subdivisions of the Region of Concrete Thought and the sheath of the new mind of the man is complete. Next the forces in the seed-atom of the desire body are awakened. It places itself at the top of the bell, INSIDE, and the materials of the seventh Region of the Desire World draw around it until it sinks to the sixth Region, getting more material there, and this process continues until the first Region of the Desire World is reached. The bell has now two layers-the sheath of mind outside and the new desire body inside. The seed-atom of the vital body is next aroused into activity, but here the process of information is not so simple as in the case of the mind and the desire body, for it must be remembered that those vehicles were [PAGE 135] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION comparatively unorganized, while the vital body and the dense body are more organized and very complicated. The material, of a given quantity and qual- ity, is attracted in the same manner and under the operation of the same law as in the case of the higher bodies, but the building of the new body and the placement in the proper environment is done by four great Beings of im- measurable wisdom, which are the Recording Angels, the "Lords of Destiny." They impress the reflecting ether of the vital body in such a way that the pictures of the coming life are reflected in it. It (the vital body) is built by the inhabitants of the Heaven World and the elemental spirits in such a manner as to form a particular type of brain. But mark this, THE RE- TURNING EGO ITSELF INCORPORATES THEREIN THE QUINTESSENCE OF ITS FORMER VITAL BODIES AND IN ADDITION TO THIS ALSO DOES A LITTLE ORIGINAL WORK. This is done that in the coming life there may be some room for original and indi- vidual expression, not predetermined by past action. It is very important to remember this fact. There is too great a ten- dency to think that all which now exists is the result of something that previously existed, but if that were the case there would be no margin left for new and original effort and for new causes. The chain of cause and ef- fect is not a monotonous repetition. THERE IS AN INFLUX OF NEW AND ORIGINAL CAUSES ALL THE TIME. That is the real backbone of evolution--the only thing that gives it meaning and makes it other than an unrolling of latent actu- alities. This is "Epigenesis"--the free-will that consists of the freedom the inaugurate something entirely new, not merely a choice between two courses of action. This is the important factor which alone can explain the system to which we belong in a satisfactory manner. Involution and [PAGE 136] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Evolution is themselves are insufficient; but coupled with Epignesis we have a full triad of explanation. The fate of an individual generated under the law of Consequence, is of great complexity and involves association with Egos in and out of physical existence, at all times. Even those living at one time may not be living in the same locality, so that it is impossible for one individual's destiny to be all worked out in one lifetime or in one place. The Ego is therefore brought into a certain environment and family with which it is some way re- lated. As regards the fate to be worked out, it is sometimes immaterial into which one of several environmental the Ego is reborn, and when such is the case, it is allowed its choice as far as possible, but once an Ego is so placed the agents of the Lords of Destiny watch unseen, that no act of free will shall frustrate the working out of the portion of fate selected. If we do aught of such as to circumvent that part, they will make another move, so as to enforce fulfillment of the destiny. It cannot be too often reiter- ated, however, that this does not render man helpless. It is merely the same law that governs after we have fired a pistol. We are then unable to stop the bullet, or even to deflect it from its course in any way. Its di- rection was determined by the position in which the pistol was held when we fired. That could have been changed at any time before the trigger was pulled, as up to that time we had full control. The same is true regarding new actions which make future destiny. We may, up to a certain point, modify or even altogether counteract certain causes already set in motion, but once started, and no further action taken, they will get beyond our con- trol. This is called "ripe" fate and it is this kind that is meant when it is said that the Lords of Destiny check every attempt to shirk it. With [PAGE 137] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION regard to out past we are to a great extent helpless, but in regard to fu- ture action we have full control, except insofar as we are hampered by our past actions. By and by, however, as we learn that we are the cause of our own sorrow or joy, we shall awake to the necessity of ordering our lives more in harmony with the laws of God and thus rise above these laws of the Physical World. That is the key to emancipation; as Goethe says: From every power that all the world enchains Man frees himself when self-control he gains. The vital body, having been molded by the Lords of Destiny, will give form to the dense body, organ of organ. This matrix or mold is then placed in the womb of the future mother. The seed-atom for the dense body is in the triangular head of one of the spermatozoa in the semen of the father. This alone makes fertilization possible and here is the explanation of the fact that so many times sex-unions are unfruitful. The chemical con- stituents of the seminal fluid and the ova are the same at all times and were these the only requirements, the explanation of the phenomenon of in- fertility, if sought in the material, visible world alone, would not be found. It becomes plain, however, when we understand that as the molecules of water freeze only along the lines of force in the water and manifest as ice crystals instead of freezing into a homogeneous mass, as would be the case if there were no lines of force previous to coagulation, so there can be no dense body built until there is a vital body in which to build the ma- terial; also there must be a seed-atom for the dense body, to act as gauge of the quality and quantity of the matter which is to be built into that dense body. Although at the present stage of development there is never [PAGE 138] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION full harmony in the materials of the body, because that would mean a perfect body, yet the discord must not be so great as to be disruptive of the organ- ism. Thus while heredity in the first place is true only as regards the mate- rial of the dense body and not the soul qualities, which are entirely indi- vidual, the incoming Ego also does a certain amount of work on its dense body, incorporating in it the quintessence of its past physical qualities. No body is an exact mixture of the qualities of its parents, although the Ego is restricted to the use of the materials taken from the bodies of the father and mother. Hence a musician incarnates where he can get the mate- rial to build the slender hand and the delicate ear, with it sensitive fi- bres of Corti and its accurate adjustment of the three semicircular canals. The arrangement of these materials, however, is, to the extent named, under the control of the Ego. It is as though a carpenter were given a pile of boards to use in building a house in which to live, but is left to his own judgement as to the kind of house he wishes to build. Except in the case of a very highly developed being, this work of the Ego is almost negligible at the present stage of man's evolution. The greatest scope is given in the building of the desire body, very little in that of the vital body and almost none in the dense body; yet even this little is sufficient to make each individual an expression of his own spirit and different from the parents. When the impregnation of the ovum has taken place, the desire body of the mother works upon it for a period of from eighteen to twenty-one days, the Ego remaining outside in its desire body and mind sheath, yet always in close touch with the mother. Upon the expiration of that time the Ego en- ters the mother's body. The bell-shaped vehicles draw themselves down over [PAGE 139] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION the head of the vital body and the bell closes at the bottom. From this time the Ego broods over its coming instrument until the birth of the child and the new earth life of the returning Ego commences. [PAGE 139 cont'd] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION BIRTH OF THE DENSE BODY The vehicles of the new-born do not at once become active. The dense body is helpless for a long time after birth. Reasoning from analogy we can readily see that the same must be the case with the higher vehicles. The occult scientist sees it, but even without clairvoyance reason will show that this must be so. As the dense body is slowly prepared for the separate, individual life within the protecting cover of the womb, so the other bodies are gradually born and nurtured into activity, and while the times given in the following description are but approximate, they are nev- ertheless accurate enough for general purposes and show the connection be- tween the Microcosm and the Macrocosm--the individual and the world. In the period immediately following birth the different vehicles inter-penetrate one another, as, in our previous illustration, the sand pen- etrates the sponge and the water both sand and sponge. But, though they are all present, as in adult life, they are MERELY PRESENT. None of their positive faculties are active. The vital body cannot use the forces which operate along the positive pole of the ethers. Assimilation, which works along the positive pole of the chemical ether, is very dainty during child- hood and what there is of it is due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers of which act as a womb for the child's vital body until the seventh year, gradually ripening it during that period. The propagative faculty, [PAGE 140] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION which works along the positive pole of the life ether, is also latent. The heating of the body--which is carried on along the positive pole of the light ether--and the circulation of the blood are due to the macrocosmic vital body, the ethers acting on the child and slowly developing it to the point where it can control these functions itself. The forces working along the negative pole of the ethers are so much the more active. The excretion of solides, carried on along the negative pole of the chemical ether (corresponding to the solid subdivision of the Chemical Region), is too unrestrained, as is also the excretion of fluid, which is carried on along the negative pole of the life ether (corresponding to the second or fluid subdivision of the Chemical Region). The passive sense-perception, which is due to the negative forces of the light ether, is also exceedingly prominent. The child is very impressionable and it is "all eyes and ears." During the earlier years the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether are also extremely active. In those years children can "see" the higher Worlds and they often prattle about what they see until the ridicule of their elders or punishment for "telling stories" teaches them to desist. It is deplorable that the little ones are forced to lie--or at least to deny the truth--because of the incredulity of their "wise" elders. Even the investigations of the Society for Physical Research have proven that children often have invisible playmates, who frequently visit them until they are several years old. During those years the clairvoyance of the children is of the same negative character as that of the mediums. It is the same with the forces working in the desire body. The passive feeling of physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost [PAGE 141] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION entirely absent. The child will, of course, show emotion on the slightest provocation, but the duration of that emotion is but momentary. It all on the surface. The child also has the link of mind, but is almost incapable of indi- vidual thought activity. It is exceedingly sensitive to forces working along the negative pole and is therefore imitative and teachable. Thus it is shown that all the negative qualities are active in the new-born entity, but before it is able to use its different vehicles, the positive qualities must be ripened. Each vehicle is therefore brought to a certain degree of maturity by the activity of the corresponding vehicle of the macrocosm, which acts as a womb for it until that degree is reached. From the first to the seventh year the vital body grows and slowly ma- tures within the womb of the macrocosmic vital body and because of the greater wisdom of this vehicle of the macrocosm the child's body is more rounded and well-built than in later life. BIRTH OF THE VITAL BODY. While the macrocosmic vital body guides the growth of the child's body it is guarded from the dangers which later threaten it when the unwise indi- vidual vital body takes unchecked charge. This happens in the seventh year, when the period of excessive, dangerous growth begins, and continues through the next seven years. During this time the macrocosmic desire body performs the function of a womb for the individual desire body. Were the vital body to have continual and unrestrained sway in the human kingdom, as it has in the plant, man would grow to an enormous size. There was a time in the far distant past when man was constituted like a plant, [PAGE 142] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION having only a dense body and a vital body. The traditions of mythology and folk-lore all over the world concerning giants in olden times are absolutely true, because then men grew as tall trees, and for the same reason. BIRTH OF THE DESIRE BODY. The vital body of the plant builds leaf after leaf, carrying the stem higher and higher. Were it not for the macrocosmic desire body it would keep on in that way indefinitely, but the macrocosmic desire body steps in at a certain point and checks further growth. The force that is not needed for further growth is then available for other purposes and is used to build the flower and the seed. In like manner the human vital body, when the dense body comes under its sway, after the seventh year, makes the latter grow very rapidly, but about the fourteenth year the individual desire body is born from the womb of the macrocosmic desire body and is then free to work on its dense body. The excessive growth is then checked and the force theretofore used for that purpose becomes available for propagation, that the human plant may flower and bring forth. Therefore the birth of the per- sonal desire body marks the period of puberty. From this period the attrac- tion towards the opposite sex is felt, being especially active and unrestrained in the third septenary period of life--from the fourteenth to the twenty-first year, because the restraining mind is then still unborn. BIRTH OF THE MIND. After the fourteenth year, the mind is in turn brooded over and nurtured by the macrocosmic mind, unfolding its latent possibilities and making it capable of original thought. The forces of the individual's different [PAGE 143] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION vehicles have now been ripened to such a degree that he can use them all in his evolution, therefore at the twenty-first year the Ego comes into posses- sion of its complete vehicle. It does this by means of the blood-heat and by developing individual blood. This is done in connection with the full development of the light ether. THE BLOOD THE VEHICLE OF THE EGO. In infancy, and up to the fourteenth year, the red marrow-bones do not make all the blood corpuscles. Most of them are supplied by the thymus gland, which is largest in the fetus and gradually diminishes as the indi- vidual blood-making faculty develops in the growing child. The thymus gland contains, as it were, a supply of blood corpuscles given by the parents, and consequently the child, which draws its blood from that source, does not re- alize its individuality. Not until the blood is made by the child does it think of itself as "I," and when the thymus gland disappears, at the age of fourteen, the "I" feeling reaches its full expression, for then the blood is made and dominated entirely by the Ego. The following will make clear the idea and its logic: It will be remembered that assimilation and growth depend upon the forces working along the positive pole of the vital body's chemical ether. That is set free at the seventh year, together with the balance of the vital body. Only the chemical ether is fully ripe at that time; the other parts need more ripening. At the fourteenth year the life ether of the vital body, which has to do with propagation, is fully ripe. In the period from seven to fourteen years of age the excessive assimilation has stored up an amount of force which goes to the sex organs and is ready at the time the desire body is set free. [PAGE 144] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION This force of sex is stored in the blood during the third of the seven-year periods and in that time the light ether, which is the avenue for the blood-heat, is developed and controls the heart, so that the body is neither too hot nor too cold. In early childhood the blood very often rises to an abnormal temperature. During the period of excessive growth it is frequently the reverse, but in the hot-headed, unrestrained youth, passion and temper very often drive the Ego out by over-heating the blood. We very appropriately call this an ebullition or boiling over of temper and describe the effect as causing the person to "lose his head," i.e., become incapable of thought. That is exactly what happens when passion, rage, or temper overheats the blood, thus drawing the Ego outside the bodies. The descrip- tion is accurate when, of a person in such a state, we say, "He has lost control of himself." The Ego is outside of his vehicles and they are run- ning amuck, bereft of the guiding influence of thought, part of the work of which is to act as a brake on impulse. The great and terrible danger of such outbursts is that before the owner re-enters his body some disembodied entity may take possession of it and keep him out. This is called "obses- sion." Only the man who keeps cool and does not allow excess of heat to drive him out can think properly. As proof of the assertion that the Ego cannot work in the body when the blood is either tool hot or too cold we will call attention to the well-known fact that excessive heat makes one sleepy and, if carried beyond a certain point, it drives the Ego out, leav- ing the body in a faint, that is, unconscious. Excessive cold has also a tendency to make the body sleepy or unconscious. It is only when the blood is at or near the normal temperature that the Ego can use it as a vehicle of consciousness. [PAGE 145] MAN AND THE METHOD OF EVOLUTION To further show the connection of the ego with the blood we may mention the burning blush of shame, which is an evidence of the manner in which the blood is driven to the head, thus over-heating the brain and paralyzing thought. Fear is the state when the Ego wants to barricade himself against some outside danger. He then drives the blood to the center and grows pale, because the blood has left the periphery of the body and has lost heat, thus paralyzing thought. His blood "freezes," he shivers and his teeth chatter, as when the temperature is lowered by atmospheric conditions. In fever the excess of heat causes delirium. The full-blooded person, when the blood is not too hot, is active in body and mind, while the anemic person is sleepy. In one the Ego has better control; in the other less. When the Ego wants to think it drives blood, at the proper heat, to the brain. When a heavy meal centers the activity of the Ego upon the digestive tracts, the man cannot think; he is sleepy. The old Norsemen and the Scots recognized that the Ego is in the blood. No stranger could become associated with them as a relative until he had "mixed blood" with them and thus become one of them. Goethe, who was an Initiate, also showed this in his "Faust." Faust is about to sign the com- pact with Mephistopheles and asks, "Why not sign with ordinary ink? Why use blood?" Mephisto answers, "Blood is a most peculiar essence." He knows, that who has the blood has the man; that without the warm blood, no Ego can find expression. The proper heat for the real expression of the Ego is not present until the mind is born from the macrocosmic Concrete Mind, when the individual [PAGE 146] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION is about twenty-one years old. Statutory law also recognizes this as the earliest age when the man is deemed fit to exercise a franchise. At the present stage of human development the man goes through these principal stages in each life cycle, from one birth to the next. DIAGRAM: A LIFE-CYCLE [PAGE 147] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE CHAPTER IV. REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE. Only three theories worthy of note have ever been brought forward to solve the riddle of Life and Death. In the previous chapter we have, to some extent, explained one of these three theories--that of Rebirth, together with it companion law, the law of Consequence. It may not be out of place to compare the theory of Re- birth with the other two theories advanced, with a view to ascertaining their relative and foundation in nature. To the occultist there can be no question. He does not say what he "believes" in it any more than we need to say that we "believe" as to the blooming of the rose or the flowing of the river, or the operation of any of the visible workings of the material world, which are continually going on before our eyes. We do not say of these things that we "believe;" we say that we "know," because we see them. So the occult scientist can say "I know" in regard to Rebirth, the law of Consequence and their corollaries. He sees the Ego and can trace its path after it has passed out of the dense body at death until it has reappeared on earth through a new birth. Therefore to him no "belief" is necessary. For the satisfaction of others, however, it may be well to examine these three theories of life and death in order to arrive at an intelligent con- clusion. [PAGE 148] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Any great law of nature must necessarily be in harmony with all her other laws. Therefore it may be very helpful to the inquirer to examine these theories in their relation to what are admitted by all parties to be "known laws of nature," as observed in that part of our universe with which we are more familiar. To this end we will first state the three theories: (1) The Materialistic Theory holds that life is a journey from the womb to the tomb; that mind is the result of certain correlations of matter; than man is the highest intelligence in the Cosmos; and, that his intelligence perishes when the body disintegrates at death. (2) The Theory of Theology asserts that at each birth a newly-created soul enters the arena of life fresh from the hand of God, passing from an invisible state through the gate of birth into visible existence; that at the end of one short span of life in the material world it passes out through the gate of death into the invisible beyond, whence it re- turns no more; that its happiness or misery there is determined for all eternity by its actions during the infinitesimal period intervening between birth and death. (3) The Theory of Rebirth teaches that each soul is an integral part of God, enfolding all divine possibilities as the seed enfolds the plant; that by means of repeated existences in an earthly body of gradually improving quality, the latent possibilities are slowly developed into dynamic powers; that none are lost by this process, but that all man- kind will ultimately attain the goal of perfection and re-union with God. [PAGE 149] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE The first of these theories is monistic. It seeks to explain all facts of existence as processes within the material world. The two other theories agree in being dualistic, that is, they ascribe some of the facts and phases of existence to a super-physical, invisible state, but they differ widely on other points. Bringing the materialistic theory into comparison with the known laws of the universe, we find that the continuity of force is as well estab- lished as the continuity of matter and both are beyond the need of elucida- tion. We also know that matter and force are inseparable in the Physical World. This is contrary to the materialistic theory, which holds that mind perishes at death. When nothing can be destroyed, mind must be included. Moreover we know that mind is superior to matter, for it molds the fact, so that it becomes a reflection or mirror of the mind. We have discovered that the particles of our bodies are constantly changing; that at least once in seven years there is a change in every atom of matter composing them. If the materialistic theory were true, the consciousness ought also to undergo an entire change, with no memory of that which preceded, so that at no time could man remember any event more than seven years. We know that is not the case. We remember the events of our childhood. Many of the most trivial incidents though forgotten in ordinary consciousness, have been distinctly recalled in a swift vision of the whole life by drowning persons, who have related the experience after resuscitation. Similar ex- periences in states of trance are also common. Materialism is unable to account for these phases of sub- and super-consciousness. It ignores them. At the present stage of scientific investigation, where leading scientists have established beyond a doubt the existence of these phenomena, the policy of ignoring them is a serious defect in a theory claiming to solve the greatest problem of life--Life itself. [PAGE 150] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION We may therefore safely pass from the materialistic theory as being in- adequate to solve the mystery of life and death and turn to a consideration of the next theory. One of the greatest objections to the orthodox theological doctrine, as it is expounded, is its entire and confessed inadequacy. Of the myriads of souls which have been created and have inhabited this Globe since the be- ginning of existence, even if that beginning dates back no further than six thousand years, the insignificant number of only "one hundred and forty and four thousand" are to be saved! The rest are to be tortured forever and ever! The devil gets the best of it all the time. One cannot help saying with Buddha, "If God permits such misery to exist He cannot be good, and if He is powerless to prevent it, He cannot be God." Nothing in nature is analogous to such a method of creation in order that destruction may follow. It is represented that God desires ALL should be saved and is averse to the destruction of any, having for their salva- tion "given His only Son," and yet this "glorious plan of salvation" fails to save! If a trans-Atlantic liner with two thousand souls on board sent a wire- less message that she was sinking just off Sandy Hook, would it be regarded as a "glorious plan of salvation" if a fast motor-boat capable of rescuing only two or three people, were sent to her aid? Certainly not! It would more likely be denounced as a "plan of destruction" if adequate means were not provided for the saving of at least majority of those in danger. But the theologians' plan of salvation is vastly worse than this, be- cause two or three of two thousand is an immensely greater proportion than [PAGE 151] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE the orthodox theological plan of saving only 144,000 out of all the myriads of souls created. We may safely reject this theory also, as being untrue, because unreasonable. If God were allwise He would have evolved a more ef- ficacious plan. So He has, and the above is only the theory of the theolo- gian. The teaching of the Bible is very different, as will appear later. We turn now to consider the doctrine of Rebirth, which postulates a slow process of development, carried on with unwavering persistence through repeated embodiments in forms of increasing efficiency whereby all are, in time, brought to a height of spiritual splendor at present inconceivable to us. There is nothing unreasonable nor difficult to accept in such a theory. As we look about us we find everywhere in nature this striving for perfection in a slow, persistent manner. We find no sudden process of cre- ation or destruction, such as the theologian postulates, but we do find "Evolution." Evolution is "the history of the progression of the Spirit in Time." Everywhere, as we see about us the varied phenomena in the universe, we re- alize that the path of evolution is a spiral. Each loop of the spiral is a cycle. Each cycle merges into the next, as the loops of the spiral are continuous, each cycle being the improved product of those preceding it and the creator of those more developed states which succeed it. A straight line is but the extension of a point. It occupies but one dimension in space. The theory of the materialist and that of the theolo- gian would be analogous to this line. The materialist makes the line of life start at birth, and to be consistent, the death hour must terminate it. The theologian commences his line with the creation of the soul just [PAGE 152] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION previous to birth. After death the soul lives on, it fate irretrievably determined by the deeds of a few short years. There is no coming back to correct mistakes. The line runs straight on, implying a modicum of experi- ence and no elevation for the soul after death. Natural progression does not follow a straight line such as these two theories imply; nor even a circular path, for that would imply a never-ending round of the same experiences and the use of only two dimen- sions in space. All things move in progressive cycles and in order to take full advantages of all the opportunities for advancement offered by our three-dimensional universe, it is necessary that the evolving life should take the three-dimensional path--the spiral--which goes ever onward and up- ward. Whether we look at the modest little plant in our garden, or go to the redwood district of California and examine one of the giant Sequoias with its thirty-foot diameter, it is always the same--every branch, twig or leaf will be found growing in either a single or a double spiral, or in opposite pairs, each balancing either, analogous to ebb and flow, day and night, life and death and other ALTERNATING activities in nature. Examine the vaulted arch of the sky and observe the fiery nebulae or the path of the Solar-Systems--everywhere the spiral meets the eye. In the spring the Earth discards its white blanket and emerges from its period of rest its winter sleep. All activities are exerted to bring forth new life everywhere. Time passes. The corn and the grape are ripened and har- vested. Again the busy summer fades into the silence and inactivity of the winter. Again the snowy coverlet enwraps the Earth. But her sleep is not [PAGE 153] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE forever; she will wake again to the song of the new spring, which will mark for her a little further progress along the pathway of time. So with the Sun. He rises in the morning of each day, but each morning he is further along on his journey through the year. Everywhere the spiral--ONWARD, UPWARD, FOREVER! Is it possible that this law, so universal in all other realms, should be inoperative in the life of man? Shall the earth wake each year from its winter sleep; shall the tree and the flower live again and man die? It cannot be! The same law that wakes the life in the plant to new growth will wake the human being to new experience, to further progress toward the goal of perfection. Therefore the theory of Rebirth, which teaches re- peated embodiment in gradually improving vehicles, is in perfect accord with evolution and the phenomena of nature, which the other two theories are not. Regarding life from an ethical viewpoint, we find that the law of Re- birth coupled with the companion law of Consequence, is the only theory that will satisfy a sense of justice, in harmony with the facts of life as we see them about us. It is not easy for the logical mind to understand how a "just and lov- ing" God can require the same virtues from the milliards whom He has been "pleased to place in differing circumstances" according to no apparent rule nor system, but willy-nilly, according to His own capricious mood. One lives in luxury; the other on "kicks and crusts." One has a moral educa- tion and an atmosphere of high ideals; the other is placed in squalid sur- roundings and taught to lie and steal and that the more he does of both, the more of a success he is. It is just to require the same of both? Is it right to reward one for living a good life when he was placed in an [PAGE 154] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION environment that made it extremely difficult for him to go astray, or to punish the other, who was handicapped to such an extent that he never had an idea of what constitutes true morality. Surely not! Is it not more logical to think that we may have misinterpreted the Bible than to impute to God such a monstrous plan and method of procedure? It is useless to say that we must not inquire into the mysteries of God; that they are past our finding out. The inequalities of life can be satisfactorily explained by the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence and made to harmonize with the conception of a just and loving God, as taught by Christ Himself. Moreover, by means of these twin laws a way to emancipation from present undesirable position or environment is show, together with the means of attaining to any degree of development, no matter how imperfect we may be now. What we are, what we have, all our good qualities are the result of our own actions in the past. What we lack in physical, moral, or mental excel- lence may yet be ours in the future. Exactly as we cannot do otherwise than take up our lives each morning where we laid them down the preceding night, so by our work in previous lives have we made the conditions under which we now live and labor, and are at present creating the conditions of our future lives. Instead of be- moaning the lack of this or that faculty which we covet, we must set to work to acquire it. If one child plays beautifully on a musical instrument, with hardly an effort at learning, while another, despite persistent effort, is a poor player in comparison, it merely shows that one expended the effort in a [PAGE 155] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE previous life and is easily regaining a former proficiency, while the ef- forts of the other have been started only in the present life, and in con- sequence we see the uphill work. But, if the latter persist, he may, even in the present life, become superior to the former unless the former con- stantly improves. That we do not remember the effort made in acquiring a faculty by hard work is immaterial, it does not alter the fact that the faculty remains with us. Genius is the hall-mark of the advanced soul, which by hard work in many previous lives has developed itself in some way beyond the normal achievements of the race. It reveals a glimpse of the degree of attainment which will be the common possession of the coming Race. It cannot be ac- counted for by heredity, which applies only in part to the dense body and not to qualities of the soul. If genius could be accounted for by hered- ity, why is there not a long line of mechanical ancestry previous to Thomas Edison, each more capable than his predecessor? Why does not genius propagate itself? Why is not Siegfried the son, greater than Richard Wagner, the father? In cases where the expression of genius depends upon the possession of specially constructed organs, requiring ages of development, the Ego naturally is reborn in a family the Egos of which have, for generations, labored to build a similar organism. That is why twenty-nine musicians of more or less genius were born in the Bach family during a period of two hundred and fifty years. That genius is an expression of the soul and not of the body is shown by the fact that it did not gradually improve and reach efflorescence in the person of John Sebastian Bach, but that the pro- ficiency which reached its highest expression in him towered high above an- cestors and descendants alike. [PAGE 156] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The body is simply an instrument, the work it yields being dependent upon the Ego which guides it, as the quality of the melody is dependent upon the musician's skill, aided by the TIMBRE of the instrument. A good musician cannot fully express himself on a poor instrument, and even upon the same instrument, all musicians do not and cannot play alike. Because an Ego seeks rebirth as the son of a great musician it does not necessarily follow that he must be a still greater genius, as would be the case if the physical heredity were a fact and genius were not a soul-quality. The "Law of Attraction" accounts in quite as satisfactory manner for the facts we ascribe to heredity. We know that people of like tastes will seek another. If we know that a friend is in a certain city, but are igno- rant of his address, we will naturally be governed by the law of asso- ciation in our efforts to find him. If he is a musician, he will most likely be found where musicians are wont to assemble; if he is a student inquiry will be made at public libraries, reading-rooms and book stores, or if he is a sporting man we would seek him at race tracks, pool-rooms or sa- loons. It is not probable that the musician or the student would frequent the latter places and it is safe to say that our search for the sporting man would not be successful if we sought him in a library or at a classical concert. Similarly, the Ego ordinarily gravitates to the most congenial asso- ciations. It is constrained to do so by one of the twin forces of the De- sire World--the force of Attraction. The objection may be urged that there are people of entirely opposite tastes, or bitter enemies even, in the same family, and if the law of As- sociation governed why should they be attracted thereto? [PAGE 157] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE The explanation of such cases is that during the Ego's earth lives many relations have been established with various people. These relations were pleasant or otherwise, involving on one hand obligation which were not liq- uidated at the time; or on the other involving the infliction of an injury and a feeling of very strong hate between the injured and his enemy. The law of Consequence requires an exact adjustment of the score. Death does not "pay it all" any more than moving to another city will liquidate a mon- etary debt. The time comes when the two enemies will meet again. The old hate has brought them together in the same family, because it is the pur- pose of God that all shall love one another; therefore hate must be trans- formed into love and though, perchance, they may spend many lives "fighting it out," they will at some time learn the lesson and become friends and mu- tual benefactors instead of enemies. In such cases the Interest these people had in one another set in action the force of Attraction, and that brought them together. Had they simply been mutually Indifferent they could not have become associated. Thus do the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence solve, in a rational manner, all the problems incident to human life as man steadily advances toward the next stage in evolution--the Superman. The trend of humanity's progress is onward and upward forever, says this theory--not as some people think who have confounded the doctrine of Rebirth with the foolish teaching of some Indian tribes who believe that man is reborn in animals or plants. That would be retrogression. No authority for this doctrine of retrogression can be found in nature or in the sacred books of any [PAGE 158] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION religion. In one (and one only) of the religious writings of India is it touched upon. In the Kathopanishad (ch. v, verse 9) it is stated that "Some men, according to their deeds, go into the womb and others into the 'sthanu.'" "Sthanu" is a Sanskrit word, which means "motionless," but it also means ~a pillar," and has been interpreted to mean that some men, be- cause of their sins, go back to the motionless plant kingdom. Spirits incarnate only to gain experience; to conquer the world; to overcome the lower self and attain self-mastery. When we realize this we shall understand that there comes a time when there is no further need for incarnation because the lessons have all been learned. The teaching of the Kathopanishad indicates that instead of remaining tied to the wheel of birth and death, man will at some time go into the motionless state of "Nirvana." In the Book of Revelation we find these worlds: "Him that overcometh will I make a PILLAR in the temple of my God AND HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT," referring to entire liberation from concrete existence. Nowhere is there any authority for the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. A man who has evolved so far as to have an individual, separate soul cannot turn back in his progress and enter the vehicle of animal or plant, which are under a group-spirit. The individual spirit is a higher evolution that the group-spirit and the lesser cannot obtain the greater. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his beautiful poem, "The Chambered Nautilus," has embodied this idea of constant progression in gradually improving ve- hicles, and final liberation. The nautilus builds its spiral shell in chambered sections, constantly leaving the smaller ones, which it has out- grown, for the one last built: [PAGE 159] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE **************************************** Year after year beheld the silent toil That spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year's dwelling for the new, Stole with soft step its shining archway through, Built up its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more. Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea, Cast from her lap forlorn! From thy dead lips a clearer note is born Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn! While on mine ear it rings, Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul! As the swift seasons roll! Leave they low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 'Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea! The necessity, previously referred to, of obtaining an organism of a specific nature, brings to mind an interesting phase of the twin laws of Rebirth and Consequence. These laws are connected with the motion of the Cosmic bodies, the Sun, the planets and the signs of the Zodiac. All move in harmony with these laws, guided in their orbits by their indwelling spiritual Intelligences--the Planetary Spirits. On account of the precession of the equinoxes the Sun moves backward through the twelve signs of the Zodiac at the rate of approximately one de- gree of space in 72 years, and through each sign (30 degrees of space) in about 2,100 years, or around the whole circle in about 26,000 years. This is due to the fact that the Earth does not spin upon a stationary axis. Its axis has a slow, swinging motion of its own (just like the wabble of a spinning top that has almost spent its force), so that it [PAGE 160] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION describes a circle in space and thus one star after another becomes Pole Star. Because of this wabbling motion the Sun does not cross the equator in the same place every year, but a few hundred rods further back, hence the name, the "precession of the equinoxes," because the equinox "precedes"-- comes to early. All happenings on the Earth in connection with the other Cosmic bodies and their inhabitants are connected with this and other Cosmic movements. So are also the laws of Rebirth and Consequence. As the Sun passes through the different signs of in the course of the year, the climatic and other changes affect man and his activities in dif- ferent ways. Similarly the passage of the Sun by the procession of the equinoxes, through the twelve signs of the Zodiac--which is called a World-year, brings about conditions on the Earth of a far greater variety. It is necessary to the growth of the soul that it should experience them all. In fact, as we have seen, the man himself makes these conditions while in the Heaven World between births. Therefore, every Ego is born twice during the time the Sun is passing through one sign of the Zodiac; and, as the soul itself is necessarily double-sexed, in order to obtain all experiences, it is reborn alternately in a male and a female body. This is because the experience of one sex differs widely from that of the other. At the same time, the outside conditions are not greatly altered in one thousand years and therefore permit the entity to receive experience in the same identical environment from the standpoint of both man and woman. These are the general terms upon with the law of Rebirth operates, but as it is not a blind law, it is subject to frequent modifications, deter- mined by the Lords of Destiny, the Recording Angels, as, for instance, in a [PAGE 161] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE case where an Ego needs a sensitive eye or ear and there is an opportunity for giving it the required instrument in a family with which relations have previously been established. The time for the re-embodiment of the Ego is question may lack, perhaps, two hundred years of being ripe according to the average period, but it is seen by the Lords of Destiny that unless this opportunity is embraced, the Ego will perhaps have to spend four or five hundred years in heaven in excess of the time required, before another chance will present itself. Therefore the Ego is brought to rebirth ahead of schedule time, so to speak, the deficiency of rest in the third heaven being made up at another time. So we see that, not only do the departed work on us from the Heaven World, but we also work on them, attracting or repelling them. A favorable opportunity for procuring a suitable instru- ment may attract an Ego to rebirth. Had no instrument been available, he would have been kept longer in heaven and the surplus time deducted from his succeeding heaven lives. The law of Consequence also works in harmony with the stars, so that A MAN IS BORN AT THE TIME WHEN THE POSITIONS OF THE BODIES IN THE SOLAR SYS- TEM WILL GIVE THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO HIS EXPERIENCE AND ADVANCEMENT IN THE SCHOOL OF LIFE. That is why Astrology is an absolutely true science, though even the best astrologer may misinterpret it, because, like all other human beings, he is fallible. The stars show accurately the time in a man's life when the debt which the Lords of Destiny have selected for payment is due, and to evade it is beyond the power of man. Yes, they show the very day, although we are not always able to read them correctly. Perhaps the most striking instance known to the writer of this [PAGE 162] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE inability to escape what is written in the stars, though perfectly cogni- zant of it, occurred in Los Angeles, California, in 1906. Some instruc- tions in astrology were given to Mr. L., a well-known lecturer. Mr. L.'s own horoscope was taken up, because a pupil will be more interested in that than in the nativity of a stranger. He is also enabled to check the ac- curacy of the interpretation of the signs which are given to him. The horoscope revealed a liability to accidents and Mr. L. was shown how ac- cidents and other events in the past figured to the time of occurrence. In addition, he was told that another accident would befall him and that it would occur on the twenty-first of the following July, or the seventh day after, i.e., one the twenty-eighth, the latter day being regarded as the more dangerous. He was warned against conveyances of any kind and the place of the threatened injury was designated as the breast, shoulders, arms and lower part of the head. He was thoroughly convinced of the danger and promised to remain at home on that day. The writer went north to Seattle and a few days before the critical time wrote to Mr. L. and again warned him. Mr. L. answered that he remem- bered the warning and would act accordingly. The next communication in regard to the matter came from a mutual friend, who stated that on the 29th of July Mr. L. had gone to Sierra Madre on an electric car which had collided with a railroad train, Mr. L. sus- taining injuries of the exact description mentioned and also having a ten- don cut in the left leg. The question was why Mr. L., having entire faith in the prediction, had disregarded the advice. The explanation came three months later, when he had recovered sufficiently to write. The letter said, "I thought the 28th was the 29th." --- END OF FILE --- [PAGE 163] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE There is no question in the writer's mind that this was a piece of "ripe" fate, impossible to escape, which was accurately foreshown by the stars. The stars may therefore be called the "Clock of Destiny." The twelve signs of the Zodiac correspond to the dial; the Sun and the planets to the hour hand, indicating the month of the year when the different items in the score of ripe fate allotted to each life are due to work themselves out. It cannot be sufficiently emphasized, however, that though there are some things that cannot be escaped, man has a certain scope of free will in modifying causes already set going. A poet puts it thus: One ship sails east and another sails west With the self-same winds that blow. 'Tis the set of the sail and not the gale Which determines the way they go. As the winds of the sea are the ways of fate As we voyage along through life, 'Tis the act of the soul that determines the goal, And not the calm or the strife. The great point to grasp is that our present actions determine future conditions. Orthodox religionists and even those who profess no religion at all, often bring forward as one of their strongest objections to the law of Re- birth that it is taught in India to the "ignorant heathen," who believe in it. If it is a natural law, however, there is no objection strong enough to invalidate it or make it inoperative. Before we speak of "ignorant hea- then," or send missionaries to them, it might be well to examine our own [PAGE 164] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION knowledge a little. Educators everywhere complain of superficiality on the part of our students. Professor Wilbur L. Cross, of Yale, mentions among other startling cases of ignorance, the fact that in a class of forty stu- dents, NOT ONE COULD "PLACE" JUDAS ISCARIOT! It would seem as though the labors of missionaries could profitably be diverted from "heathen" countries and from slum work to enlighten the college-bred individuals of our own country, on the principle that "charity begins at home," and "as God will not let the ignorant heathen perish" it would seem better to leave him in ignorance where he is sure of heaven, than to enlighten him and so render his chances of going to hell legion. Surely, this is a case of "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise." We would be doing ourselves and the heathen a signal service by letting him alone and looking after the ignorant Christian nearer home. Moreover, to call this heathen doctrine does not disprove it. Its as- sumed priority in the East is not more an argument against it that the ac- curacy of the solution of a mathematical problem is invalidated because we do not happen to like the person who first solved it. The only question is: Is it correct? If so, it is absolutely immaterial whence the solution first came. All other religions have been but leading up to the Christian religion. They were Race Religions and contain only in part that which Christianity has in fuller measure. The real Esoteric Christianity has not yet been taught publicly, not will it be so taught until humanity has passed the ma- terialistic stage and becomes fitted to receive it. The laws of Rebirth and Consequence have been secretly taught all the time, but, BY THE DIRECT [PAGE 165] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE COMMAND OF CHRIST HIMSELF, as we shall see, these two laws have not been PUBLICLY taught in the Western world for the past two thousand years. WINE AS A FACTOR IN EVOLUTION To understand the reason for this omission and the means employed to obscure these teachings, we must go back to the beginning of man's history and see how, for his good, he has been led by the Great Teacher of human- ity. In the teaching of occult science the stages of development on the earth are divided into periods called "Epochs." There have been four of these Epochs, which are designated as follows, respectively: The Polarian, the Hyperborean, the Lemurian, the Atlantean. The present Epoch is called the Aryan Epoch. In the First or Polarian Epoch, what is now humanity had only a dense body, as the minerals have now, hence he was mineral-like. In the Second or Hyperborean Epoch, a vital body was added and man-in-the-making possesses a body constituted as are those of plants. He was not a plant, but was plantlike. In the Third or Lemurian Epoch, he obtained his desire body and became constituted like the animal--an animal-man. In the Fourth or Atlantean Epoch, mind was unfolded and now, so far as his principles are concerned, he steps upon the stage of physical life as MAN. In the present, the Fifth or Aryan Epoch, man will in some degree un- fold the third or lowest aspect of his threefold spirit--the Ego. [PAGE 166] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The student is requested to strongly impress upon his mind the emphatic statement that in the process of evolution up to the time when man gained self-consciousness, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WAS LEFT TO CHANCE. After self-consciusness there is a certain scope for the exercise of man's own individual will to enable him to unfold his Divine spiritual pow- ers. The great Leaders of mankind take everything into consideration, the food of man included. This has a great deal to do with his development. "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are" is not a far-fetched idea, but a great truth in nature. The man of the first Epoch was ethereal. That does not contradict the statement that he was mineral-like, for all gases are mineral. The Earth was still soft, not yet having solidified. In the Bible man is called Adam and it is said that he was made of earth. Cain is described as an agriculturist. He symbolizes the man of the Second Epoch. He had a vital body like the plants which sustained him. In the Third Epoch food was obtained from living animals to supplement the former plant food. Milk was the means used for evolving the desire body, which made the mankind of that time animal-like. This is what is meant by the Bible statement that "Abel was a shepherd." It is nowhere stated that he killed animals. In the Fourth Epoch man had evolved beyond animals--he had mind. Thought breaks down nerve cells: kills, destroys and causes decay. There- fore the food of the Atlantean was, by analogy, carcasses. He killed to eat and that is why the Bible states that "Nimrod was a mighty hunter." Nimrod represents the man of the Fourth Epoch. [PAGE 167] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE In the meanwhile, man had descended deeper and deeper into matter. His former ethereal body formed the skeleton within and had become solid. He had also lost be degrees the spiritual perception which was possessed by him in the earlier Epochs. Thus it was designed. He is destined to get it back at a higher stage, plus the self-consciousness which he did not then possess. He had, however, during the first four Epochs, a greater knowl- edge of the spiritual world. He knew he did not die and that when one body wasted away it was like the drying of a leaf from the tree in the autumn--another body would grow to take its place. Therefore he had no real appreciation of the opportunities and advantages of this Earth life of con- crete existence. But it was necessary that he should become thoroughly awake to the great importance of this concrete existence, so that he might learn from it all that could be learned. So long as he felt that he was a citizen of the higher Worlds and knew for a certainty that physical life is but a small part of real existence he did not take it seriously enough. He did not apply himself to the cultivation of the opportunities for growth which are found only in the present phase of existence. He dallied his time away without developing the resources of the world, as do the people of India today, for the same reason. The only way in which an appreciation of concrete physical existence could be aroused in man was by depriving him of the memory of his higher, spiritual existence for a few lives. Thus, 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. There had been religions previous to Christianity which had taught Re- birth and the law of Consequence, but the time had now come when it was no [PAGE 168] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION longer conducive to man's advancement that he should know this doctrine, and ignorance concerning it came to be regarded as a sign of progress. This one single life was to be made paramount. Therefore we find that the Christian Religion, as publicly taught, does not embody the laws of Conse- quence and Rebirth. Nevertheless, as Christianity is the religion of the most advanced Race, it must be the most advanced Religion, and because of the elimination of this doctrine from its PUBLIC teachings, the conquest of the world of matter is being made by the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic races, in which this phase has been carried furthest. As some new addition to or change in the food of man has been made in every Epoch to meet its conditions and accomplish its purposes, we now find added to the food of the previous Epochs a new article--WINE. It was needed on account of its benumbing effect upon the spiritual principle in man, 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 with the same force with which we think"--indeed, it was never intended that he should go so far as that. Hitherto only water had been used as a drink and in the ceremonies of the Temple service, but 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 Epoch, which became the nucleus of the Fifth Race --therefore our progenitors. [PAGE 169] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE The active principle of alcohol is a "spirit" and as the humanity of the earlier Epochs used the articles of food best suited to their vehicles, so this spirit was, in the Fifth Epoch, added to the foods previously used by evolving humanity. It acts upon the spirit of the Fifth Epoch man, tem- porarily paralyzing it, that it may know, esteem and conquer the physical world and value it at its proper worth. Thus man forgets, for the time be- ing, his spiritual home, clinging to this form of existence, which he has previously despised, with all the tenacity born of a feeling that this is all there is--or at least, preferring the certainty of this world to tak- ing chances on a heaven which, in his present muddled state, he does not understand. Water only had been used in the Temples, but now this is altered. "Bacchus," a god of wine, appears and under his sway the most advanced na- tions forget that there is a higher life. None who offer tribute to the COUNTERFEIT spirit of wine or any alcoholic liquor (the product of fermen- tation and decay) can ever know anything of the higher Self--the TRUE Spirit which is the very source of life. All this was preparatory to the coming of Christ, and it is of the highest significance that HIS FIRST ACT was to change "water into wine." (John ii:11.) In private He taught Rebirth to his 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. In the course of Initiation they see for themselves that Rebirth is a fact, for there Elijah appeared before them, who, they are told, is also John the Baptist. Christ, in unequivocal terms, had previously told them, when speaking of John the Baptist, "this is Elijah who was for to come." He reiterates this at the transfiguration [PAGE 170] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION 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 spake of John the Baptist." (Matt. xvii:12-13). On this occasion, and also at the time when Rebirth was discussed between Him and His disciples, they told Him that some thought He was Elijah and others that He was one of the prophets who had been reborn. He commanded them to "tell no man." (Matt. xvii:9; Like ix:21). This was to be, for thousands of years, an esoteric teaching, to be known only among the few pioneers who fitted themselves for the knowledge, pushing ahead to the stage of develop- ment when these truths will again be known to man. That Christ taught Rebirth and also the law of Consequence is perhaps shows in not other place as clearly as in the case of the man who had been born blind, where His disciples asked, "Who did sin, this man or his par- ents, that he was born blind?" (John ix:2). Had Christ not taught Rebirth and the law of Consequence, the natural answer would have been, "Nonsense! How could a man have sinned BEFORE HE WAS BORN, and have brought blindness upon himself as a result? But Christ does not answer in that way. He is not surprised at the question, nor does He treat it as being at all unusual, showing that it was quite in harmony with His teachings. He explains, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of (the) God should be made manifest in him." The orthodox interpretation is that the man was born blind in order that Christ might have the opportunity of performing a miracle to show His power. It would have been a strange way for a God to obtain glory-- [PAGE 171] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE capriciously condemning a man to many years of blindness and misery that He might "show off" at a future time! We would consider a man who acted in such a manner a monster of cruelty. How much more logical to think that there may be another explanation. To impute to God conduct which, in a human being, we would denounce in the strongest terms, in surely unreasonable. Christ differentiates between the physically blind body of the man and the God within, which is the Higher Self. 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. It is not stretching a point to call a man a God. Paul says, "know ye not that ye are Gods? and he refers to the human body as the "temple of God," the indwelling spirit. Finally, although most people do not remember their past lives, there are some who do, and all may know if they will live the life necessary to attain the knowledge. This requires great strength of character, because such knowledge will carry with it a knowledge of impending fate that may be hanging black and sinister over one, which will manifest in dire disaster. 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 paid in store for us. As we attain greater development we shall learn to welcome all things with equanimity, seeing in all troubles the result of past evil and feeling thankful that the obligations incurred thereby are being an- nulled, knowing that so much less stands between us and the day of lib- eration from the wheel of birth and death. [PAGE 172] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION When a person dies in childhood in one life, he or she not infrequently remembers that life in the next body, because children under 14 years do not journey around the entire life cycle, which necessitates the building of a complete set of new vehicles. They simply pass into the upper Regions of the Desire World and there wait for a new embodiment, which usually takes place in from one to twenty years after death. When they return to birth, they bring with them the old mind and desire body, and if we lis- tened to the prattle of children, we should often able to discover and re- construct such stories as the following A REMARKABLE STORY. One day in Santa Barbara, Cal., a man by the name of Roberts came to a trained clairvoyant who is also a lecturer on Theosophy and asked for help in a perplexing case. Mr. Roberts had been walking in the street the pre- vious day when a little three-year old girl came up to him and put her arms around his knees, calling him papa. Mr. Roberts was indignant, thinking that someone was trying to father the child on him. But the mother of the child, who came up directly, was equally put out and tried to get the child away. The child, however, kept on clinging to Mr. R., insisting that he was her father. On account of circumstances to be told later Mr. R. could not put it out of his mind, and sought out the clairvoyant, who accompanied him to the house of the child's parents. Where the girl at once ran up to Mr. R. and again called him papa. The clairvoyant, whom I call X, first took the child over to the window to note whether the iris of the eye would expand and contract when he turned her to and from the light, in order to see whether another entity than the rightful owner was in possession [PAGE 173] REBIRTH AND THE LAW OF CONSEQUENCE of the child's body, for the eye is the window of the soul and no "obsess- ing" entity can secure control of that part. Mr. X. found however, that the child was normal and next proceeded to question the little one care- fully. After patient work carried on intermittently during the afternoon, so as not to tire the child, this is the story she told: She had lived with her papa, Mr. Roberts, and another mamma in a little house that stood all alone, where no other house could be seen; there was a little brook close to the house where some flowers grew (and here she ran out and brought in some "pussy-willows") and there was a plank across the brook which she was cautioned against crossing, for fear she might fall into the brook. One day her papa had left her mother and herself and had not returned. When their supply of food was exhausted her mamma lay down on the bed and became so still. At last she said quaintly, "then I also died, but I didn't die. I came here." Mr. Roberts next told his story. Eighteen years before he lived in London, where his father was brewer. He fell in love with their servant girl. His father objected, so he eloped with her to Australia after they had first been married. Here he went out into the bush and cleared a little farm, where he erected a small cabin by a brook, just as described by the little girl. A daughter was born to them there, and when she was about two years old he left the house one morning and went to a clearing some distance from the house, and while there a man with a rifle came up to him, saying that he arrested him in the name of the law for a bank robbery committed on the night Mr. R. had left England. The officer had tracked him here, thinking him the criminal. Mr. R. begged to be allowed to go to [PAGE 174] THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION his wife and child, but, thinking this a ruse to entrap him into the hands of confederates, the officer refused and drove him to the coast at the point of the gun. He was taken to England and tried and his innocence proven. First then did the authorities take heed of his constant ravings about his wife and child, whom he knew must starve in that wild and lonely coun- try. An expedition was sent out to the cabin, when it was found that only the skeletons of the wife and child remained. Mr. Roberts' father had died in the meantime, and though he had disinherited Mr. R. his brothers divided with him and he came to America a broken man. He then produced photographs of himself and his wife, and at the sug- gestion of Mr. X. they were mixed with a number of other photographs and shown to the little girl, who unhesitatingly picked out the photographs of both her alleged parents, although the photograph shown was very different from the present appearance of Mr. Roberts. [PAGE 175] THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD PART II. COSMOGENESIS AND ANTHROPOGENESIS [PAGE 177] THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD CHAPTER V THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD In the preceding chapters we have been considering man in relation to three of the five Worlds which form the field of his evolution. We have partly described these Worlds and noted the different vehicles of conscious- ness by means of which he is correlated to them. We have studied his rela- tion to the other three Kingdoms--mineral, plant and animal--noting the difference in vehicles, and consequent difference in consciousness, between man and each of these Kingdoms. We have followed man through one life cycle in the three Worlds and have examined the operation of the twin laws of Con- sequence and Rebirth in their bearing upon the evolution of man. In order to understand further details as to the progress of man, it now 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 the Jacob's ladder of attainment that stretches from man to God and beyond. This is a task of the utmost difficulty, rendered still more so by the indefinite conceptions of God which exist in the minds of the majority of the readers of literature dealing with this subject. 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; other wise misunderstanding will result, and [PAGE 178] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM 6: THE COSMIC PLANES [PAGE 179] THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD if a common nomenclature is not agreed upon by writers and teachers, the present confusion will be worse confounded. When the name "God" is used it is always uncertain whether The Absolute, the One Existence, is meant; or The Supreme Being, Who is the Great Architect of the Universe; or God, Who is the Architect of our Solar system. The division of the Godhead into "Father," "Son" and "Holy Ghost" is also confusing. Although the Beings designated by these names are immeasur- ably above man and worthy of all the reverence and worship he is capable of rendering to his highest conceptions of Divinity, yet They are different from one another in actual fact. Diagrams 6 and 11 will perhaps make the subject clear. It must be kept in mind that the Worlds and Cosmic Planes are not one above another in space, but that the seven Cosmic Planes inter-penetrate each other and all the seven Worlds. 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 than their own. They are all present in our world and are actually and DE FACTO "nearer than hands and feet." It is a literal truth when we say " in Him we live and move and have our being." For none of us could ex- ist outside these great Intelligences Who pervade and sustain our world with Their Life. It has been shown 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 than either of the others. Of course, the Worlds of rarer substance occupy a larger space than the denser World, which [PAGE 180] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION has crystallized and condensed, thus occupying less space. The same principle is operative in the Cosmic Planes. The densest of them is the seventh (counting from the top downward). It is represented in the diagram as larger than any of the others, the reason being that it is the plane with which we are most intimately concerned, and it was desired to indicate its principle subdivisions. In reality, however, it occupies less space than any of the other Cosmic Planes, although it must be borne in mind that, even with this comparatively restrictive qualification as to its ex- tent, it is still immeasurably vast, far beyond the utmost power of the hu- man mind to conceive, comprising within its limits millions of Solar Systems similar to our own, which are the fields for the evolution of many grades of beings of approximately our own status. Of the six Cosmic Planes above our own we know nothing, save that we are told they are the fields of activity of great Hierarchies of Beings of inde- scribable splendor. Proceeding from our Physical World to the inner and finer worlds and up through the Cosmic Planes, we find that God, the Architect of our Solar Sys- tem, the Source and goal of our existence, is found in the highest division of the seventh Cosmic Plane. This is His World. His realm includes the systems of evolution carried on in the other planets which belong to our system--Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, and their satellites. The great Spiritual Intelligences designated as the Planetary Spirits, which guide these evolutions, are called the "Seven Spirits before the Throne." They are His Ministers, each presiding over a certain department of the Kingdom of God--which is our solar System. The Sun is also the [PAGE 181] THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD field of evolution of the most exalted Beings in our Cosmos. They alone can endure and advance by means of the terrific solar vibrations. The Sun is the nearest approach we have to a visible symbol. What That is cannot be uttered publicly. When we try to discover the origin of the Architect of our Solar System, 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. The Absolute is beyond comprehension. No expression convey any adequate idea. Manifestation implies limitation. Therefore, we may at best charac- terize the Absolute as boundless Being; as the Root of Existence. From the root of Existence--The Absolute--proceeds the Supreme Being, at the dawn of manifestation. This is THE ONE. In the first chapter of John this Great Being is called God. From this Supreme Being emanates The Word, the Creative Fiat "without whom was not anything made," and this Word is the alone-begotten Son, born of His father (the Supreme Being) before all worlds--but positively NOT Christ. Grand and glorious as is Christ, towering high above mere human nature, He is not this Exalted Being. Truly "the Word was made flesh," but not in the limited sense of the flesh of one body, but the flesh of all that is, in this and millions of other solar Systems. The first Aspect of the Supreme Being may be characterized as POWER. From this proceeds the Second Aspect, THE WORD; and from both of these pro- ceeds the Third, Aspect, MOTION. From this threefold Supreme Being proceed the seven Great Logoi. They [PAGE 182] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION contain within Themselves all the great Hierarchies which differentiate more and more as they diffuse through the various Cosmic Planes. (See diagram 6). There are forty-nine Hierarchies on the second Cosmic Plane; on the third there are 343 Hierarchies. Each of these is capable of septenary di- visions and subdivisions, so that in the lowest Cosmic Plane, where the So- lar System manifest, the number of divisions and subdivisions is almost in- finite. In the Highest World of the seventh Cosmic Plane dwells the God of our Solar Systems in the Universe. These great Beings are also threefold in manifestation, like The Supreme Being. Their three aspects are Will, Wisdom and Activity. Each of the seven Planetary Spirits which proceeds from God and has charge of the evolution of life on one of the seven planets, is also three- fold and differentiates within itself Creative Hierarchies which go through a septenary evolution. The evolution carried on by one Planetary Spirit differs from the methods of development inaugurated by each of the others. It may be further stated that, at least in the particular planetary scheme to which we belong, the entities farthest evolved in the earliest stages, who had reached a high stage of perfection in previous evolutions, assume the functions of the original Planetary Spirit and continue the evolution, the original Planetary Spirit withdrawing from active participa- tion, but guiding its Regents. The foregoing is the teaching relative to all the Solar Systems, but coming down to the particular System to which we belong, the following is the teaching which the sufficiently trained Seer can obtain for himself by personal investigation of the memory of nature. [PAGE 183] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION CHAPTER VI. THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION. THE BEGINNING. In harmony with the Hermetic axiom "As above, so below" and VICE VERSA, Solar Systems are born, die and come to birth anew in cycles of activity and rest, as does man. There is a constant flaming out and dying down of activity in every de- partment of nature, corresponding to the alternations of ebb and flow, day and night, summer and winter, life and death. In the beginning of a Day of Manifestation it is taught that a certain Great Being (designated in the Western World by the name of God, but by other 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). He includes in His own Being hosts of glorious Hierarchies of, to us, immeasurable spiritual power and splendor. They are the fruitage of past manifestations of this same Being and also other Intelligences, in descend- ing degrees of development down to such as have not reached a stage of con- sciousness as high as our present humanity, and therefore these latter will not be able to finish their evolution in this System. In God--this great [PAGE 184] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION collective Being--there are contained lesser beings of every grade of intel- ligence and stage of consciousness, from omniscience to an unconsciousness deeper than that of the deepest trance condition. During the period of manifestation with which we are concerned, these various grades of beings are working to acquire more experience than they possessed at the beginning of this period of existence. Those who, in pre- vious 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. They induce in them a stage of self-consciousness from which they can take up further work themselves. Those who had started their evolution in a former Day of Manifestation, but had not progressed far at the close, now take up their task again, just as we take up our daily work in the morning where we left off the previous night. All the different Beings, however, do not take up their evolution at the early stages of a new manifestation. Some must wait until those who precede them have made the conditions which are necessary for their further develop- ment. There are no instantaneous processes in nature. All is an exceed- ingly slow unfolding, a development which, though so exceedingly slow, is yet absolutely certain to attain ultimate perfection. Just as there are progressive stages in the human life--childhood, youth, manhood or woman- hood, and old age--so in the macrocosm there are different stages corre- sponding to these various periods of the microcosmic life. A child cannot take up the duties of fatherhood or motherhood. Its un- developed mental and physical condition render it incapable of doing such work. The same is true of the less evolved beings in the beginning of [PAGE 185] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION manifestation. They must wait until the higher evolved have made the proper conditions for them. The lower the grade of the intelligence of the evolv- ing being, the more it is dependent upon outside help. At the Beginning, then, the highest Beings--those who are the farthest 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 further. At least self-consciousness is awakened. The evolving life has become Man. From the point where the self-conscious individual Ego has come into be- ing he must go on and expand his consciousness without outside help. Expe- rience and thought are then to take the place of outside teachers and the glory, power and splendor he may attain are limitless. 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, is called "Involution." The subsequent period of existence, during which the individual human being develops self-consciousness into divine omniscience, is called "Evolu- tion." 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--that Force is called "Genius," and as previously explained, its manifestation is "Epigenesis." Many of the advanced philosophies of modern times recognize involution and evolution. Science recognizes only the latter, because it (Science) deals only with the Form side of manifestation. Involution belongs to [PAGE 186] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the Life side; but the most advanced scientists regard Epigenesis as a de- monstrable fact. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception combines all three as necessary to full understanding of the past, present and future development of the System to which we belong. THE WORLDS. We might use a homely instance to illustrate the building of a Cosmos. Suppose a man wants 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 purpose. He makes a kitchen, dining-room bedrooms and bathroom, and furnishes them all to suit the special purpose they are intended to serve. When God desires to create, 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 awak- ening the activity latent within every INseparate atom. This Cosmic Root-substance is an expression of the negative pole of the Universal Spirit, while the great Creative Being we call God (of whom we, as spirits, are part) is an expression of the positive energy of the same Uni- versal Absolute Spirit. From the work of one upon the other, all that we see about us in the Physical World has resulted. The oceans, the Earth ev- erything 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. As surely as the hard and flinty house of the snail is the solidified juices of its soft body, so surely all FORMS are crystallizations around the negative pole of Spirit. [PAGE 187] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION God draws from the Cosmic Root-substance outside His immediate sphere; thus the substance within the nascent cosmos becomes denser than it is in Universal space, between Solar Systems. When God has thus prepared the material for His Habitation, He next sets it in order. Every part of the system is pervaded by His consciousness, but different modification of that consciousness in each part of division. The Cosmic Root-substance is set in varying rates of vibration and is therefore differently constituted in its various divisions, or regions. The above is the manner in which the Worlds come into being and are fit- ted to serve different purposes in the evolutionary scheme, the same as the various rooms in the house are fitted to serve the purpose of everyday life in the Physical World. We have already seen that there are seven Worlds. These Worlds have each a different "measure" and rate of vibration. In the densest World (the Physical) the measure of vibration, though in the case of light-waves reach- ing a rate of hundreds of millions per second, is nevertheless infinitesimal when compared to the rapidity of the vibration in the Desire World, which is next to the Physical. To get some conception of the meaning and rapidity of vibration, perhaps the easiest way is to watch the heat vibrations rising from a very hot stove, or from a steam radiator near a window. It must be borne constantly in mind that these Worlds are not separated by space or distance, as is the earth from the other planets. They are states of matter, of varying density and vibration, as are the solids, liq- uids and gases of our Physical World. These Worlds are not instantaneously created at the beginning of a day of Manifestation, nor do they last until [PAGE 188] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the end; but as a spider spins its web thread by thread, so god differenti- ates 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. Thus have all the seven Worlds been gradually differentiated as they are at present. 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 consolidated. In due time the point of greatest density, the nadir of mate- riality, is reached. From that point the life begins to ascend into higher Worlds, as evolution proceeds. That leaves the denser Worlds depopulated, one by one. When the purpose has been served for which a particular World was created, God ends its existence, which has become superfluous, by ceas- ing within Himself the particular activity which brought into being and sus- tained that World. The highest (finest, rarest, 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. THE SEVEN PERIODS. The evolutionary scheme is carried through these five Worlds in seven great Periods of Manifestation, during which the virgin spirit, or evolving life, becomes first, man--then, a God. At the beginning of Manifestation God differentiates within (not FROM) [PAGE 189] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION 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. In the virgin spirits are enfolded all the possibilities of their Divine Father, including the germ of indepen- dent Will, which makes them capable of originating new phases, not latent in them. The latent possibilities are transformed into dynamic powers and available faculties during evolution, while the independent Will institutes new and original departures--or Epigenesis. Prior to the beginning of the pilgrimage through matter the virgin spirit is in the World of Virgin Spirits, the next to the highest of the seven Worlds. It has Divine Consciousness, but NOT SELF-consciousness. That, Soul-power, and the Creative Mind, are faculties or powers attained to by evolution. When the virgin spirit is immersed in the World of Divine Spirit, it is blinded and rendered utterly unconscious by that matter. It is as oblivious to outside conditions as is man when in the deepest trance. This state of unconsciousness prevails during the first period. In the Second Period it rises to the dreamless sleep state; in the third Period it reaches the dream stage, and in the middle of the Fourth Period, at which we have now arrived, the full waking consciousness of man is at- tained. This is a consciousness pertaining to only the lowest one of the seven Worlds. During the remaining half of this Period, and the entire three remaining Periods, man must expand his consciousness so as to include all of the six Worlds above this Physical World. When man passed through these Worlds in his descent his energies were directed by higher Beings, who assisted him to turn unconscious energy [PAGE 190] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION INWARD for the building of proper vehicles. At last, when he was far enough advanced and equipped with the threefold body as a necessary instrument, these higher Beings "opened his eyes" and turned his gaze OUTWARD upon the Chemical Region of the Physical World, that his energies might conquer it. When he has fitted himself by his work in the Chemical Region, his next step in progress will be toward an expansion in consciousness that will in- clude the Etheric Region; then the Desire World, etc., etc. In the Rosicrucian terminology, the names of the seven Periods are as follows: 1. The Saturn Period 2. The Sun Period 3. the Moon Period These periods are successive Rebirths 4. The Earth Period of our Earth. 5. The Jupiter Period 6. The Venus Period 7. The Vulcan Period It must not be thought that the above mentioned Periods have anything to do with the planets which move in their orbits around the sun in company with the earth. In fact, it cannot be too emphatically stated that there is no connection whatever between these planets and the periods. The Periods are simply past, present or future incarnations of our Earth, "conditions" through which it has passed, is now passing, or will pass in the future. The three first mentioned Periods (the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods) have been passed through. We are now in the fourth, or Earth Period. When this Earth Period of our Globe has been completed, we and it shall pass in, turn through the Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan conditions before the great septenary Day of Manifestation comes to an end, when all that now is will [PAGE 191] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION once more be merged in the Absolute for a period of rest and assimilation of the fruits of our evolution, to re-emerge for further and higher development at the dawn of another Great Day. The three and one-half Periods already behind us have been spent in gaining our present vehicles and consciousness. The remaining three and one-half Periods will be devoted to perfecting these different vehicles and expanding our consciousness into something akin to omniscience. The journey made by the virgin spirit from unconsciousness to omni- science, unfolding its latent possibilities into a kinetic energy, is a pro- cess of marvelous complexity and progress in our present outline will at first be given. As we progress in our present study, however, more details will be filled in, until the picture is a complete as the writer is capable of making it. The attention of the student is called to the definition of terms that are given as new ideas are being presented. He is earnestly im- portuned to familiarize himself with them, as the intention is to simplify the matter by using only one familiar English name for the same idea throughout the work. The name will be as descriptive as possible of the idea to be conveyed, in multiplex terminology may be avoided. By paying strict attention to definition of terms, it should not be too difficult for any person of average intelligence to acquire a knowledge of at least the outlines of the scheme of evolution. That such a knowledge is of the utmost importance will, we think, be conceded by every intelligent individual. We live in this world, governed by the laws of nature. Under these laws we must live and work, and we are powerless to change them. If we know them and intelligently co-operate with [PAGE 192] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION with them, these nature-forces become most valuable servants, e.g., elec- tricity and the expansive force of steam. If, on the other hand, we do not understand them and in our ignorance work, contrary to them, they become most dangerous enemies, capable of terrible destruction. Therefore, the more we know of the working methods of nature, which latter is but the visible symbol of the invisible God, the better able we shall be to take advantage of the opportunities it offers for growth and power; for emancipation from bondage and for elevation to mastery. [PAGE 193] THE SCHEME OF EVOLUTION DIAGRAM 7: REVOLUTIONS OF THE SATURN PERIOD [PAGE 194] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CHAPTER VII. THE PATH OF EVOLUTION. A word of warning in regard to diagrams used for purposes of illustration may not be out of place. The student should remember that anything that is reduced into another dimension can never be accurate. The picture of a house would mean little or nothing to us if we had never seen a house. In that case we would see in the picture only lines and blotches. It would convey no meaning to us. Diagrams used to illustrate super physical matters are much less true representations of the reality, for the simple reason that in the case of the picture, the three-dimensional house is only reduced to two dimensions, while in the case of diagrams of the Periods, Worlds and Globes, the realities possess from four to seven dimension, and the diagrams of two dimensions by which it is endeavored to represent them are thus so much further removed from the possibility of correctly portraying them. We must constantly bear in mind that these Worlds inter-penetrate, that the Globes inter-penetrate, and that the way they are shown in the diagram is analogous to taking all the wheels of a watch and laying them side by side in order to show how the watch keeps time. If these diagrams are to be of any use to the student they must be spiritually conceived. Otherwise they will be confusing instead of enlightening. [PAGE 195] THE PATH OF EVOLUTION REVOLUTIONS AND COSMIC NIGHTS The Saturn Period is the first of the seven Periods, and at this early stage the virgin spirits take their first step towards the evolution of Con- sciousness and Form. By reference to diagram 7 it will be seen that the evolutionary impulse travels seven times around the seven Globes, A, B, C, D, E, F and G, the arrows showing the direction. First, a part of the evolution is accomplished on Globe A, situated in the World of Divine Spirit, the rarest of the five Worlds which form our field of evolution. Then, gradually the evolving life is transferred to Globe B, which is located in the somewhat denser World of Life Spirit. Here another stage of evolution is passed through. In due time the evolving life is ready to enter the arena on Globe C, which is situated in and formed of the yet denser substance of the Region of Abstract Thought. After learning the lessons peculiar to that stage of existence, the life wave travels on- ward to Globe D, which is located in and formed of the substance of the Re- gion of Concrete Thought. This is the densest degree of matter reached by the life wave during the Saturn Period. From this point the life wave is carried upward again to Globe E, which is situated in the Region of Abstract Thought, as is Globe C, yet the condi- tions are not the same as on Globe C. This is the Involutionary stage, and the substance of the Worlds is getting denser all the time. The tendency in everything is to become denser and more solid as times goes on; also, as the path of evolution is a spiral, it will be clear that, though the same points are gone over, the conditions are never the same, but are on a higher and more advanced plane. When the work on Globe E has been completed, the next step is taken on [PAGE 196] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Globe F, which is situated in the World of Life Spirit, the same as Globe B; thence it mounts to Globe G. When the work there is done, the life wave has traveled once around all the seven Globes; once down and up through the four respective Worlds. This journey of life wave is called a Revolution, and seven Revolutions make one Period. During one Period the life wave travels seven times down and up through the four Worlds. When the life wave has traveled its full complement of seven times around the seven times around the seven Globes, completing the seven Revolutions, the first Day of Creation closes and there follows a Cosmic Night of rest and assimilation, after which the Sun Period dawns. Like the night of sleep between two days of human life and the interval of rest between two earth lives, this Cosmic Night of rest after the comple- tion of the Saturn Period is not a time of passive repose, but a season of preparation for the activity to be unfolded in the coming Sun Period, where man-in-the-making is to take a further dip into matter. Therefore, new Globes are necessary, the positions of which in the seven Worlds are differ- ent from those occupied by the Worlds of the Saturn Period. The providing of these new Globes, and other subjective activities, occupy the evolving spirits during the interval between Periods--the Cosmic Night. The manner of procedure is as follows: When the life wave has left Globe A in the Saturn Period for the last tine, the Globe begins to slowly disintegrate. The forces which built it are transferred from the World of Divine Spirit (where Globe A is located during the Saturn Period) to the World of Life Spirit (where Globe A is lo- cated during the Sun Period). This is shown on diagram 8. [PAGE 197] THE PATH OF EVOLUTION DIAGRAM 8--THE 777 INCARNATIONS OR PILGRIMAGE OF THE VIRGIN SPIRITS 7 REVOLUTIONS AROUND THE 7 GLOBES OF THE 7 WORLD PERIODS. [PAGE 198] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION When the life wave has left Globe B in the Saturn Period for the last time, it also commences to disintegrate, and the forces thereof, like the seed-atom of a human vehicle, are used as a nucleus for Globe B in the Sun Period, this Globe being then located in the Region of Abstract Thought. In like manner the forces of Globe C are transferred to the Region of Concrete Thought and draw upon the substance of that Region for the material wherewith to build a new Globe C for the coming Sun Period. Globe D is similarly transmuted and placed in the Desire World. Globes E, F, and G, in order named, are analogously transferred. The result is (as reference to diagram 8 will show) that in the Sun Period all the Globes are located one step further down into denser matter that they were in the Saturn Period, so that the life wave, upon its emergence from the Cosmic Night of Rest inter- vening between the last activity on Globe G of the Saturn Period and the re- newed activity on Globe A of the Sun Period finds a new environment, with the opportunity thus afforded for new experiences. The life wave now circles seven times around the seven Globes during the Sun Period, tranversing seven times down and up the four Worlds or Regions in which these Globes are located. It makes seven Revolutions in the Sun Period, as it did in the Saturn Period. When the life wave leaves Globe A in the Sun Period for the last time, that Globe begins to disintegrate. Its forces are transferred to the denser Region of Abstract Thought, where they form a planet to be used during the Moon Period. In the same way, the forces of the other Globes are trans- ferred and serve as nuclei for the Globes of the Moon Period, as shown in diagram 8, the process being exactly the same as when the Globes [PAGE 199] THE PATH OF EVOLUTION are removed from their locations in the Saturn Period to the positions they occupied during the Sun Period. Thus the Globes of the Moon Period are placed one step further down in matter that they were during the Sun Period, the lowest (Globe D) being situated in the Etheric Region of the Physical World. After the interim of Cosmic Night between the Sun Period and the Moon Pe- riod, the life wave starts its course on Globe A of the latter, completing in due time its seven Revolutions, as before. Then there is another Cosmic Night, during which the Globes are again transferred one step further down, and this time the densest Globe is located in the Chemical Region of the Physical World, as reference to diagram 8 will show. This, then, is the Earth Period and the lowest and densest Globe (Globe D) is our present Earth. The life wave here, as usual, started on Globe A, after the Cosmic Night succeeding the Moon Period. In the present Earth Period it has circled three times around the seven globes and is now on Globe D, in its fourth Revolution. Here on earth and in this present fourth Revolution, the greatest density of matter--the nadir of materiality--was reached a few millions years ago. The tendency henceforth will be upward into rarer substance. During the three and one-half Revolutions which remain to complete this Period, the condition of the Earth will gradually become more and more ethereal, and in the next--the Jupiter Period--Globe D will again be located in the Etheric Region, as it was in the Moon Period, the other Globes being also elevated correspondingly. In the Venus Period they will be located in the same Worlds as were the [PAGE 200] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Globes of the Sun Period. The Globes of the Vulcan Period will have the same density and be located in the same Worlds as were the Globes of the Saturn Period. This is all shown on diagram 8. When the life wave has completed its work in the Earth Period and the Cosmic Night which follows in past, it will go through its seven Revolutions on the Globes of the Jupiter Period. Then will come the usual Cosmic Night, with its subjective activities; after which the seven Revolutions of the Ve- nus Period; then another rest, succeeded by the last of the Periods of the present scheme of evolution--the Vulcan Period. The life wave also makes its seven Revolutions here, and at the end of the last Revolution all the Globes are dissolved and the life wave is reabsorbed by God, for a period of time equal in duration to that occupied by all the seven Periods of activ- ity. God Himself then merges into the Absolute during the Universal Night of assimilation and preparation for another Great Day. Other and grander evolutions will then follow, but we can deal only with the seven Periods described. [PAGE 201] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION CHAPTER VIII. THE WORK OF EVOLUTION. ARIADNE'S THREAD. Having become acquainted with the Worlds, the Globes and the Revolutions which constitute the path of evolution during the seven Periods, we are now in a position to consider the work which is done in each Period, as well as the methods employed to accomplish it. The "Ariadne's thread" which will guide us through the maze of Globes, Worlds, Revolutions and Periods will be found when it is remembered and kept steadily in mind that the virgin spirits which constitute the evolving life wave become entirely UNCONSCIOUS when they commenced their evolutionary pil- grimage through the five Worlds of substance denser than the World of Virgin Spirits. The purpose of evolution is to make them fully conscious and able to master the matter of all the Worlds, therefore the conditions embodied in Globes, Worlds, Revolutions and Periods are ordered with that end in view. During the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods and the past half of the present Earth Period, the virgin spirits have unconsciously built their difference vehicles under the direction of exalted Beings who guided their progress, and have gradually awakened until they have attained the present state of waking consciousness. This period is called "Involution". From the present time to the end of the Vulcan Period, the virgin [PAGE 202] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION spirits, who are now our humanity, will perfect their vehicles and expand their consciousness in the five Worlds by their own efforts and genius. This period is called "Evolution." The above is the key to the understanding of what follows. A thorough comprehension of the scheme of planetary evolution which has been outlines in the preceding pages is of immense value to the student. Although some believers in the laws of Consequence and Rebirth seem to think that the possession of such knowledge is quite non-essential and of little use, it is nevertheless of very great importance to the earnest student of these two laws. It trains the mind in abstract thought and elevates it above the sordid things of concrete existence, helping the imagination to soar beyond the hampering toils of self-interest. As stated in our study of the Desire World, Interest is the mainspring to action, yet at our present stage of progress, Interest is generally aroused by selfishness. It is sometimes of a very subtle nature, but it spurs to action of various kinds. All action inspired by Interest generates certain effects which act on us, and in consequence we are bound by action having to do with the concrete Worlds. But, if our minds are occupied with such subjects as mathematics or study of the planetary phases of evolution, we are in the Region of purely Abstract Thought, beyond the influence of Feeling, and the mind is directed upward towards the spiritual realism and liberation. When we are extracting cube root, or multiplying figures, or thinking of Periods, Revolutions, etc., we have no Feeling about it. We do not quarrel about twice two being four. If our feelings were involved we should perhaps try to make it five and quarrel with the one who, for personal reasons, said it was but three, [PAGE 203] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION but in mathematics Truth is most clearly apparent and Feeling is eliminated. Therefore, to the average man, desiring to live in the feelings, mathematics is dry and uninteresting. Pythagoras taught his pupils to live in the World of Eternal Spirit and he demanded that those who desired instruction from his should first study A mind capable of understanding mathematics is above the average and is capable of rising into the World of Spirit, because it is not fettered in the World of Feeling and Desire. The more we accustom ourselves to think in terms of the Spiritual Worlds, the better we shall be able to rise above the illusions which surround us in this concrete exist- ence, where the twin feelings, Interest and Indifference, obscure the Truth and bias us, as the reflection of the light rays through the Earth's atmo- sphere gives us incorrect ideas of the position of the luminary emitting them. Therefore the student who wishes to know Truth; to enter and investigate the realms of Spirit; to free himself from the toils of the flesh, as rap- idly as is consistent with safety and proper growth, is earnestly advised to study what follows as throughly as possible; to assimilate it and draw men- tal conceptions of these Worlds, Globes and Periods. If he wishes to progress in this way, the study of mathematics and of Hinton's "The Fourth Dimension" are also admirable exercises in abstract thought. This work of Hinton's (though basically incorrect, because the four-dimensional Desire World cannot be actually found by three-dimensional methods), has opened the eyes of several persons who have studied it, and made them clairvoyant. Moreover, remembering that logic is the nest teacher in any world, it is certain that the individual who succeeds in entering into the superphysical World by means of such studies in abstract thought, will not become confused [PAGE 204] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION but will be able to give a good account of himself under all circumstances. A stupendous scheme is here unfolded, and as more and more detail is filled in, its complexity becomes almost inconceivable. Anyone capable of comprehending it will be well rewarded for taking the utmost pains to do so. Therefore, the student should read slowly, repeat often, think deeply and much. This book, particularly this chapter, cannot be read in a casual manner. Every sentence has weight and bearing upon what follows, and presupposes a knowledge of what precedes it. If the books is not studied throughly and systematically, it will grown more and more incomprehensible and confusing with every page. On the other hand, if it is studied and well thought out as the student proceeds, it will be found that each page is illuminated by the increased knowledge gained by study of what went before. No work of this kind, dealing with the deepest phases of the Great World Mystery that the human mind, at its present stage of development, it capable of grasping, can be written in such a manner that it will be light reading. Yet the deepest phases now comprehensible to use are but the A B C of the scheme as it will be revealed to us when our minds have become capable of understanding more, in later stages of our development as Supermen. THE SATURN PERIOD. The Globes of the Saturn Period consisted of much rarer and finer sub- stances than our Earth, as it will be evident from a study of diagrams 7 and 8, which the student is advised to keep close at hand for frequent reference while studying this subject. The densest Globe of that Period was located [PAGE 205] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION in the same portion of the World of Thought occupied by the rarest of Globes of the present Period--the Region of Concrete Thought. These Globes had no consistency such as we can sense. "Warmth" is the only word that ap- proximates the idea of the ancient Saturn Period. It was dark; and if a person could have entered into the space it occupied, he would have seen nothing. All about him would have been darkness, but he would have felt its warmth. To the materialist it will, of course, seem insanity to call such a con- dition a "Globe", and to assert that it was the field of evolution of Form and Life. Yet, when we consider the Nebular Theory, we can realize that the nebula must have been dark before it glowed with light, and that it must have been hot before it could become fiery. This heat must have been brought about by motion, and motion is life. We may say that the virgin spirits who were to evolve consciousness and form were embedded in this Globe, or perhaps better, that the whole Globe was composed of virgin spirits, as a raspberry is made of a great number of small raspberries. They were incorporated in the Globe, as the life ensouling the mineral is in our Earth. Therefore it is said among occult scientists that in the Saturn Period man went through the mineral stage. Outside this "warmth-Globe"--in its atmosphere, we might say--were the great creative Hierarchies, who were to help the evolving virgin spirits to develop form and consciousness. There were many Hierarchies, but for the present we shall concern ourselves with the principal ones only--those which did the most important work of the Saturn Period. In the Rosicrucian terminology these are called "Lords of the Flame," be- cause of the brilliant luminosity of their bodies and their great bodies and [PAGE 206] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION their great spiritual powers. They are called "Thrones" in the Bible, and worked on man of their own free will. They were so far advanced that this evolutionary manifestation could give them no new experiences, and therefore no added wisdom, and the same may be said of two still higher order of Hier- archies, to be named later. The rest of the creative Hierarchies, in order to complete their own evolutions, were compelled to work on, in and with man. These Lords of the Flame were outside the dark Saturn Globe and their bodies emitted a strong light. They, so to say, projected their pictures upon the surface of that ancient Saturn Globe, which was so impressionable that it reflected, in a multiple or echo-like manner, everything that came in contact with it, giving back the images manifolded. (This is told in the Greek myth wherein it is said that Saturn destroyed his children.) However, by repeated efforts during the first Revolution, the Lords of the Flame succeeded in implanting in the evolving life the germ which has developed our present dense body. This germ was somewhat developed during the remainder of the first six Revolutions, being given the capacity for de- veloping the senses organs, particularly the ear. Therefore, the ear is the most highly developed organ we possess. It is the instrument which carries with the greatest accuracy the impressions of outside conditions to the con- sciousness. It is less subject to the illusions of the Physical World that the other sense organs. The consciousness of the evolving life of that Period was like that of the mineral of today--a state of unconsciousness similar to that attained by mediums in the deepest trance--yet during the first six Revolutions, the evolving life worked on the germ of the dense body under the direction and [PAGE 207] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION with the help of the different creative Hierarchies. In the middle of the seventh Revolution the Lords of the Flame, Who had been since They gave the germ of the dense body in the first Revolution, again become active, this time to awaken the highest spiritual principle. They aroused the ini- tial activity of the divine spirit in man. Thus, man owes his highest and lowest vehicles--the divine spirit and the dense body to the evolution of the Saturn Period. These, the Lords of the Flame of their own free will helped him to manifest, not being under the slightest compulsion to do so. The work of the various creative Hierarchies is not started on Globe A, at the commencement of a Period or a Revolution. It commences in the middle of one Revolution, growing in strength and reaching its highest efficiency in the middle of the Cosmic Night--which is between Revolutions, as well as between Periods. Then it gradually declines, as the life wave sweeps on to the middle of the next Revolution. Thus the work of the Lords of the Flame in awakening the germinal con- sciousness, was most active and efficient during the rest Period between the Saturn and Sun Periods. We reiterate that a Cosmic Night is not to be regarded as a time of inac- tivity. It is not inert existence, as we saw in the case of the individual passing from death to a new birth. So with the great death of all the Globes of a Period. It is a cessation of active manifestation, that a pro- portionately keener subjective activity may be unfolded. Perhaps the best idea of the nature of this subjective activity may be gained by observing what happens when a ripe fruit is buried in the ground. [PAGE 208] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Fermentation and decay of the flesh sets in, but out of that chaos comes the new plant, sprouting forth into the air and sunshine. So, when a Period is past, all is resolved into conglomerate chaos, apparently incapable of being reduced to order. At the proper time, however, the Globes of a new period are formed and made ready for occupancy as man-bearing Worlds. Hither the evolving life is transferred from five dark Globes which it traverses during the Cosmic Night, to commence the activities of a new creative day in an al- tered environment, prepared and externalized during the activities of the Cosmic Night. As the forces of fermentation in the fruit stimulate the seed and fertilize the soil in which it grows, so the Lords of the Flame stimulated the germ of divine spirit, particularly during the Cosmic Night between the Saturn and Sun Periods, continuing their activities until the middle of the first Revolution of the Sun Period. RECAPITULATION. Before the activity in any Period can be started, there is a recapitula- tion of all that has been gone through before. Owing to the spiral path of evolution, this activity takes place each time on a higher scale that the stage in progression which it rehearses. The necessity will become apparent when the actual work in recapitulation is described. The first Revolution of any Period is a recapitulation of the work upon the dense body in the Saturn Period, and is spoken of among Rosicrucians as the "Saturn Revolution." The Second Period is the Sun Period, and therefore the second Revolution of any Period subsequent to the Sun Period would be the "Sun Revolution." [PAGE 209] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION The third Period is the Moon Period, therefore the third Revolution of any subsequent Period will be a recapitulation of the work done in the Moon Period, and is called the "Moon Revolution." Not until after the recapitulatory Revolutions does the proper work of a Period begin. For instance, in the present Earth Period, we have passed through three and one-half Revolutions. That means that in the first, or Saturn Revolution of the Earth Period, the work done in the Saturn Period was repeated, but on an advanced scale. In the second, or Sun Revolution, the work of the Sun Period was gone through again. In the third, or Moon Revolution, the work of the Moon Period was repeated; and it was only in the fourth--the present Revolution--the real work of the Earth Period commenced. In the last of the seven Periods--the Vulcan Period--only the last Revolution will be concerned with real Vulcan work. In the preceding six Revolutions the work of the preceding six Periods will have been reca- pitulated. Moreover (and this will particularly help the student to remember), a Saturn Revolution in any Period has always to do with the development of some new feature of the dense body, because that was started in a first Revolution; and ANY seventh, or Vulcan Revolution, has for its particular work some activity in connection with the divine spirit, because that was started in a seventh Revolution. In the same way, we shall see that there is a connection between the different Revolutions and all the vehicles of man. THE SUN PERIOD. Conditions during the Sun Period differed radically from those of the Saturn Period. Instead of the "warmth-Globes" of the latter, the Sun [PAGE 210] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Period Globes were glowing light-balls, of the consistency of gas. These great gasballs contained all that had been evolved in the Saturn Period, and similarly, in the atmosphere were the creative Hierarchies. Instead of the echo-like, reflecting quality of the Saturn Period, these Globes, to some extent, had the quality of absorbing and working over sight or sound projected against their surfaces. They, as it were, "sensed" things. The Earth does not seem to do this, and a materialist would scoff at the idea, yet the occultist knows that the Earth feels everything on and in it. This lighter Globe was much more sensitive that the Earth, because it was not limited and bound in such hard and fast conditions of materiality as is our present habitat. The life, of course, was different, because no forms such as we know could have existed there. But life can express itself in forms of fiery gas as well as--in fact better than--in forms of hard chemical matter such as the present dense forms of mineral, plant, animal and man. As the evolving life appeared upon Globe A in the first or Saturn Revolu- tion of the Sun Period, it was still in charge of the Lords of the Flame who, in the middle of the last Revolution of the Saturn Period, awakened in man the germ of the divine spirit. They had previously given the germ of the dense body and, in the first half of the Saturn Revolution of the Sun Period, were concerned with certain improvements to be made upon it. In the Sun Period the formation of the vital body was to be commenced, with all thereby implied of capability for assimilation, growth, propaga- tion, glands, etc. The Lords of the Flame incorporated in the germ of the dense body only [PAGE 211] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION the capability of evolving sense organs. At the time now under consider- ation it became necessary to change the germ in such a way as to allow of interpenetration by a vital body, also capability of evolving glands and an alimentary canal. This was done by the joint action of the Lords of the Flame, who gave the original germ, and the Lords of Wisdom, who took charge of material evolution in the Sun Period. The Lords of Wisdom, who were not so highly evolved as the Lords of the Flame, worked to complete their own evolution; therefore they received the assistance of an order of exalted Beings who, like the Lords of the Flame, order of exalted Beings who, like the Lords of the Flame, acted of their own free will. In esoteric parlance they are called the Cherubim. These ex- alted Beings did not, however, become active in the work until it was neces- sary to awaken the germ of the second spiritual principle of our man-in-the-making, as the Lords of Wisdom were quite capable of doing the work connected with the vital body which was to be added to the constitution of man in the Sun Period, but not of awakening the second spiritual prin- ciple. When the Lords of the Flame and the Lords of Wisdom had, in the Saturn Revolution of the Sun Period, conjointly reconstructed the germinal dense body, the Lords of Wisdom, in the second Revolution, started the proper work of the Sun Period, by radiating from their own bodies the germ of the vital body, making it capable of inter-penetrating the dense body and giving to the germ the capability of furthering growth and propagation and of exciting the sense centers of the dense body and causing it to move. In short, they gave, germinally, to the vital body all the faculties which it is now un- folding to become a perfect and pliable instrument for the use of the spirit. [PAGE 212] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION This work occupied the second, third, fourth and fifth Revolutions of the Sun Period. In the sixth Revolution the Cherubim entered and awakened the germ of the second aspect of the threefold spirit in man--the life spirit. In the seventh and last Revolution the newly awakened germ of the life spirit was linked to the germinal divine spirit, and this was still further worked upon. We remember that in the Saturn Period our consciousness was similar to the trace condition. By the activity of the Sun Period this was modified until it became like the consciousness of dreamless sleep. Evolution in the Sun Period added to the constitution of the evolving em- bryonic man, the next highest and the next lowest of his present vehicles. As the result of the Saturn Period he possessed a germinal dense body and divine spirit. At the end of the Sun Period he possessed a germinal dense body, vital body, divine spirit and life spirit, i.e., a twofold spirit and a twofold body. We also note that, as the first, or Saturn Revolution, of any Period is concerned with work in the dense body (because that was started in a first Revolution), so the second, or Sun Revolution, of any Period is concerned with improvements on the vital body, because it was started in a second Revolution. In like manner, the sixth Revolution of any Period is dedicated to some work on the life spirit, and any seventh Revolution is particularly concerned with matters connected with the divine spirit. In the Saturn Period man-in-the-making went through a mineral stage of existence. That is to say, he had a dense body only in the sense as had the mineral. His consciousness was also similar to that of the present mineral. [PAGE 213] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION In the same way, and for analogous reasons, it may be said that in the Sun Period man went through the plant existence. He had a dense body and a vital body, as plants have, and his consciousness, like theirs, was that of dreamless sleep. The student will fully grasp this analogy by referring to diagram 4 in the chapter on the four kingdoms, where the vehicles of con- sciousness possessed by mineral, plant, animal and man are schematically shown, with the particular consciousness resulting from their possession in each case. When the Sun Period was past there came another Cosmic Night of assimila- tion, together with the subjective activity necessary before the opening of the Moon Period. This was equal in length to the preceding Period of objec- tive manifestation. THE MOON PERIOD. As the chief characteristic feature of the dark Saturn Globes was de- scribed by the term "warmth," and that of the Sun Period Globes as "light" or glowing heat, so the chief characteristic feature of the Globes of the Moon Period may be best described by the term "moisture." There was no air such as we know. In the center was the hot fiery core. Next to that, and consequent upon contact with the cold of outside space, there was dense moisture. By contact with the fiery central core the dense moisture was changed into hot steam, which rushed outward to cool, and sink again toward the center. Therefore the occult scientist calls the Globes of the Moon Pe- riod "water" and describes the atmosphere of that time as "fire-fog." That was the scene of the next forward step of the evolving life. The Moon Period work was that of acquiring the germ of a desire body and [PAGE 214] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION starting the germinal activity of the third aspect of the threefold spirit in man--the human spirit--the Ego. In the middle of the seventh Revolution of the Sun Period, the Lords of Wisdom took charge of the germinal life spirit given by the Cherubim in the sixth Revolution of the Sun Period. They did this for the purpose of link- ing it to the divine spirit. Their greatest activity in this work was reached in the Cosmic Night intervening between the Sun and Moon Periods. In the first dawn of the Moon Period, as the life wave started upon its new pilgrimage, the Lords of Wisdom reappeared, bearing with them the germinal vehicles of the evolving man. In the first or Saturn Revolution of the Moon Period, they co-operated with the "Lords of Individuality," who had special charge of the material evolution of the Moon Period. Together they recon- structed the germ of the dense body, brought over from the Sun Period. This germ had unfolded embryonic sense organs, digestive organs, glands, etc., and was inter-penetrated of life into the embryonic dense body. Of course, it was not solid and visible as it is now, yet in a crude sort of way it was somewhat organized and is perfectly distinguishable to the trained clairvoy- ant sight of the competent investigator who searches the memory of nature for scenes in that far-off past. In the Moon Period it was necessary to reconstruct the dense body to make it capable of being inter-penetrated by a desire body, and also capable of evolving a nervous system, muscle, cartilage and a rudimentary skeleton. This reconstruction was the work of the Saturn Revolution of the Moon Pe- riod. In the second, or Sun Revolution, the vital body was also modified to [PAGE 215] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION render it capable of being inter-penetrated by a desire body, also of accom- modating itself to the nervous system, muscle, skeleton, etc. The Lords of Wisdom, who were the originators of the vital body, also helped the Lords of Individuality with this work. In the third Revolution the proper Moon work commenced. The Lords of In- dividuality radiated from themselves the substance which they helped the un- conscious, evolving man to appropriate and build into a germinal desire body. They also helped him to incorporate this germinal desire body in the compound vital body and dense body which he already possessed. This work was carried on all through the third and fourth Revolutions of the Moon Pe- riod. As with the Lords of Wisdom, so with the Lords of Individuality; through exalted far above man, they worked on and in him to complete their own evolution. While they were capable of dealing with the lower vehicle, they were powerless in regard to the higher. They could not give spiritual im- pulse necessary to the awakening of the third aspect of the threefold spirit in man. Therefore another class of Beings who were beyond the necessity of evolving in such an evolution as we are passing through--who also worked of their own free will, as did the Lords of the Flame and the Cherubim--came in during the fifth Revolution of the Moon Period, to help man. They are called "Seraphim." They awakened the germ of the third aspect of the spirit--the human spirit. In the sixth Revolution of the Moon Period the Cherubim reappeared and co-operated with the Lords of Individuality to link the newly acquired germ of the human spirit to life spirit. In the seventh Revolution of the Moon Period the Lords of the Flame again [PAGE 216] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION came to the aid of man, helping the Lords of Individuality to link the human spirit to the divine spirit. Thus the separate Ego--the threefold spirit--came into existence. Before the beginning of the Saturn Period the virgin spirits who are now man, were in the World of Virgin Spirits, and were "All-conscious" as God in who (not from whom), they were differentiated. They were not "SELF" con- scious however. The attainment of that faculty is partly the object of evolution which plunges the virgin spirits into a sea of matter of gradually increasing density which eventually shuts it from All-consciousness. Thus, in the Saturn Period the virgin spirits were immersed in the World of Divine Spirit and encased in the tiniest film of that substance which they partially penetrated by the help of the Lords of Flame. In the Sun Period the virgin spirit was plunged into the denser World of Life Spirit and more effectively blinded to the All-consciousness by a sec- ond veil of the substance of the World of Life Spirit. Still, by the help of the Cherubim it partially penetrated this second veil also. The feeling of the Oneness of All was not lost either, for the World of Life Spirit is still a universal World common to and inter-penetrating all the planets of a Solar System. In the Moon Period, however, the virgin spirits take a further dip into the still denser matter of the Region of Abstract Thought and here the most opaque of its veils, the human spirit, is added. Henceforth the All-consciousness of the virgin spirit is lost. It can no longer penetrate its veils, look OUTWARDS and perceive OTHERS, so it is forced to turn its consciousness INWARDS and there it finds its SELF, as the Ego, separated apart from all others. Thus the virgin spirit is encased in a threefold veil, and as its [PAGE 217] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION outermost veil, the human spirit, effectively blinds it to the oneness of Life, it becomes the Ego by entertaining the illusion of separateness con- tracted during involution. Evolution will gradually dissolve the illusion, bring back the All-consciousness, and Self-consciousness will have been added. Thus we see that at the close of the Moon Period man possessed a three- fold body in varying stages of development; and also the germ of the three- fold spirit. He had dense, vital, and desire bodies, and divine, life and human spirit. All he lacked was the link to connect them. It has been stated that man passed through the mineral stage in the Sat- urn Period; through the plant stage in the Sun Period, and his pilgrimage through the conditions of the Moon Period corresponds to the phase of animal existence, for the same reason that the two other similes are applicable--he had the dense, vital, and desire bodies, as have our present animals, and his consciousness was an internal picture-consciousness, such as the lower animals have today. This resembles the dream consciousness of man, save that it is perfectly rational, being directed by the group-spirit of the animals. The student is again referred to diagram 4 in the chapter on the four kingdoms, where this is shown. These Moons beings were not so purely germinal as in the previous Peri- ods. To the trained clairvoyant they appear suspended by strings in the at- mosphere of the fire-fog, as the embryo hangs from the placenta by the um- bilical cord. Currents (common to all of them), which provided some sort of nourishment flowed in and out from the atmosphere, through those cords. These currents were thus, to some extent, similar in their function to the blood of the present day. The name "blood" as applied to these currents, [PAGE 218] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION however, is used merely to suggest an analogy, because the Being of the Moon Period possessed nothing like our present red blood, which is one of the very latest acquisitions of man. Towards the end of the Moon Period there was a division of the Globe which was the field of our and other evolutions, which, for the sake of greater implicity, we have not heretofore mentioned, but with which we shall presently become acquainted. Part of that great Globe was crystallized by man on account of his in- ability to keep the part which he inhabited in the high state of vibration maintained by the other beings there, and as this part became more inert the centrifugal force of the revolving Globe sent is spinning into space, where it began to circle around the glowing fiery central portion. The spiritual reason for the throwing off of such crystallizations is that the highest beings on such a Globe require for their evolution the ex- ceedingly rapid vibrations of fire. They are hampered by condensation, al- though such a condition is necessary to the evolution of other and less ad- vanced beings required lower rates of vibration. Therefore, when part of any Globe has been consolidated by a group of evolving beings to the detri- ment of others, that part is thrown off to exactly the proper distance from the central mass, so that it circles as a satellite around its primary. The heat vibrations which strike it are of the rate and strength suitable to the peculiar needs of the beings evolving upon that satellite. Of course the law of gravitation accounts quite satisfactorily for the phenomenon from a PHYSICAL viewpoint. But there is always a deeper cause, that yields a more complete explanation and which we will find if we consider the spiritual [PAGE 219] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION side of things. As a physical action is but the visible manifestation of the invisible thought which must precede it, so is the throwing off of a planet from a central Sun simply the visible and unavoidable effect of in- visible spiritual conditions. The smaller planet which was thrown off in the Moon Period, condensed with comparative rapidity and remained the field of our evolution until the end of that Period. It was a moon to the parent planet, circling around it as our Moon circles around the Earth, but it did not show phases as our Moon does. It revolved in such a manner that one-half was always light and the other always dark, as is the case with Venus. One of its poles was pointed directly towards the large fiery Globe, as one of the poles of Venus points directly towards the Sun. On this satellite of the Moon Period there were currents which encircled it, as the group-spirit currents encircle the Earth. The Moon beings fol- lowed those currents instinctively from the light to the dark side of this old Moon. At certain times of the year, when they were on the light side, a sort of propagation took place. We have the atavistic residue of those moon travels from propagation in the migrations of the birds of passage which, to the present day, follow the group-spirit currents around the Earth at cer- tain seasons of the year, for identical purposes. Even the (honey) moon trips of human beings show that man himself has not yet outgrown the migra- tory impulse in connection with mating. The Moon beings at this last stage were also capable of giving utterance to sounds, or cries. These were Cosmic sounds--not expressions of indi- vidual joy or sorrow, for as yet there was no individual. The development of the individual came later--in the Earth Period. [PAGE 220] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION At the end of the Moon Period once more came the interval of rest, the Cosmic Night. The divided parts were dissolved and merged in the general Chaos which preceded the reorganization of the Globe for the Earth Period. The Lords of Wisdom had now evolved so far, that they were capable of taking charge as the highest creative Hierarchy. They were given special charge of the divine spirit in man during the Earth Period. The Lords of Individuality were also sufficiently advanced to work upon the spirit in man and the life spirit was therefore put under their charge. Another creative Hierarchy had special care of the three germs of the dense, vital, and desire bodies as they were evolving. They were the ones who, under the direction of the higher orders, actually did the principal work on these bodies, using the evolving life as a kind of instrument. This Hierarchy is called the "Lords of Form." They were now evolved so far that they were given charge of the third aspect of the spirit in man--the human spirit--in the coming Earth Period. There were twelve great Creative Hierarchies active in the work of evolution at the commencement of the Saturn Period. Two of these Hierar- chies did some work to help at the very beginning. No information has been given as to what they did, nor anything about them, except that they helped of their own free will, and then withdrew from limited existence into lib- eration. Three more of the Creative Hierarchies followed them at the beginning of the Earth Period, the Lords of the Flame, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, leaving seven Hierarchies in active service when the Earth Period began. [PAGE 221] THE WORK OF EVOLUTION (Diagram 9 will give a clear idea of the twelve Creative Hierarchies and their status). DIAGRAM 9. THE TWELVE GREAT CREATIVE HIERARCHIES. Zodiacal Sign Name Status 1. Aries Nameless The first and second orders are 2. Taurus Nameless said to have passed beyond the ken of anyone on Earth. It is known that they gave some assistance at the beginning of our evolution. The three following orders worked of their own free will to help man during the three periods which preceded the Earth Period. They have also passed to liberation: 3. Gemini Seraphim who, in the Moon Period, aroused in man-in-the making the germ of the human spirit-- the Ego, 4. Cancer Cherubim who, in the Sun Period, aroused the germ of the life spirit. 5. Leo Lords of Flame who, in the Saturn Period, aroused the germ of the divine spirit and gave the germ of the dense body. The following Seven Creative Hierarchies are active in the Earth Period: 6. Virgo Lords of Wisdom who, in the Sun Period, started the vital body. 7. Libra Lords of Individuality who, in the Moon Period, started the desire body. 8. Scorpio Lords of Form who have special charge of human evolution in the Earth Period. 9. Sagittarius Lords of Mind the humanity of the Saturn Period. 10. Capricornus Archangels the humanity of the Sun Period. 11. Aquarius Angels the humanity of the Moon Period. 12. Pisces The Virgin Spirits who are the humanity of the present Earth Period. [PAGE 222] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The Lords of Mind became experts at building bodies of "mind-stuff" as we are becoming experts at building bodies of chemical matter, and for a similar reason: The Region of Concrete Thought was the densest condition of matter reached during the Saturn Period where they were human and the Chemical Region is the densest state to be contacted by our humanity. In the Earth Period the Lords of Mind reached the Creator-stage, and radiated from themselves into our being the nucleus of material from which we are now seeking to build an organized mind. They are called "Power of Darkness" by Paul because they came from the dark Saturn Period, and are considered evil on account of the separative tendency appertaining to the plan of Reason as contrasted with the unifying forces of the World of Life Spirit; the realm of Love. The Lords of Mind work with humanity; but not with the three lower Kingdoms. The Archangels became experts at building a body of desire-stuff: the densest matter of the Sun Period. Therefore they are able to teach and guide such less evolved beings as man and animal how to mold and use a desire-body. The Angels are thoroughly experienced in building a vital body for the Moon period when they were human the ether was the densest condition of mat- ter. On account of this ability they are properly the teachers of man, animal and plant with regard to the vital functions: propagation, nutrition, etc. --- END OF FILE ---- [PAGE 223] STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS CHAPTER IX. STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS. In following through the preceding chapter the evolution of life, con- sciousness and form--the triple phase of manifestation of the virgin spirit--which is the LIFE that gathers the FORM about itself and gains CON- SCIOUSNESS thereby, we have spoken as though there were only one class; as though the virgin spirits, without exception, had made constant and uniform progress. This was done for the sake of simplicity, because stragglers there were, as there are in any great body or company. In school there are, every year, those who fail to reach the standard re- quired for promotion into a higher grade. Similarly, in every Period of Evolution, there are those who fall behind because they have not attained the standard necessary to pass onward to the next higher stage. Even so early as the Saturn Period there were some who failed to improve sufficiently to take the next forward step. At that stage the Higher Beings were working with the life, which was itself unconscious, but that uncon- sciousness did not prevent the retardation of some of the virgin spirits who were not so pliable, nor so readily adaptable as others. In that one word "Adaptability," we have the great secret of advancement or retardation. All progress depends upon whether an evolving being is [PAGE 224] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION flexible, adaptable and pliable, so as to be able to accommodate itself to new conditions, or whether it is crystallized, set, and incapable of alter- ation. Adaptability is the quality which makes for progress, whether an en- tity is at a high or a low stage of evolution. Lack of it is the cause of the retardation of the spirit and retrogression of the Form. This applies to the past, present and future, the division of the qualified and the un- qualified, thus, being made with the exact and impersonal justice of the law of Consequence. There never was, or ever shall be any arbitrary distinction made between the "sheep" and the "goats." The hardened unresponsive condition of some of the Saturn beings pre- vented the awakening of the divine spirit within them, therefore they re- mained simply mineral, all they had gained being the germinal dense body. Thus there were two classes, or kingdoms, in the Sun Period, i.e., the stragglers of the Saturn Period, who were still mineral, and the pioneers of the Saturn Period, who were capable of receiving the germ of a vital body and becoming plant-like. In addition to those two kingdoms there was also a third--a new life wave, which was just commencing its activity at the beginning of the Sun Pe- riod. (That is the life wave which now ensouls our animals). The matter into which the new life wave entered, together with the strag- glers of the Saturn Period, composed the mineral kingdom of the Sun Period. There was, however, a great difference in those two sub-divisions of the second kingdom. It is possible for the stragglers to make a "spurt" and overtake the pioneers, who are now our humanity, but impossible for the new life wave of the Sun Period to do that. It will reach a stage corresponding [PAGE 225] STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS to the human, but under very different conditions. The division of stragglers and pioneers took place in the seventh Revolu- tion of the Saturn Period, when the divine spirit was awakened by the Lords of the Flame. Then it was found that some of the evolving entities were in such an unresponsive, hardened condition that it was impossible to arouse them. They therefore remained without the spark of spirit upon which their progress depended and they were obliged to remain at the same level, being unable to follow the others in whom the spiritual spark was awakened. truly, truly, all that we are or are not is the result of our own effort, or our own inaction. These stragglers and the newly arrived life wave formed dark spots in the otherwise glowing gas sphere which was the densest Globe of the Sun Period, and our present Sunspots are an atavistic remainder of that condition. In the sixth Revolution of the Sun Period the life spirit was awakened by the Cherubim, and again it was found that some who had safely passed the critical point in the Saturn Period, had fallen behind in the Sun Period and were unfit to have the second aspect of the spirit vivified. Thus there were another class of stragglers, who had lagged behind the crest wave of evolution. In the seventh Revolution of the Sun Period of Lords of the flame reap- peared to awaken the divine spirit in those who failed to qualify for it at the end of the Saturn Period, but had attained to the point where they could receive the spiritual impulse in the Sun Period. The Lords of the flame also awakened the germ of divine spirit in as many of the new life wave en- tities as were ready, but here also there were stragglers. [PAGE 226] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Thus at the beginning of the Moon Period there were the following classes: 1-The Pioneers who had successfully passed through the Saturn and the Sun Periods. They had dense and vital bodies, divine and life spirit germinally active. 2-The Stragglers of the Sun Period, who had dense and vital bodies, also divine spirit--all germinal. 3-The Stragglers of the Saturn Period, who had been promoted in the seventh Revolution of the Sun Period. They had the germ of dense body and divine spirit. 4-The Pioneers of the new Life Wave, who had the same vehicles as class 3, but belong to a different scheme of evolution from ours. 5-The Stragglers of the new Life Wave, who had only the germ for the dense body. 6-The New Life Wave, which entered upon its evolution at the beginning of the Moon Period and is the life that ensouls our plants of the present day. It is necessary to remember that Nature hastens slowly. She makes no sudden changes in forms. To her, time is nothing; the attainment of perfec- tion is everything. A mineral does not change to a plant at one bound, but by gradual, almost imperceptible degrees. A plant does not become an animal in a night. It requires millions of years to bring about the change. Thus at all times there are all stages and gradations to be found in nature. The Ladder of Being stretches without break from protoplasm to God. Therefore we have to deal, not with six different kingdoms corresponding to the above six classes which entered the arena of evolution at the begin- ning of the Moon Period, but with three kingdoms only--mineral, plant and animal. The lowest class in the Moon Period composed the new life stream which there commenced its evolution. It formed the hardest mineral part, yet it must be borne in mind that it was by no means as hart as the mineral of the present time, but only about as dense as our wood. [PAGE 227] STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS This statement does not contradict former ones which described the Moon as watery, nor does it conflict with diagram 8, showing the densest Globe in the Moon Period as located in the Etheric Region, which is etheric. As be- fore stated, the fact that the past of evolution is spiral prevents any con- dition ever being duplicated. There are similarities, but never reproduc- tions of identical conditions. It is not always possible to describe conditions in exact terms. The best available term is used to convey an idea of the conditions existing at the time under consideration. Class 5 in our list was nearly mineral, yet on account of having passed through and beyond the mineral condition during the Sun Period, it had some plant characteristics. Class 4 was almost plant and did evolve to a plant before the close of the Mood Period. It was, however, more nearly allied to the mineral kingdom that the next two classes, which formed the higher kingdom. We may there- fore group classes 4 and 5 together, as forming a sort of half step, a "mineral-plant" kingdom, which composed the surface of the ancient planet of the Moon Period. It was something like our present peat, which is also a state between the mineral and the plant. It was soggy and wet, consistent with the statement that the Moon Period was watery. Thus the fourth, fifth and sixth classes composed the different grada- tions of the mineral kingdom in the Moon Period--the highest being nearly plant and the lowest the hardest mineral substance of that time. Classes 2 and 3 formed the plant kingdom, though they were both really more than plants, yet were not quite animal. They grew in the mineral-plant soil; they were stationary like plants; yet they could not have grown [PAGE 228] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION in a purely mineral soil, as our plants do now. Good examples of what they were life may be found in our parasitic plants, which cannot grow in a purely mineral soil, but seek the food already specialized by the real plant or tree. Class 1 was composed of the pioneers of the life wave of virgin spirits. In the Moon Period they were going through a sort of animal-like existence. Yet they were like the animals of our time only in so far as they had the same vehicles and were under the control of a group-spirit, which included the whole human family. In appearance they were very different from our present animals, as shown by the partial description given in the previous chapter. They did not touch the surface of the planet, but floated sus- pended by umbilical-like cords. Instead of lungs they had a gill-like ap- paratus through which they breathed the hot steamy "fire-fog." These fea- tures of the Moon existence are still recapitulated by the embryo during the period of gestation. At certain stages of development it has the gills. The Moon beings at that time had also the horizontal spine of the animal. During the Moon Period several more divisions of classes occurred than in the preceding periods, because they were, of course, stragglers who failed to keep abreast of the crestwave of evolution. As a result there were, at the beginning of the Earth Period, 5 classes, some of them containing sev- eral divisions, as diagram l0 will show. These divisions occurred at the following times and for the following reasons: In the middle of the fifth Revolution of the Moon Period, when the Seraphim bestowed the germ of the human spirit upon the pioneers who had fitted themselves to pass on, some were found wanting when weighed in the [PAGE 229] STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS balance and therefore unfit to receive the spiritual impulse which awakened the threefold spirit. In the sixth Revolution of the Moon Period the Cherubim reappeared and vivified the life spirit of those who had been left behind in the Sun Period but had since reached the necessary stage of development (Class 2 in our previous list), and also in those stragglers of the Sun Period who had now evolved a vital body during their plant existence in the Moon Period. (These latter were class 3 in the previous list.) Class 4 in the previous list had been going through a low stage of plant existence; nevertheless the majority of them had evolved the vital body suf- ficiently to allow of the awakening of the life spirit. Thus, the three last named all possessed the same vehicles at the begin- ning of the Earth Period, although only the two first named (class 3a and 3b in diagram l0) belong to our life wave, and have a chance of even yet over- taking us if they pass the critical point which will come in the next Revolution of the Earth Period. Those who cannot pass that point will be heal over until some future evolution reaches a stage where they can drop in and proceed with their development in a new human period. They will be de- barred from going forward with our humanity because it will be advanced so far beyond their status that it would prove a serious clog to our progress to drag them along. They will not be destroyed, but simply held in waiting for another period of evolution. Progression with our present wave of evolution is what is meant when "salvation" is spoken of in the Christian religion, and it is something to be earnestly sought, for though the "eternal damnation" of those who are not "saved" does not mean destruction nor endless torture, it is [PAGE 230] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM 10 (Showing the different classes of the several life waves which are evolv- ing in the four kingdoms of the earth; their status AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EARTH PERIOD and the vehicles they THEN possessed; also their recent sta- tus.) [PAGE 231] STRAGGLERS AND NEWCOMERS nevertheless a very serious matter to be held in a state of inertia for in- conceivable milliards of years, before a new evolution shall have progressed to such a stage that those who fail here can have an opportunity to proceed. The spirit is not conscious of the lapse of time, but it is none the less a serious loss, and there must also be feeling of unhomelikeness when at last such spirits find themselves in a new evolution. So far as the present humanity is concerned, that possibility is so small as to be almost negligible. It is said, however, that of the total number of virgin spirits which started evolution in the Saturn Period, only about three-fifths will pass that critical point in the next Revolution and go on to the end. The greatest apprehension of occult scientists is materialism, which if carried too far, not only prevents progress but will destroy all the seven vehicles of the virgin spirit, leaving it naked. Such an one will then have to commence at the very beginning of the new evolution. All the work it has done since the dawn of the Saturn Period will have been utterly wasted. For this reason, the present period is to our humanity, the most critical of all. Therefore occult scientists speak of the Sixteen Races, of which the Germano-Anglo-Saxon is one, as "the sixteen possibilities for destruction." May the reader safely pass them all, for their grip is worse than the retar- dation in the next Revolution. Speaking generally, class 5 in the foregoing list was given the germ of the divine spirit during the seventh Revolution, when the Lords of Flame re- appeared. Therefore they were pioneers of the last life wave, entering evolution at the Moon Period. They passed their mineral existence there. [PAGE 232] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The stragglers of that life wave were thus left with only the germ of a dense body. In addition to the above, there was also a new life wave (our present mineral kingdom) entering upon its evolution at the beginning of the Earth Period. At the end of the Moon Period these classes possessed the vehicles as they are classified in diagram 10, and started with them in the beginning of the Earth Period. During the time which has elapsed since then, the human kingdom has been evolving the link of mind, and has thereby attained full waking consciousness. The animals have obtained a desire body, the plants a vital body; the stragglers of life wave entered evolution in the Moon Period have escaped the hard and fast conditions of rock soils; while life wave that entered evolution here in the Earth Period forms the hard rocks and stones. Thus have the different classes obtained the vehicles ascribed to them in diagram 3, to which the reader is referred. [PAGE 233] THE EARTH PERIOD CHAPTER X. THE EARTH PERIOD. The Globes of the Earth Period are located in the four densest states of matter--the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, the Etheric, and the Chemical Regions (See Diagram 8). The densest Globe (Globe D) is our present Earth. When we speak of "the DENSEST Worlds" or "the DENSEST states of matter," the term must be taken in a relative sense. Otherwise it would imply a limitation in the absolute, and that is absurd. Dense and attenuated, up and down, east and west, are applicable only relatively to our own status and position. As there are higher, finer Worlds than those touched by our life wave, so there are also denser states of matter which are the field of evolution for other classes of beings. Nor must it be thought that these denser worlds are elsewhere in space; they are interpenetrated by our worlds in a manner similar to that in which the higher Worlds interpenetrate this Earth. The fancied solidity of the Earth and the forms we see are no bar to the passage of a denser body any more than out solid sense walls bar the passage of a human being clothed in his desire body. Neither is solid- ity synonymous with density, as may be illustrated by aluminum, a solid which is less dense than the fluidic mercury; nevertheless the latter, in spite of its density, will evaporate or exude through many solids. This being the fourth Period, we have at present four elements. In the [PAGE 234] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Saturn Period there was but one element, Fire--i.e., there was warmth, or heat, which is incipient fire. In the second, or Sun Period, there were to elements, Fire and Air. In the third, or Moon Period, there were three elements, Water being added; and in the fourth, or Earth Period, was added the fourth element, Earth. Thus it will be seen that a new element was added for each Period. In the Jupiter Period an element of a spiritual nature will be added, which will unite with the speech so that words will invariable carry with them understanding--not misunderstanding, as is frequently the case now. For instance, when one says "house," he may mean a cottage, while the hearer may get the idea of a tenement flat building. To this environment of the four elements, as specified above, the differ- ent classes mentioned in diagram 10 were brought over by the Hierarchies in charge of them. We remember that in the Moon Period these classes formed three kingdoms--animal, animal-plant and plant-mineral. Here on Earth, how- ever, the conditions are such that there can be no large half-way classes. There must be four distinctly different kingdoms. In this crystallized phase of existence the lines between them must be more sharply drawn than was the case in former Periods, where one kingdom gradually merged into the next. Therefore some of the classes mentioned in diagram 10 advanced one-half step, while others went back a half a step. Some of the mineral-plants advanced completely into the plant kingdom and became the verdure of the fields. Others went down and became the purely mineral soil in which the plants grew. Of the plant-animals some advanced into the animal kingdom, ahead of time, and those species have yet the [PAGE 235] THE EARTH PERIOD colorless plant-blood and some, like star-fishes, have even the five points like the petals of flowers. All of class 2 whose desire bodies could be divided into two parts (as was the case with all of class 1) were fitted to become human vehicles and were therefore advanced into the human group. We must carefully remember that in the above paragraphs we are dealing with Form, not with the Life which dwells in the Form. The instrument is graded to suit the life that is to dwell in it. Those of class 2, in whose vehicles the above mentioned division could be made were raised to the human kingdom, but were given the indwelling spirit at a point in time later than class 1. Hence, they are not now so far evolved as class 1, and are there- fore the lower races of mankind. Those whose desire bodies were incapable of division were put into the same division as classes 3a and 3b. They are our present anthropoids. They may yet overtake our evolution if they reach a sufficient degree of advance- ment before the critical point already mentioned, which will come in the middle of the fifth Revolution. If they do not overtake us by that time, they will have lost touch with our evolution. It was said that man had built his threefold body by the help of others higher than he, but in the previous Period there was no co-ordinating power; the threefold spirit, the Ego, was separate and apart from its vehicles. Now the time had come to unit the spirit and the body. Where the desire body separated, the higher part become somewhat master over the lower part and over the dense and vital bodies. It formed a sort of animal-soul with which the spirit could unit by means of the link of [PAGE 236] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION mind. Where there was no division of the desire body, the vehicle was given over to desires and passions without any check, and could therefore not be used as a vehicle WITHIN which the spirit could dwell. So it was put under the control of a group-spirit which ruled if from WITHOUT. It became an animal body, and that kind was now degenerated into the body of the anthro- poid. Where there was a division of the desire body, the dense body gradually assumed a vertical position, thus taking the spine out of the horizontal currents of the Desire World in which the group-spirit acts upon the animal through the horizontal spine. The Ego could then enter, work in and express itself through the vertical spine and build the vertical larynx and brain for its adequate expression in the dense body. A horizontal larynx is also under the domination of the group-spirit. While it is true that some animals, as the starling, raven, parrot, etc., previously mentioned, are able, because of the possession of a vertical larynx, to UTTER words, they cannot use them understandingly. THE USE OF WORDS TO EXPRESS THOUGHT IS THE HIGHEST HUMAN PRIVILEGE and can be exercised only by a reasoning, thinking entity like man. If the student will keep this in mind, it will be easier to follow the different steps which lead up to this result. THE SATURN REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH PERIOD. This is the Revolution during which, in each Period. the dense body is reconstructed. This time it was given the ability to form a brain and be- come a vehicle for the germ of mind which was to be added later. This addi- tion constituted the final reconstruction of the dense body, rendering it capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency possible to such a ve- hicle. Unspeakable Wisdom has been employed in its construction. It is a [PAGE 237] THE EARTH PERIOD marvel. It can never be sufficiently impressed upon the mind of the student what immeasurable facilities for the gaining of knowledge are contained in this instrument, and what a great boon it is to man; how much he should prize it and how thankful he should be to have it. Some examples of the perfection of construction intelligent adaptability displayed in this instrument have previously been given, but in order to further impress this great truth upon the mind of the student, it might not be out of place to illustrate more fully this Wisdom, also the work of the Ego in the blood. It is generally know, in a vague kind of way, that the gastric juices acts upon the food to promote assimilation; but only a very few people, out- side of the medical profession, are aware that there are many different gas- tric juices, each appropriate to the treatment of a certain kind of food. The researches of Pavloff, however, have established the fact beyond doubt, that there is one kind of juice for the digestion of meat, another for milk, another for acid fruit, etc. That fact, by the way, is the reason why all foods do not mix well. Milk, for instance, requires a gastric juice that is widely different from almost any other kind except that required for the di- gestion of starchy foods, and is not readily digested with any food other than cereals. This alone would show marvelous wisdom; that the Ego working subconsciously is able to select the different juices which are appropriate to the different kinds of food taken into the stomach, making each of just the right strength and quantity to digest the food. What makes the matter still more wonderful, however, is the fact that the gastric juice is poured into the stomach in ADVANCE of the food. [PAGE 238] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION We do not consciously direct the process of mixing this fluid. The great majority of people know nothing of metabolism or any other phrase of chemis- try. So it is not enough to say that, as we taste what is coming, we direct the process by means of signals through the nervous system. When this fact of the selection of juices was first proven, scientists were sorely puzzled trying to learn how the right kind of juice was selected and caused to enter the stomach BEFORE the food. They thought the signal was given along the nervous system. But it was demonstrated beyond doubt that the proper juice was poured into to the stomach even though the nervous system was blocked. At last Starling and Bayliss, in a series of experiments of brilliant in- genuity, proved that infinitesimal parts of the food are taken up by the blood as soon as the good enters the mouth, go in advance to the digestive glands and cause a flow of the proper juice. This again, is only the physical side of the phenomena. To understand the whole wonderful connection, we must turn to occult science. That alone explains why the signal is carried by the blood. The blood is one of the highest expressions of the vital body. The Ego guides and controls its dense instrument by means of the blood, therefore the blood is also the means used to act on the nervous system. During some of the time that digestion is going on, it acts partially through the ner- vous system, but (especially at the commencement of the digestive process) it acts directly upon the stomach. When, during scientific experiments, the nerves were blocked, the direct way through the blood was still open and the Ego derived the necessary information in that way. It will also be seen that the blood is driven to wherever the Ego [PAGE 239] THE EARTH PERIOD unfolds the greatest activity at any time. If a situation requires sudden though and action, the blood is promptly driven to the head. If a heavy meal is to be digested the greater portion of the blood leaves the head, centering around the digestive organs. The Ego concentrate s its efforts on ridding the body of the useless food. Therefore a man cannot think well af- ter a heavy meal. He is sleepy because so much blood has left the brain that the residue is insufficient to carry on the functions necessary to full waking consciousness, besides, nearly all the vital fluid or solar energy specialized by the spleen is absorbed by the blood rushing through that or- gan after a meal in greater volume than between meals. Thus the rest of the system is also deprived of the vital fluid in a large measure during diges- tion. It is the Ego that drives the blood into the brain. Whenever the body goes to sleep, the table will invariably tip towards the feet, raising the head. During coition the blood is centered in the sex organs, etc. All these examples tend to prove that during the waking hours, the Ego works in and controls the dense body by means of the blood. The larger portion of the total amount goes to that part of the body where at any given time, the Ego unfolds any particular activity. The reconstruction of the dense body in the Saturn Revolution of the Earth Period was for the purpose of rendering it capable of inter-penetration by the mind. It gave the first impulse to the building of the frontal part of the brain; also the incipient division in the nervous system which has since become apparent in its subdivisions--the voluntary and the sympathetic. The latter was the only one provided for in the Moon Period. The voluntary nervous system (which has transformed the dense body [PAGE 240] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION from a mere automation acting under stimuli from without, to an extraordi- nary adaptable instrument capable of being guided and controlled by an Ego from within) was not added until the present Earth Period. The principal art of the reconstructive work was done by the Lords of Form. They are the Creative Hierarchy which is most active in the Earth Pe- riod, as were the Lords of Flame in the Saturn Period, the Lords of Wisdom in the Sun Period, and the Lords of Individuality in the Moon Period. The Earth Period is pre-eminently the Period of Form, for there the form or matter side of evolution reaches its greatest and most pronounced state. Here spirit is more helpless and suppressed and Form is the most dominant factor--hence the prominence of the Lords of Form. THE SUN REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH PERIOD. During this Revolution the vital body was reconstructed to accommodate the germinal mind. The vital body was fashioned more in the likeness of the dense body, so that it could become fitted for use as the densest vehicle during the Jupiter Period, when the dense body will have become spiritual- ized. The Angels, the humanity of the Moon Period, were aided by the Lords of Form in reconstruction. The organization of the vital body is now next in efficiency to the dense body. Some writers on this subject call the formed a link, and contend that it is simply a mold of the dense body, and not a separate vehicle. While not desiring to criticise, and admitting that this contention is justified by the fact that man, at his present stage of evolution, cannot ORDINARILY use the vital body as a separate vehicle--because it always [PAGE 241] THE EARTH PERIOD remains with the dense body and to extract it IN TOTO would cause death of the dense body--yet there was a time when it was not so firmly incorporated with the latter, as we shall presently see. During those epochs of our Earth's history which have already been men- tioned as the Lemurian and the Atlantean, man was involuntarily clairvoyant, and it was precisely this looseness of connection between the dense and the vital bodies that made him so. (The Initiators of that time helped the can- didate to loosen the connection still further, as in the voluntary clairvoy- ant. Since then the vital body has become much more firmly interwoven with the dense body in the majority of people, but in all sensitives it is loose. It is that looseness which constitutes the difference between the psychic and the ordinary person who is unconscious of all but the vibrations contacted by means of the five senses. All human beings have to pass through this pe- riod of close connection of the vehicles and experience the consequent limitation of consciousness. There are, therefore, two classes of sensitives, those who have not become firmly enmeshed in matter, such as the majority of the Hindus, the Indians, etc., who possess a certain low grade of clairvoyance, or are sensitive to the sounds of nature, and those who are i the vanguard of evolution. The latter are merging from the acme of mate- riality, and are again divisible into two kind, one of which develops in a passive, weak-willed manner. By the help of others they re-awaken the solar plexus or other organs in connection with the involuntary nervous system. These are therefore involuntary clairvoyants, mediums who have no control of their faculty. They have retrograded. The other kind is made up of those [PAGE 242] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION who by their own wills unfold the vibratory powers of the organs now con- nected with the voluntary nervous system and thus become trained occultists, controlling their own bodies and exercising the clairvoyant faculty as they will to do. They are called voluntary or trained clairvoyants. In the Jupiter Period man will function in his vital body as he now does in his dense body; and as no development in nature is sudden, the process of separating the two bodies has already commenced. The vital body will then attain a much higher degree of efficiency than the dense body of today. As it is a much more pliable vehicle, the spirit will then be able to use it in a manner impossible of realization in the case of the present dense vehicle. THE MOON REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH PERIOD. Here the Moon Period was recapitulated, and much the same conditions pre- vailed (on an advanced scale) as obtained on Globe D of that Period. There was the same kind of fire-fog atmosphere; the same fiery core the same divi- sion of the Globe into two parts, in order to allow the more highly evolved beings a chance to progress at the proper rate and pace, which it would be impossible for beings such as our humanity to equal. In that Revolution the Archangels (humanity of the Sun Period) and the Lords of Form took charge of the reconstruction of the desire body, but they were not alone in that work. When the separation of the Globe into two parts occurred, there was a similar division in the desire bodies of some of the evolving beings. We have already noted that where this division took place, the form as ready to become the vehicle of an INdwelling spirit, and in order to further this purpose the Lords of Mind (humanity of the Saturn Period) took possession of the higher part of the desire body and implanted [PAGE 243] THE EARTH PERIOD in it the separate selfhood, without which the present man with all his glo- rious possibilities, could never have existed. Thus in the latter part if the Moon Revolution the first germ of separate personality was implanted in the higher part of the desire body by the Lords of Mind. The Archangels were active in the lower part of the desire body, giving it the purely animal desires. They also worked in the desire bodies where there was no division. Some of these were to become the vehicles of the animal group-spirits, which work on them from without, but do not enter wholly into the animal forms, as the individual spirit does into the human body. The desire body was reconstructed to render it capable of being interpen- etrated by the germinal mind which, during the Earth Period, will be im- planted in all those desire bodies in which it was possible to make the before-mentioned division. As has been previously explained, the desire body is an unorganized ovoid, holding the dense body as a dark spot within its center, as the white of an egg surrounds the yolk. There are a number of sense centers in the ovoid, which have appeared since the beginning of the Earth Period. In the average human being these centers appear merely as eddies in a current and are not now awake, hence his desire body is of no use to him as a SEPARATE vehicle of consciousness; but when the sense centers are awakened they look like whirling vortices. REST PERIODS BETWEEN REVOLUTIONS. Hitherto we have noted only the Cosmic Nights between Periods. We saw that there was an interval of rest and assimilation between the Saturn and the sun Periods; another Cosmic Night between the Sun and the Moon Periods, [PAGE 244] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION etc. But in addition to these, there are also rests between the Revolu- tions. We might liken the Periods to the different incarnations of man; the Cos- mic Nights between them to the intervals between deaths and new births; and the rest between Revolutions would then analogous to the rest of sleep be- tween two days. When a Cosmic Night sets in, all manifested things are resolved into a homogenous mass--the Cosmos again becomes Chaos. This periodical return of matter to primordial substance is what makes it possible for the spirit to evolve. Were the crystallizing process of active manifestation to continue indefinitely would offer an insurmountable barrier to the progress of Spirit. Every time matter has crystallized to such a de- gree that it becomes too hard for the spirit to work in, the latter with- draws to recuperate its exhausted energy, on the same principle that a power-drill which has stopped when boring in hard metals, is withdrawn to regain its momentum. It is then able to bore its way further into the metal. Freed from the crystallizing every of the evolving spirits, the chemical forces in matter turn Cosmos to Chaos by restoring matter to its primordial state, that a new start may be made by the regenerated virgin spirits at the dawn of a new Day of Manifestation. The experience gained in formed Periods and Revolutions enables the Spirit to build up to the point last reached, with comparative celerity, also to facilitate further progress by making such alterations as its cumulative experience dictates. Thus at the end of the Moon Revolution of the Earth Period, all the Globes and all life returned to Chaos, re-emerging therefrom at the [PAGE 245] THE EARTH PERIOD beginning of the fourth Revolution. THE FOURTH REVOLUTION OF THE EARTH PERIOD. In the exceeding complexity of the scheme of evolution, there are always spirals within spirals, AD INFINITUM. So it will not be surprising to learn that in every Revolution the work of recapitulation and rest is applied to the different Globes. When the life wave reappeared on Globe A in this Revolution, it went though the development of the Saturn Period; then after a rest which, however did not involve the complete destruction of the Globe; but only an alteration, it appeared on Globe B, where the work of the Sun Period was recapitulated. Then after a rest, the life wave passed on to Globe C, and the work of the Moon Period was repeated. Finally, the life wave arrived on Globe D, which is our Earth, and not until then did the proper work of the Earth Period begin. Even then, the spiral within the spiral precluded its beginning immedi- ately on the arrival of the life wave from Globe C, for the bestowal of the germ of mind did not actually take place until the fourth Epoch, the first three Epochs being still further recapitulations of the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods, but always on a higher scale. [PAGE 246] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CHAPTER XI. THE GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. CHAOS. In the previous pages nothing has been said about our Solar System, and of different planets which compose it, because it was not until the Earth Period was reached that the present differentiation was made. The Earth Pe- riod is the acme of diversification, and although we have been speaking of only one class of virgin spirits--those who, in the strictest and most lim- ited sense, are concerned with the Earth evolution--there are in reality seven "Rays" or streams of life, all pursuing different evolutions, yet all belonging to the original class of virgin spirits to which our humanity be- longs. In the previous Periods all of these different sub-classes or Rays found a suitable environment for their evolution on the same planet. But, in the Earth Period, conditions became such that in order to provide for each class the degree of heat and the vibration necessary for its particular phase of evolution, they were segregated on different planets, at varying distances from the Sun--the central source of life. This is the RAISON D'ETRE of our System and all other Solar Systems in the Universe. Before proceeding with the description of evolution of our humanity on the Earth after its separation from the central Sun, it is necessary for the maintenance of sequential order in the description to explain the differen- tiation which scattered the planets of our System in space. [PAGE 247] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM Active manifestation--particularly in the Physical World--depends upon separateness; upon the limitation of life by form. But during the interim between Periods and Revolutions the marked distinction between form and life ceases. This applies not only to man and the lower kingdoms, but to the Worlds and Globes which are the basis of form for the evolving life. Only the seed-atoms and the nuclei or centers of the World-Globes remain--all else is one homogenous substance. There is but one Spirit pervading space. Life and Form, its positive and negative poles, are one. This state of things was what Greek mythology described as "Chaos." The ancient Norsemen and the Teutonic mythology call it "Ginnungagap," which was bounded upon the northern side by the cold and foggy "Niflheim"--the land of mist and fog--and upon the south side by the fire "Muspelheim." When heat and cold entered into space which was occupied by Chaos or Ginnungagap, they caused the crystallization of the visible universe. The Bible also gives on the idea of infinite space preceding the activity of the Spirit. In our present materialistic period we have unfortunately lost the idea of all that lies behind that word Space. We are so accustomed to speaking of "empty" space, that we have entirely lost the grand and holy significance of the word, and are thus incapable of feeling the reverence that this idea of Space and Chaos should inspire in our breasts. To the Rosicrucians, as to any occult school, there is no such thing as empty or void space. To them SPACE IS SPIRIT in its attenuated form; while MATTER IS CRYSTALLIZED SPACE OR SPIRIT. Spirit is manifestation is dual, that which we see as Form is the negative manifestation of Spirit--crystallized and inert. The positive pole of Spirit manifests as [PAGE 248] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Life, galvanizing the negative Form into action, but both Life and Form originated in Spirit, Space, Chaos! To get an idea from everyday life which will illustrate, we may take the hatching of an egg. The egg is filled with a moderately viscous fluid. This fluid, or moisture, is subjected to heat, and out of the soft, fluidic substance comes a living chick, with hard bones and comparatively hard flesh, and with down that has a comparatively hard quill, etc. When a living chick can come out of the inert fluid of an egg without the addition of any hardening substance from outside, is it a far-fetched idea to claim that the universe is crystallized Space or Spirit? There is not doubt that the claim will seem foolish to many; but this book is not for the purpose of convincing the world at large that these things ARE. It is in- tended to aid those who inherently feel that these things must be and to help them to see the light upon this great World-mystery, which the writer has been permitted to behold. The special object at present is to show that Spirit is active all the time--in one way during Manifestation, and in an- other during Chaos. Modern science would sneer at the idea that life could exist upon A Globe which is in the process of formation. That is because science cannot dis- sociate Life and Form and cannot conceive of Form except as solid and tangible--cognizable by one of our five physical senses. The occult scientist, in accordance with the above definitions of Life and Form, holds that life may exist independently of Concrete Form; may have Forms not perceptible to our present limited senses, and amenable to [PAGE 249] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM to none of the laws which apply to this present concrete state of matter. It is true that the Nebular Theory holds that all existence (which is to say all Form, the Worlds in Space and whatever Forms there may be upon them) has come from the fiery nebular; but it does not recognize further fact in- sisted upon by occult science--that the fiery nebula is Spirit. It does not admit that the whole atmosphere around us, the space between the worlds, is Spirit and that there is a constant interchange going on all the time--Form dissolving into Space, and Space crystallizing into Form. Chaos is not a state which has existed in the past and has now entirely disappeared. It is all around us at the present moment. Were it not that old forms--having outlived their usefulness--are constantly being resolved back into that Chaos, which is also as constantly giving birth to new forms, there could be no progress; the work of evolution would cease and stagnation would prevent the possibility of advancement. It is axiomatic that "The oftener we die, the better we live." The Poet-Initiate, Geothe says: Who has not this-- Ever dying and bringing to birth-- Will aye remain a sorry guest Upon this dismal earth. and Paul says "I die daily." Therefore, as students of occult science, it is necessary to realize that even during active manifestation, IT IS CHAOS THAT IS THE BASIS OF ALL PROGRESS. Our life during Chaos is based upon our life in active manifesta- tion, and vice versa, i.e., what we are able to achieve during active manifestation, and the ability to progress at all, is the result of the [PAGE 250] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION existence in Chaos. The interim between Periods and Revolutions is in real- ity much more important to the growth of the soul that concrete existence, though the latter is the basis of the former and therefore cannot be dis- pensed with. The importance of the Chaotic interim lives in the fact that during that period the evolving entities of all classes are so closely united that they are really one; consequently those which are of lower de- velopment during manifestation are in closest contact with the more highly evolved, thus experiencing and benefiting by a much higher vibration that their own. This enables them to live over and assimilate their past experi- ences in a manner impossible when hampered by Form. We have seen the benefit to the spirit in man from the interim between death and a new birth. There the form still exists, though much more at- tenuated that the dense body; but in the Cosmic Night and intervals of rest between Periods and Revolutions, when there is perfect freedom from form, the beneficial results of past experiences can be much more effectively as- similated. We have a word which was originally coined to convey the idea of the state of things between manifestations. This word, however, has been used in a material sense to such an extend that it has lost its primal sig- nificance. That word is Gas. It may be thought that this is a very old word, which has nearly always existed as a synonym for a state of matter lighter than liquids, but such is not the case. The word was first used in "Physica," a work which appeared in 1633, the author of it being Helmont, a Rosicrucian. Helmont, did not call himself a Rosicrucian; no true Brother does so pub- licly. Only the Rosicrucian knows the brother Rosicrucian. Not even the [PAGE 251] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM most intimate friends or relatives know of man's connection with the order. Those only who are Initiates themselves know the writers of the past who were Rosicrucians, because ever through their works shine the unmistakable words, phrases and signs indicative of the deep meaning that remains hidden from the non-Initiate. The Rosicrucian Fellowship is composed of students of the teachings of the Order. which are now given publicly, because the world's intelligence is growing the the necessary point of comprehension. This work is one of the first few fragments of the Rosicrucian knowledge be- ing publicly given out. All that has been printed as such, previous to the last few years, has been the work of either charlatans or traitors. Rosicrucians such as Paracelsus, Comenius, Bacon, Helmont and others gave hints in their works and influenced others. The great controversy concern- ing the authorship of Shakespeare (which has to no avail blunted so many goose-quills and wasted so much good ink that might have served useful ends) would never have arisen had it been known that the similarity in Shakespeare and Bacon is due to the fact that both were influenced by the same Initiate, who also influenced Jacob Boehme and a pastor of Ingolstadt, Jacobus Baldus, who lived subsequent to the death of the Bard of Avon, and wrote Latin lyric verse. If the first poem of Jacob Baldus is read with a certain key, it will be found that by reading down and up the lines, the following sentence will appear: "Hitherto I have spoken from across the sea by means of the drama; now I will express myself in lyrics." In his "Physica," Helmont, the Rosicrucian wrote: "Ad huc spiritum incognitum Gas voco," i.e., "This hitherto unknown Spirit I call Gas." Fur- ther on in the same work he says. "This vapor which I have called Gas is not [PAGE 252] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION far removed from the Chaos the ancients spoke of." We must learn to think of Chaos as the Spirit of God, which pervades ev- ery part of infinity; it will then be seen in its true light, as the occult maxim puts it: "Chaos is the seed-ground of the Cosmos," and we shall no longer wonder how "something can come out of nothing," because Space is not synonymous with "nothing." It holds within itself the germs of all that ex- ists during a physical manifestation, yet not quite all; for by the wedding of Chaos with Cosmos there is something new brought forth each time, which did not exist before; something that was not foreshown and latent. The name of that something is Genius--the cause of Epigenesis. It appears in all kingdoms. It is the expression of progressive spirit in man, animal and plant. Chaos is therefore a holy name; a name that sig- nifies the Cause of all we see in Nature and inspires a feeling of devotion in every tried, true and trained occultist. He regards the visible sense world as a revelation of the hidden potentialities of the Chaos. THE BIRTH OF THE PLANETS. To express himself in the dense physical world, it was necessary for man to evolve a suitable dense body. In a world like this he must have a body with limbs, organs, a muscular system by means of which to move about; also a brain to direct and co-ordinate his movements. If the conditions had been different the body would have been modified accordingly. It is necessary for all beings, high or low in the scale of existence, to possess vehicles for expression in any particular world in which they may wish to manifest. Even the Seven Spirits before The Throne must possess [PAGE 252a] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION DIAGRAM 11: THE 1, 3, 7, AND 10 ASPECTS OF GOD AND MAN [PAGE 253] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM these necessary vehicles, which of course are differently conditioned for each of Them. Collectively, They are God, and make up the Triune Godhead, and He manifests in a different way through each of Them. There is no contradiction in ascribing different numbers to God. We do not sin against the "oneness" of light because we distinguish three primary colors into which it divides itself. The white light of the Sun contains the seven colors of the spectrum. The occultists sees even twelve colors, there being five between red and violet--going one way around the circle--in addition to the red, orange, yellow, green, etc., of the visible spectrum. Four of these colors are quite indescribable, but the fifth--the middle one of the five--is similar to the tint of a new blown peach blossom. It is in fact the color of the vital body. Trained clairvoyants who describe it as "bluish-grey," or "reddish-grey," etc., are trying to describe a color that has no equivalent in the physical world; and they are therefore compelled to use the nearest descriptive terms afforded by our language. Perhaps Color will enable us to realize the oneness of God with the Seven Spirits before The Throne better than anything else. WE will therefore turn to diagram 11. We see here a white triable looming up from a dark background. White is synthetic, containing all colors within itself, as God contains within Him- self all things in the Solar System. Within the white triangle are a blue, a red and a yellow circle. All other colors are simply combinations of these three primary colors. These circles correspond to the three aspects of God, which are without beginning, and end IN GOD; though externalized only during active manifestation. [PAGE 254] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION TABLE OF VIBRATIONS* Whose Effects are Recognized and Studied by Science 1st Octave.........................................2 2d Octave.........................................4 3d Octave.........................................8 4th Octave........................................16 5th Octave........................................32 6th Octave........................................64 7th Octave.......................................128 8th Octave.......................................256 Sound. 9th Octave.......................................512 10th Octave.....................................1,024 15th Octave....................................32,768 20th Octave.................................1,048,576 Unknown. 25th Octave................................33,554,432 30th Octave.............................1,073,741,824 Electricity. 35th Octave............................34,359,738,368 40th Octave.........................1,099,511,627,766 45th Octave........................35,184,372,088,832 Unknown. 46th Octave........................70,368,744,177,664 47th Octave.......................140,737,488,355,328 Heat. 48th Octave.......................281,474,976,710,656 49th Octave.......................281,474,976,710,656 Light. 50th Octave.....................1,125,899,906,842,624 Chemical Rays. 51st Octave.....................2,251,799,813,685,248 57th Octave...................144,115,188,075,855,872 Unknown. 58th Octave...................288,230,376,151,711,744 59th Octave...................576,460,752,303,423,488 60th Octave.................1,152,921,504,606,846,976 X-Rays. 61st Octave.................2,305,843,009,213,693,952 62d Octave.................4,611,686,018,427,387,904 Unknown. *Taken from Professor William Crooke's presidential address before the British Association for the Advancement of Science. [PAGE 255] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM When these three colors are interblended, as shown in the diagram, there appear four additional colors, the three secondary colors--each due to the blending of two primary colors--and one color (indigo) which contains the entire gamut of colors, making in all the seven colors of the spectrum. These colors represent the Seven Spirits before the Throne. The colors are different, as are also the Seven Spirits, each having a different mission in the Kingdom of God--our Solar System. The seven planets circling around the Sun are the dense bodies of the Seven Planetary Genii. Their names are: Uranus with one satellite, Saturn with eight moons, Jupiter with four moons, Mars with two moons, the Earth and its moon, Venus and Mercury.* Bodies are always found to suit the purpose they are made to serve, hence the dense bodies of the Seven Planetary Spirits are spherical, that form be- ing best adapted to the enormous velocity with which they travel through space. The Earth, for instance, travels about 66,000 miles per hour in its orbit. Man's body had a different shape in the past from that of the present, and from that which it will have in the future. During involution it was approximately spherical, as it still is during ante-natal life, because the intra-uterine development is recapitulation of past stages of evolution. At that stage the organism developed the sphere, because during involution man's energies were directed inward, upon the building of its own vehicles, as the embryo develops within the sphere of the uterus. Man's dense and vital bodies have straightened , but his higher vehicles still retain their ovoid form. In the dense body, the co-ordinating and *Astronomical discoveries since the writing of this book attribute 4 satel- lites to Uranus, 9 to Saturn, and 11 to Jupiter. [PAGE 256] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION governing brain is situated at one extremity. This is the most unfavorable position for such an organ. Too long time is required for impulses to travel from one extremity to the other--from the brain to the feet, or for impacts on the feet to reach the brain. In cases of burns, for instance, science has demonstrated that valuable time is lost, the skin being blis- tered before a message can be carried from the injured place to the brain and back again. This inefficiency would be greatly lessened if the brain were in the cen- ter of the body. Sensations and the responses thereto could be more quickly received and transmitted. In the spherical planets the Planetary Spirit di- rects FROM THE CENTER the movements of its vehicle. In future man will bend over, as shown in diagram 12. He will become a sphere, directing his ener- gies outward because a spherical form affords the greatest facility for mo- tion in all directions, and indeed, for combination of simultaneous motions. The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception teaches that there is a further evolu- tion in store for planets. When the beings upon a planet have evolved to a sufficient degree, the planet becomes a Sun--the fixed center of a Solar System. When the beings upon it have evolved to a still greater degree, and consequently it has reached its maximum brilliancy, it breaks up into Zodiac, becoming, so to speak, the womb for a new Solar System. Thus the great hosts of Divine Beings who, until then, were confined within that Sun, gain freedom of action upon a great number of stars, whence they can affect in different ways the system which grows up within their sphere of influence. The planets, of man-bearing worlds, within the Zodiac are constantly being worked upon by these forces, but in various [PAGE 257] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM DIAGRAM 12: MAN'S FORM OF BODY (PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE) [PAGE 258] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION ways, according to the stage they have reached in evolution. Our Sun could not become a Sun until it had sent out from itself all the beings who were not sufficiently evolved to endure the high rate of vibra- tion and the great luminousity of the beings who were qualified for that evolution. All the beings upon the different planets would have been con- sumed had they remained in the Sun. This visible Sun, however, though it is the place of evolution for Beings vastly above man, is not by many means the Father of the other planets, as material science supposes. On the contrary, it is itself an emanation from the Central Sun, which is the invisible source of all that is in our Solar System. Our visible Sun is but the mirror in which are reflected the rays of energy from the Spiritual Sun. The real Sun is as invisible as the real Man. Uranus was the first planet to be thrown off from the nebula when its differentiation began in Chaos, at the dawn of the Earth Period. There was no light but the dim light of the Zodiac. The life that left with Uranus is of a rather backward strain and is said to evolve very, very slowly. Saturn was next differentiated. It is the field of action for the life which is at the stage of evolution corresponding to the Saturn Period. This planet was differentiated before the ignition of the nebula and (like all nebula when passing through their Saturn Period of evolution) was not a source of light, but a reflector. Jupiter was differentiated shortly afterwards, when the nebula had become ignited. The heat of Jupiter is not so great as that of the Sun, Venus or Mercury, but on account of its immense bulk, it is capable of retaining its [PAGE 259] GENESIS AND EVOLUTION OF SOLAR SYSTEM heat and thus remains a suitable field of evolution for very advanced be- ings. It corresponds to the stage which will be reached by the Earth itself in the Jupiter Period. Mars is a mystery, and only a limited amount of information may be given out. We may say, however, that the life on Mars is of a very backward na- ture and that the so-called "canals" are not excavations in the surface of the planet. They are currents such as, during the Atlantean Epoch, spread over our planet, and the remains of which can still be observed in the Au- rora Borealis and the Aurora Australis. The shifting of the Martian "ca- nals" noted by astronomers, is thus accounted for. If they were really ca- nals, they could not possibly shift, but currents emanating from the Poles of Mars may do so. The Earth, including the Moon, was next set out from the Sun, and later Venus and Mercury. These and Mars will be referred to later, in connection with the evolution of man on the earth, and need not be further considered at this time. When a planet has Moons it indicates that there are some beings in the life wave evolving on that planet who are too backward to share in the evolution of the main life wave, and they have therefore been set out from the planet to prevent them from hindering the progress of the pioneers. Such is the case with the beings inhabiting our Moon. In the case of Jupi- ter it is thought probable that the inhabitants of three of its moons will eventually be able to rejoin the life on the parent planet, but it is thought that at least one of the others is an eighth sphere, like our own Moon, where retrogression and disintegration of the already acquired vehicle will result from too close adherence to material existence upon the part of [PAGE 260] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the evolving beings who have brought themselves to that deplorable end. Neptune and its satellites do not properly belong to our Solar System. The other planets--or rather their Spirits-- exercise an influence over the whole of humanity, but the influence of Neptune is largely restricted to one particular class the astrologers. The writer, for instance, has several times felt its compelling influence in a marked way. When laggards inhabiting a Moon have retrieved their position and re- turned to the parent planet; or, when continued retrogression has caused complete disintegration of their vehicles, the abandoned Moon also commences to dissolve. The momentum of a spiritual impulse which propelled it in a fixed orbit for aeons, may endure for aeons after the Moon has been vacated, and from the physical point of view it may still seem to be a satellite of the planet in encircles. As the time goes on, however, and the power of at- traction exercised by the parent planet diminishes, its orbit widens, until it reaches the limit of our solar system. It is then expelled into interstellar space; dissolved in Chaos. The expulsion of these cinder-like dead worlds is analogous to the manner in which hard and foreign bodies im- bedded in the human system make their way through the flesh to the skin. The Asteroids illustrate this point. They are fragments of Moons which once encircled Venus and Mercury. The beings once confined upon them are known in esotericism as "The Lords from Venus" and "The lords from Mercury;" they retrieved their lost estate in a large measure by service to our humanity, as will be later described, and are now sage on their present planet, while the Moons they inhabited have partly disintegrated, and are already far out- side the earth's orbit. There are other "seeming" moons in our system, but the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception does not notice them, as they are outside the pale of evolution. [PAGE 261] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH CHAPTER XII. EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH. THE POLARIAN EPOCH. While the material which now forms the Earth was yet a part of the Sun, it was, of course in a fiery condition; but as the fire does not burn spirit, our human evolution commenced at once, being confined particularly to the Polar Region of the Sun. The highest evolved beings which were to become human were the first to appear. The substances which now from the Earth were all molten, and the atmosphere now from the Earth were all molten, and the atmosphere was gas- eous, yet man recapitulated his mineral stage anew. From that attenuated chemical substance of the sun man himself built his first mineral body, assisted by the Lords of Form. If this statement is ob- jected to on the ground that man could not build unconsciously, the case of the mother can be cited in answer. Is she conscious of building the body of the babe in her womb? Yet surely no one will say that she has nothing to do with it! The only difference is that the mother builds unconsciously for the babe; and man built unconsciously for himself. Man's first dense body did not even remotely resemble his present splen- didly organized vehicle. That has been evolved only in the course of myriads of years. The first dense body was a large, baggy object with an opening at the top, from which an organ projected. This was a kind of organ [PAGE 262] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION of orientation and direction. In the course of time the dense body drew more closely together and condensed. If it came too close to places of greater heat than it could endure, it disintegrated. In time the organ grew sensitive to the condition that threatened destruction and the dense body automatically moved to a safer place. This organ has now degenerated into what is called the pineal gland. Sometimes it is called "the third eye," but that is a misnomer, because it never was an eye, but rather the localized organ for the sensing of heat and cold, which faculty is now distributed over the entire dense body. During the Polarian Epoch this sense was thus localized, as the sense of sight is now in the eye, and that of hearing in the ear. The extension of the sense of feeling since that time indicates the manner in which the entire body will be improved, so that at some future time any part of it will be able to perceive all things. The senses of sign and hearing will be extended over the entire body, as the sense of feeling is now. Them man will be all eyes and ears. Specialized sense organs indicate limitation. Sense perception by the whole is comparative perfection. At the early stage of which we are now speaking there was a kind of propagation. These immense baggy creatures divided in halves in a manner similar to the division of cells by fission, but the separated portions would not grow, each remaining only half as large as the original form. THE HYPERBOREAN EPOCH. At different points on the fiery globe there began in the course of time the formation of crust-islands in a sea of fire. The Lords of Form appeared, with the Angels (humanity of the Moon [PAGE 263] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH Period), and clothed man's dense form with a vital body. Those baggy bodies then began to increase in size by drawing themselves material from the out- side osmosis, as it were. When they propagated, it was no longer by divid- ing into halves, but into two un-equal parts. Both parts grew until each had attained the original size of the parent. As the Polarian Epoch was really a recapitulation of the Saturn Period, it may be said that during that time man passed through the mineral state; he had the same vehicle--the dense body--and a consciousness similar to the trance state. For analogous reasons, the plant state was passed through in the Hyperborean Epoch, as man had a dense and a vital body and a dreamless-sleep-consciousness. Man began his evolution on the Earth after Mars had been thrown off from the central mass, and that which is now the Earth was yet undetached from the Sun; but at the close of the Hyperborean Epoch the incrustation had pro- gressed so far that it had become an obstacle to the progress of some of the higher evolved beings in the Sun. The fiery condition also hindered the evolution of some of the lower grades of creatures, such as man, who at that stage required a denser world for his further development. Therefore, the part which is now the Earth was thrown off from the Sun at the end of the Hyperborean Epoch, and commenced to revolve around the parent body in a somewhat different orbit than at present. Shortly afterwards Venus and Mer- cury were thrown off for similar reasons. Crystallization always commences at the pole of a planet where motion is slow. The consolidated part gradually works outwards towards the equator in [PAGE 264] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION obedience to the centrifugal force. If that force is stronger than the co- hesive tendency the consolidated mass is thrown outwards into space. At the time when the Earth-globe was separated from the parent-mass, it included that part which is now our Moon. On this great globe was evolving the life wave now passing through the human kingdom, also the life waves which entered evolution in the Sun, Moon, and Earth Periods, and are now evolving through the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms. Mention has been made of the stragglers of various Periods who in later Periods were enabled to take a step upward in evolution. There were some, however, who did not take this step. They did not evolve, and were there- fore left further and further behind, until they became a drag and a hin- drance to the progressive ones. It became necessary to get them out of the way, that the evolution of the others might not be retarded. In the beginning of the Lemurian Epoch, these "failures" (note that they were FAILURES , not merely stragglers) had crystallized that part of the Earth occupied by them to such a degree that it become as a huge cinder or clinker, in the otherwise soft and fiery Earth. They were a hindrance and an obstruction, so they, with the part of the Earth they had crystallized, were thrown out into space beyond recall. That is the genesis of the Moon. THE MOON--THE EIGHTH SPHERE. The seven Globes, A to G, inclusive, are the field of Evolution. The Moon is the field of Disintegration. If Earth had not segregated from the original Globe which is now the Sun, the rapidity of the vibrations would have disintegrated man's vehicles. He would have grown so rapidly that the growth of the mushroom would seem slow [PAGE 265] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH in comparison. He would have become old before he had time to pass through youth. That such is the effect of too much Sun is shown by the rapidity of growth at the tropics, where maturity and old age are reached much sooner than in the north. On the other hand had the Moon remained with the Earth, man would have crystallized into a statue. The separation of the Earth from the Sun, which now sends its rays from a far distance, enables man to live at the proper rate of vibration, to unfold slowly. The Moon-forces reach him from the exact distance necessary to enable him to build a body of the proper density. But although the latter forces are active in the building of the form., they also cause death when their continued work finally crys- tallizes the tissues of the body. The Sun works in the vital body and is the force which makes for life, and wars against the death-dealing Moon force. THE LEMURIAN EPOCH. In this Epoch appeared the Archangels (the humanity of Sun Period). and the Lords of Mind (the humanity of Saturn Period). These Hierarchies were assisted by the Lords of Form, who were given charge of the Earth Period. They helped man to build his desire body, and the Lords of Mind gave the germ of Mind to the greater part of the pioneers who formed class 1, accord- ing to the classification in diagram 10. The Lords of Form vivified the Human spirit in as many of the stragglers of the Moon Period as had made the necessary progress in the three and one half Revolutions which had elapsed since the commencement of the Earth Pe- riod, but at that time the Lords of Mind could not give them the germ of [PAGE 266] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Mind. Thus a great part of nascent humanity was left without this link be- tween the threefold spirit and the threefold body. The Lords of Mind took charge of the higher part of the desire body and of the germinal mind, impregnating them with the quality of separate selfhood, without which no separate, self-contained beings such as we are today would be possible. We owe to the Lords of Mind the separate personality, with all the pos- sibilities for experience and growth thus afforded. And this point marks the birth of the Individual. BIRTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Diagram 1 will make clear the fact that the personality is the reflected picture of the Spirit, the mind being the mirror, or focus. As when reflected in a pond, the images of trees appear inverted, the fo- liage seeming to be the deepest down in the water, so the highest aspect of the spirit (the Divine Spirit) finds its counterpart in the lowest of the three bodies (the dense body). The next highest spirit (the life spirit) is reflected in the next lowest body (the vital body). The third spirit (the human spirit) and its reflection, the third body (the desire body), appear closest of all to the reflecting mirror, which is the mind, the latter cor- responding to the surface of the pond--the reflecting medium in our analogy. The Spirit came down from the higher Worlds during involution; and by concurrent action, the Bodies were built upward in the same period. It is the meeting of these two streams in the focusing Mind that marks the point in time when the individual, the human being, the Ego, is born--when the [PAGE 267] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH Spirit takes possession of its vehicles. Yet we must not suppose that this at once raised man to his present sta- tus in evolution, making him the self conscious, thinking being he is today. Before that point could be reached a long and weary road had to be traveled, for at the time we are considering, organs were in their most rudimentary stage and there was no brain that could be used as an instrument of expres- sion. Hence the consciousness was the dimmest imaginable. In short, the man of that day was very far from being as intelligent as our present-day animals. The first step in the direction of improvement was the building of a brain to use as an instrument of mind in the Physical World. That was achieved by separating humanity into sexes. SEPARATION OF THE SEXES. Contrary to the generally accepted idea, the Ego is bisexual. Were the Ego sexless, the body would necessarily be sexless also, for the body is but the external symbol of the indwelling spirit. The sex of the Ego does not, of course, express itself a such in the in- ner worlds. It manifests there as two distinct qualities--Will and Imagina- tion. The Will is the male power and is allied to the Sun forces; Imagina- tion is the female power and is always linked to the Moon forces. This accounts for the imaginative trend of woman and for the special power which the Moon exercises over the female organism. When the matter of which the Earth and the Moon were afterwards formed was still a part of the Sun, the body of man-in-the-making was yet plastic, and the forces from that part which afterwards became Sun, and that part [PAGE 268] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION which is now Moon worked readily in all bodies, so that the man of the Hyperborean Epoch was hemaphrodite--capable of producing another being from himself without intercourse with any other. When the Earth separated from the Sun and shortly afterwards threw off the Moon, the forces from the two luminaries did not find equal expression in all, as formerly. Some bodies become more amenable to the forces from one, and some to those from the other. INFLUENCE OF MARS. In the part of the Earth Period preceding the separation of the sexes--during the three and one-half Revolutions which intervened between the time when Mars was differentiated and the beginning of the Lemurian Epoch--Mars traveled in a different orbit from the present, and its aura (that part of its finer vehicles which extends beyond the dense planet) per- meated the body of the central planet and polarized the iron with it. As iron is essential to the production of warm, red blood, all creatures were cold-blooded, or rather, the fluid parts of the body were no warmer than the surrounding atmosphere. When the Earth was set free from the Central Sun, that event changed the orbits of the planets and thus the influence of Mars over the iron in the Earth was minimized. The Planetary Spirit of Mars finally withdrew the re- mainder of that influence, and although the desire bodies of the Earth and Mars still penetrate, the dynamic power of Mars over the iron (which is Mars metal) has ceased and iron (which is a Mars metal) has ceased and iron has become available for use on our planet. Iron is in reality the basis of separate existence. Without iron the red, heat-giving blood would be an impossibility, and the Ego could have no [PAGE 269] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH hold in the body. When red blood developed--in the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch--the body become upright and the time had come when the Ego could begin to dwell within the body and control it. But to dwell within is not the end and aim of evolution. It is simply a means by which the Ego may better express itself through its instrument, that it may manifest in the Physical World. To that end the sense organs, the larynx, and above all, a brain, must be built and perfected. During the early part of the Hyperborean Epoch, while the Earth was still united with the Sun, the solar forces supplied man with all the sustenance he needed and he unconsciously radiated the surplus for the purpose of propagation. When the Ego entered into possession of its vehicles it became necessary to use part of this force for the building of the brain and larynx. The latter was originally a part of the creative organ. The larynx was built while the dense body was yet bent together in the bag-like shape already de- scribed, which is still the form of the human embryo. As the dense body straightened and became upright, part of the creative organ remained with the upper part of the dense body and later became the larynx. Thus the dual creative force which had hitherto worked is only one direc- tion, for the purpose of the creating another being, became divided. One part was directed upward to build the brain and larynx, by means of which the Ego was to become capable of thinking and communicating thoughts to other beings. As a result of this change only one part of the force essential in the creation of another being was available to one individual, hence it became necessary for each individual to seek the co-operation of another, who [PAGE 270] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION possessed that part of the procreative force which the seeker lacked. Thus did the evolving entity obtain brain consciousness of the outside world at the cost of half its creative power. Previous to that time, it used within itself both parts of that power to externalize another being. As a result of that modification, however, it has evolved the power to cre- ate and express thought. Before then, it was a creator in the physical world only; since then it has become able to create in the three worlds. --- END OF FILE --- [PAGE 270 cont'd] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION THE RACES AND THEIR LEADERS. Before considering in detail the evolution of the Lemurians it may be well to take a general survey of the Races and their Leaders. Some very valuable works on Occultism, bringing before the public the teachings of the Eastern Wisdom, have nevertheless contained certain mis- takes, owing to a misunderstanding of the teachings by those who were so fortunate as to receive them. All books, not written directly by the Elder Brothers, are liable to contain such errors. Considering the extreme intri- cacy and many complications of the subject, the wonder is not that mistakes do occur, but that they are not more frequent. Therefore the writer does not presume to criticise, recognizing that more numerous and more serious mistakes may be embodied in the present work, owing to his own misconception of the teaching. He simply sets forth in the next few paragraphs what he has received, which shows how the differing (and seemingly contradictory) teaching of two such valuable works as "The Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky, and "Esoteric Buddhism," by A. P. Sinnett, may be reconciled. [PAGE 271] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH That part of human evolution which is to be accomplished during the present sojourn of the life wave on our Earth is divisible into seven great stages or Epochs; but these cannot appropriately be called Races. Nothing to which that name could be correctly applied appears until the end of the Lemurian Epoch. From that time different Races succeed one another through the Atlantean and Aryan Epochs, and will extend slightly into the Sixth great Epoch. The total number of Races--past, present and future--in our scheme of evolution is sixteen; one at the end of the Lemurian Epoch, seven during the Atlantean Epoch, seven more in our present Aryan Epoch and one in the begin- ning of the Sixth Epoch. After that time there will be nothing that can properly be called a Race. Races did not exist in the Periods which have preceded the Earth Period and they will not exist in those Periods which follow it. It is only here, at the very nadir of material existence, that the difference is so great be- tween man and man as to warrant the separation into Races. The immediate Leaders of humanity (apart from the creative Hierarchies) who helped man to take the first tottering steps in Evolution, after Involu- tion had furnished him with vehicles, were Beings much further advanced than man along the path of evolution. They came on this errand of love from the two planets which are located between the Earth and the Sun--Venus and Mer- cury. The Beings who inhabit Venus and Mercury are not quite so far advanced as those whose present field of evolution is the Sun, but they are very much further advanced than our humanity. Therefore they stayed somewhat longer with the central mass than did the inhabitants of the Earth, but at a [PAGE 272] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION certain point their evolution demanded separate fields, so those two planets were thrown off, Venus first, and then Mercury. Each was given such proxim- ity to the central orb as insured the rate of vibration necessary for its evolution. The inhabitants of Mercury are the furthest advanced, hence are closer to the Sun. Some of the inhabitants of each planet were sent to the Earth to help na- scent humanity and are know to occult scientist as the "Lords of Venus" and the "Lords of Mercury." The Lords of Venus were leaders of the masses of our people. They were inferior beings of the Venus evolution, who appeared among men and were know as "messengers of the Gods." For the good of our humanity they led and guided it, step by step. There was no rebellion against their authority, because man had not yet evolved an independent will. It was to bring him to the stage where he would be able to manifest will and judgment that they guided him, until he should be able to guide himself. It was known that these messengers communed with the Gods. They were held in deep reverence and their commands were obeyed without question. When under the tuition of these Beings mankind had reached a certain stage of progress, the most advanced were placed under the guidance of the Lords of Mercury, who initiated them into the higher truths for the purpose of making them leaders of the people. These Initiates were then exalted to kingship and were the founders of the dynasties of Divine Rulers who were indeed kings "by the grace of God," i.e., by the grace of the Lords of Venus and Mercury, who were as Gods to infant humanity. They guided and in- structed the kings for the good of the people and not for [PAGE 273] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH self-aggrandizement and arrogation of rights at their expense. At that time a Ruler held a sacred trust to educate and help his people; to alleviate and promote equity and well-being. He had the light of God to give him wisdom and guide his judgment. Hence, while those kings reigned, all things prospered, and it was indeed a Golden Age. Yet, as we follow the evolution of man in detail, we shall see that the present phase or period of development, though it cannot be called a golden age in any but a material sense, cannot be called a golden age in any but a material sense, is never- theless a necessary one, in order to bring man to the point where he will be able to rule himself, for SELF-MASTERY IS THE END AND AIM OF ALL RULERSHIP. NO MAN CAN SAFELY REMAIN UNGOVERNED WHO HAS NOT LEARNED TO GOVERN HIMSELF, and at the present stage of development, that is the hardest task that can be given him. It is easy to command others; it is hard to force obedience from oneself. INFLUENCE OF MERCURY. The purpose of the Lords of Mercury at that time, and of all Hierophants of Mysteries since then, as also all the occult schools of our day, was and is to teach the candidate the art of Self-Mastery. In the measure that a man has mastered himself, AND IN THAT MEASURE ONLY, is he qualified to govern others. Were the present rulers of the masses able to govern THEM- SELVES we should again have the Millenium or Golden Age. As the Lords of Venus worked on the masses of a long past ago, so do the Lords of Mercury now work on the Individual, fitting him for mastery over self and (incidentally only, not primarily) for mastery over others. This work on their part is but the beginning of what will be an increasing [PAGE 274] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Mercurial influence during the remaining three and one-half Revolutions of the Earth Period. During the first three and one-half Revolutions Mars held sway, polar- izing the iron, preventing the formation of the red blood and keeping the Ego from immuring itself in the body until the latter had attained at the requisite degree of development. During the last three and one half Revolutions Mercury will operate to extricate the Ego from its densest vehicle by means of Initiation. Incidentally, it may be noted that, as Mars polarized the iron, so Mer- cury has polarized the metal bearing its name and the workings of that metal will show very well this tendency to take the dense body away from the spirit--to liberate the latter from the former. That dread disease, syphilis, is an example of condition were the Ego is fettered and immured in the body to a particularly cramping extent. Suffi- cient mercury relieves the condition, lessens the hold of the body upon the Ego and leaves the latter to that comparative freedom within the body, an overdose of mercury causes paralysis, thus taking the dense body from the man in an improper way. The Lords of Mercury taught man to leave and re-enter the body at will; to function in his higher vehicles independent of the dense body, so that the latter becomes a cheerful dwelling house instead of a closely-locked prison--a useful instrument instead of a clogging fetter. Therefore occult science speaks of the Earth Period as Mars-Mercury, and so it may be said truly that we have been in Mars and are going to Mercury, as taught in one of the occult works previously mentioned. It is also true, [PAGE 275] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH however, that we have never inhabited the planet Mars, nor are we to leave the earth at some future time to take up our adobe on the planet Mercury, as the other work mentioned states, with the intention of correcting an error in the first one. Mercury, now being in obscuration, is exercising very little influence on us, but it is emerging from a planetary rest and as time goes on its influ- ence will be more and more in evidence as a factor in our evolution. The coming Races will have much help from the Mercurians, and the people of still later Epochs and Revolutions will have even more. THE LEMURIAN RACE. We are now in a position to understand the information which is to follow concerning the people who lived IN THE LATTER PART of the Lemurian Epoch, whom we may call the Lemurian Race. The atmosphere of Lemuria was still very dense--somewhat like the fire-fog of the Moon Period, but denser. The crust of the Earth was just starting to become quite hard and solid in some places, while in others it was still fiery, and between islands of crust was a sea of boiling, seething water. Volcanic outbursts and cataclysms marked this time when the nether fires fought hard against the formation of the encircling wall which was to imprison them. Upon the harder and comparatively cool spots man lived surrounded by gi- ant fern-forests and animals of enormous size. The forms of both man and animal were yet quite plastic. The skeleton had formed, but man himself had great power in molding the flesh of his own body and that of the animals about him. [PAGE 276] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION When he was born he could hear and feel, but his perception of light cam later. We have analogous cases in animals like cats and dogs, the young of which receive the sense of sight some time after birth. The Lemurian had no eyes. He had two sensitive spots which were affected by the light of the Sun as it shone dimly through the fiery atmosphere of ancient Lemuria, but is was not until nearly the close of the Atlantean Epoch that he had sight as we have it today. Up to that time the building of the eye was in progress. While the Sun was within--while the Earth formed part of the light-giving mass--man need no external illuminant; he was luminous himself. But when the dark Earth was separated from the Sun it became necessary that the light should be perceived, therefore as the light rays impinged upon man, he perceived them. Nature built the eye as a light-perceiver, in re- sponse to the demand of the already-existing function, which is invariable the case, as Professor Huxley has so ably shown. The amoeba has no stomach, yet it digests. It is all stomach. The necessity for digesting food built in the stomach in the course of time, but digestion took place before the alimentary canal was formed. In an analogous manner, the perception of light called forth the eye. The light itself built the eye and maintains it. Where there is no light there can be no eye. In cases where animals have withdrawn and dwelt in caves--keeping away from the light--the eyes have degenerated and atrophied because there were no light rays to maintain them and no eyes were needed in the dark caves. The Lemurian needed eyes; he had a perception of light, and the light was commencing to build the eye in response to his demand. His language consisted of sounds like those of Nature. The sighing of the wind in the immense forests which grew in great luxuriance in that [PAGE 277] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH super-tropical climate, the rippling of the brook, the howling of the tempest--for Lemuria was storm-swept--the thunder of the waterfall, the roar of the volcano--all these were to him voices of the Gods from whom he knew himself to have descended. Of the birth of his body he knew nothing. He could not SEE either it or anything else, but he did PERCEIVE his fellow beings. It was, however, an inner perception, like our perception of persons and things in dreams, but with this very important difference, that his dream-perception was clear and rational. Thus he knew nothing at all about his body, in fact he did not know he had a body any more than we know we have a stomach when that organ is in good health. We remember its existence only when our abuse of it causes us to feel pain there. Under normal conditions we are entirely unconscious of its processes. Similarly did the body of the Lemurian serve him excel- lently, although he was unaware of its existence. Pain was the means of making him aware of his body and of the world without. Everything in connection with the propagation of the race and the bring- ing to birth was done by direction of the Angels under the leadership of Je- hovah, the Regent of the Moon. The propagative function was performed as stated times of the year when the lines of force, running from planet to planet, were focussed at proper angles. Thus the creative force encountered no obstruction and parturition was painless. Man was unaware of birth, be- cause at that time he was unconscious of the physical world as he now is during sleep. It was only in the intimate contact of sex relation that the spirit became aware of the flesh and them man "knew" his wife. That is [PAGE 278] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION shown is such passages of the Bible as "Adam KNEW Eve and she bore Seth"; "Elkanah KNEW Hannah and she bore Samuel"; and Mary's question, "How I shall conceive, seeing I KNOW no man?" This is also the key to the meaning of the "Tree of Knowledge," the fruit of which opened the eyes of Adam and Eve, so that they came to know both good and evil. Previously they had known only good, but when they began to exercise the creative function independently, they were ignorant of stellar influences, as their descendants, and Jehovah's supposed curse was not a curse at all, but a simple statement of the result which must inevitably follow use of their generative force which failed to take into consideration the effect of the stellar rays on child- birth. Thus the ignorant use of the generative force is primarily responsible for pain, sickness and sorrow. The Lemurian knew no death because when, in the course of long ages, his body dropped away, he entered another, quite unconscious of the change. His consciousness was not focussed in the physical world, therefore the laying aside of one body and the taking of another was no more to him than a leaf or twig drying and falling away from the tree and being replaced by a new growth. Their language was to the Lemurians something holy. It was not a dead language like ours--a mere orderly arrangements of sounds. Each sound uttered by the Lemurian had power over his fellow-beings, over the animals and even over nature around him. Therefore, under the guidance of the Lords of Venus, who were the messengers of God--the agents of the creative hierarchies-- the power of speech was used with great reverence, as some- thing most holy. The education of the boys differed greatly from that of the girls. The Lemurian methods of education seem shocking to our more refined [PAGE 279] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH sensibilities. In order to spare the reader's feelings, only the least cruel of them will be touched upon. Strenuous in the extreme as they may seen, it must be remembered that the Lemurian body was not nearly so high-strung as are the human bodies of the present day; also that it was only by the very harshest measures that the exceedingly dim consciousness could be touched at all. As time went on and the consciousness became more and more awakened, such extreme measures as those used then became unneces- sary and have passed away, but at that time they were indispensable to arouse the slumbering forces of the spirit to a consciousness of the outside world. The education of the boys was designed especially to develop the quality of Will. They were made to fight one another, and these fights were ex- tremely brutal. They were impaled upon spits, with full power to release themselves, but by exercising the will power they were to remain there in spite of the pain. They learned to make their muscles tense, and to carry immense burdens by the exercise of the Will. The education of the girls was intended to promote the development of the imaginative facility. They also were subjected to strenuous and severe treatment. They were put out in the great forests, to let the sound of the wind in the tree tops speak to them and to listen to the furious outbursts of flood and tempest. They thus learned to have no fear of those paroxysms of nature and to perceive only the grandeur of the warring elements. The frequent volcanic outbursts were greatly valued as a means of education, be- ing particularly conducive to the awakening of the faculty of memory. Such educational methods would be entirely out of the question at the [PAGE 280] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION present day, but they did not make the Lemurian morbid, because he had no memory. No matter what painful or terrifying experience he endured, every- thing was forgotten as soon as past. The above mentioned strenuous experi- ences were for the purpose of developing memory, to imprint these violent and constantly repeated impacts from without upon the brain, because memory is necessary that the experiences of the past may be used as guides to Ac- tion. The education of the girls developed the first germinal, flickering memory. THE FIRST IDEA OF GOOD AND EVIL WAS FORMULATED BY THEM because of their experiences, which worked chiefly on the imagination. Those experi- ences most likely to leave a recollection were thought "Good;" those which did not produce that much desired result were considered "Evil." Thus woman become the pioneer in culture, being the first to develop the idea of "a good life," of which she became the esteemed exponent among the ancients and in that respect she has nobly led the vanguard ever since. Of course, as all Egos incarnate alternately as male and female, there is re- ally no pre-eminence. It is simply that those who for the time being are in a dense body of the feminine gender have a positive vital body, and are therefore more responsive to spiritual impacts than when the vital body is negative as in the male. As we have seen, the Lemurian was a born magician. He felt himself a de- scendant of the Gods, a spiritual being; therefore his line of advancement was by gaining not spiritual, but MATERIAL knowledge. The Temples of Ini- tiation for the most advanced did not need to reveal to man his high origin; to educate him to perform feats of magic; to instruct him how to function in [PAGE 281] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH the desire world and the higher realms. Such instruction is necessary today because now the average man has no knowledge of the spiritual world, nor can he function in superphysical realism. The Lemurian, however, in his own way, did possess that knowledge and could exercise those faculties, but on the other hand, he was ignorant of the Laws of the Cosmos of facts regarding the physical world which are matters of common, everyday knowledge with us. Therefore at the School Initiation he was taught art, the laws of Nature and facts relating to the physical universe. His will was strengthened and his imagination and memory wakened so that he could correlate experiences and devise ways and means of action when his past experiences did not serve to indicate a proper course of procedure. Thus, the Temples of Initiation in the Lemurian times were High Schools for the cultivation of Will-power and Imagination, with "post-graduate courses" in Art and Science. Yet, though the Lemurian was a born magician, he never misused his powers because he felt himself related to the Gods. Under his direction of the Messengers of the Gods, already spoken of, his forces were directed toward the molding of forms in the animal and the plant worlds. It may be hard for the materialist to understand how he could do such work if he could not see the world about him. It is true man could not "see" as we understand the term and as he now sees objects outside in space with his physical eyes. Still, as the purest of our children are clairvoyant to this day while they remain in a state of sinless innocence, possessed an internal perception which gave them only a dim idea of the OUTWARD shape of any object; but il- luminated so much the brighter its inner nature, its soul-quality, by a [PAGE 282] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION spiritual apperception born of innocent purity. Innocence, however, is not synonymous with Virtue. Innocence is the child of Ignorance and could not be maintained in a universe where the pur- pose of evolution is the acquisition of Wisdom. To attain that end, a knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, is essential, also choice of action. If, having knowledge and choice, man ranges himself on the side of Good and Right he cultivates Virtue and Wisdom. If he succumbs to temptation and does wrong knowingly, he fosters vice. God's plan is not to be brought to naught, however. Every act is a seed-ground for the law of Consequence. We reap what we sow. The weeds of wrong action bear flowers of sorrow and suffering, and when the seeds from then have fallen into a chastened heart, when they have been watered by the tears of repentance Virtue will eventually blossom forth. What blessed as- surance, that out of every evil we do, Good will eventually accrue, for in our Father's Kingdom naught but Good can endure. Therefore, the "Fall" with its consequent pain and suffering is but a temporary state where we see through a glass darkly, but anon we shall be- hold again face to face the God within and without, who is every perceived by the pure in heart. THE FALL OF MAN. This is cabalistically described as the experience of one pair who, of course, represent humanity. They key is given in the verse where the Mes- senger of the Gods says to the woman, "in sorrow thou shalt bring forth [PAGE 283] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH children;" the clue is also found in the sentence of death which was pro- nounced at that same time. It will be observed that previous to the Fall the consciousness was not focussed in the physical world. Man was unconsciousness of propagation, birth and death. The Angels who have charge of and work in the vital body (the medium of propagation) regulated the propagative function and brought the sexes together at certain seasons of the year, using the solar and the lunar forces when they produced conditions most propitious for fecundation, the union being achieved unconsciously by the participants at first, but later it produced a momentary physical cognition. Then the period of gesta- tion caused no inconvenience and parturition was painless, the parent being plunged in deep sleep. Birth and death involved no break in the conscious and were therefore non-existent to the Lemurians. Their consciousness was directed inward. They perceived physical things in a spiritual way, as we perceive them in a dream--at which time all that we see is within ourselves. When "their eyes opened" and their consciousness was directed outward to- ward the facts of the physical world, conditions were altered. Propagation was directed, not by the Angels, but by man, who was ignorant of the op- eration of the Sun- and Moon- forces. He also abused the sex-function, us- ing it for sense-gratification, with the result that pain attended the pro- cess of child-bearing. Then his consciousness became focussed in the physical world, although all things did not appear to his vision with clearly defined outlines until the latter part of the Atlantean Epoch. Still he came by degrees to know death because of the break made in his con- sciousness when it was shifted to the higher worlds at death and back to the [PAGE 284] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION physical world at rebirth. The "opening of the eyes" was brought about in the following manner: We remember that when the sexes separated, the male became an expression for Will, which is one part of the twofold soul-force; the female expressing the other part, Imagination. If woman were not imaginative she could not build the new body in the womb and were not the spermatozoon an embodiment of the concentrated human will, it could not accomplish impregnation and so com- mence the germination, which results in the continued segmentation of the ovum. These twin-forces, Will and Imagination, are both necessary to the propagation of bodies. Since the separation of the sexes, however, one of these forces remains within each individual and only the part given out is available for propagation. Hence the necessity for one-sexed being who ex- presses the complementary soul-force. This was previously explained; also that the part of the soul-force not used for propagation becomes available for INNER growth. So long as man sent out the full, dual sex-force for gen- eration, he could accomplish nothing in the direction of soul-growth for himself. But since then the part not used through the sex organ has been appropriated by the indwelling spirit to build the brain and the larynx for its expression. Thus man built on, all through the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch and the first two-thirds of the Atlantean Epoch until, by the above mentioned use of this half of his sex-force, he became fully-conscious, thinking, rea- soning, being. In man the brain is the link between the spirit and the outside world. [PAGE 285] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH He can know nothing of the outside world except through the medium of the brain. The sense organs are merely carriers to the brain of impacts from without and the brain is the instrument which interprets and coordinates those impacts. The Angels belonged to different evolution and had never been imprisoned in a dense and cumbrously slow vehicle such as ours. They had learned to obtain knowledge without a physical brain. Their lowest ve- hicle is the vital body. Wisdom came to them as a gift, without the neces- sity of laboriously thinking it out through a physical brain. Man, however, had to "fall into generation," and work for his knowledge. The spirit, by means of one part of the sex-force directed inward, built the brain to gather knowledge from the physical world, and the same force is feeding and building the brain today. It is subverted from its proper course inasmuch as it should have gone outward for procreation, but man re- tains it for selfish purposes. No so the Angels. They had experienced no division of their soul-powers, therefore they could send out the dual soul-force WITHOUT SELFISH RESERVATION. The force that goes outward for the purpose of creating another being is Love. The Angels sent our their WHOLE LOVE, WITHOUT SELFISHNESS OR DESIRE and in return, Cosmic Wisdom flowed into them. Man sends out only part of his love; the residue he selfishly keeps and uses to build his inner organs of expression, to improve HIMSELF; thus does his love become selfish and sensual. With one part of his creative soul-power he selfishly loves another being because he desires co-operation in propagation. With the other part of his creative soul-power he things (also for selfish reasons) because he desires knowledge. [PAGE 286] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The Angels love without desire, but man had to go through selfishness. He must desire and work for wisdom selfishly, that me may reach selfishness at a higher stage. The Angels helped him to propagate even after the subversion of part of the soul-force. They helped him to build the physical brain, but they had knowledge that could be transmitted by means of it, because they did not know how to use such an instrument and could not speak directly to the brain being. All they could do was to control the physical expression of the love of man and guide it through the emotions in a loving, innocent way, thus saving man the pain and trouble incident to the exercise of the sex-function without wisdom. Had that REGIME lasted, man would have remained simply God-guided au- tomaton and would never have become a personality--an individual. That he had become so is due to a much maligned class of entities called the Lucifer Spirits. THE LUCIFER SPIRITS. These spirits were a class of stragglers in the life wave of the Angels. In the Moon Period they worked themselves far ahead of the great mass of those who are now the most advanced of our humanity. They have not pro- gressed as far as the Angels who were the pioneer humanity of the Moon Pe- riod, however, but they were so much in advance of our present humanity that it was impossible for them to take a dense body as we have done; yet they could not gain knowledge without the use of an inner organ, a physical brain. They were half-way between man who has a brain and the Angels who need none--in short, they were demi-gods. They were thus in a serious situation, The only way they could find [PAGE 287] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH an avenue through which to express themselves and gain knowledge was to use man's physical brain, as they could make themselves understood by a physical being endowed with a brain, which the Angels could not. As said, in the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch man did not see the physical world as we do now. To him the desire world was much more real. He had the dream-consciousness of the Moon Period--an inner picture-consciousness; he was unconscious of the world outside himself. The Lucifers had no difficultly in manifesting to his inner consciousness and calling his attention to his outward shape, which he had not theretofore perceived. They told him how he could cease being simply the servant of ex- ternal powers, and could become his own master and like unto the gods, "knowing good and evil." They also made clear to him that he need have no apprehension if his body died, inasmuch as he had within himself the cre- ative ability to form new bodies without the mediation of the Angels. All of which information was given with the one purpose of turning his con- sciousness outward for the acquirement of knowledge. This the Lucifers did that they might profit by it themselves--to gain knowledge as man acquired it. They brought to him pain and suffering where there was none before; but they also brought him the inestimable blessing of emancipation from outside influence and guidance, thereby starting him on the road to the evolution of this own spiritual powers--an evolution which will eventually enable him to upbuild himself with wisdom such as that of the Angels and other Beings Who guided him before, he first exercised free will. Before man's enlightenment by the Lucifer Spirits he had not known sick- ness, pain nor death. All of these resulted from the unwise use of [PAGE 288] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION the propagative faculty and its abuse for the gratification of the senses. Animals in their wild state are exempt from sickness and pain, because their propagation is carried on under the care and direction of the wise-group spirit at only those times of the year which are propitious to that process. The sex-function is designed solely for the perpetuation of the species and under no circumstances for the gratification of sexual desire. Had man remained a God-guided automaton, he would have known no sickness, pain, no death unto this day; but he would also have lacked the brain-consciousness and independence which resulted from his enlightenment by the Lucifer Spirits, the "light-givers," who opened the eyes of his un- derstanding and taught him to use his then dim vision to gain knowledge of the Physical World which he was destined to conquer. From that time there have been two forces working in man. Once force is that of the Angels, who build new beings in the womb by means of Love which is turned downward for procreation; they are therefore the perpetuators of the race. The other force is that of the Lucifers, who are the instigators of all mental activity, by means of the other part of the sex-force, which is car- ried upward for work in the brain. The Lucifers are also called "serpents" and are variously represented in different mythologies. More will be said about them when we come to the analysis of Genesis. For the present enough has been said to warrant us in pursuing the main line of investigation' which leads us to follow the progress of man's evolution still further, through the Atlantean and Aryan Epochs, down to the present day. [PAGE 289] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH What has been said about the enlightenment of the Lemurians applies to only a minor portion of those who lived in the latter part of that Epoch, and who became the Seed for the Seven Atlantean Races. The greater part of the Lemurians were animal-like and the FORMS inhabited by them have degener- ated into the savages and anthropoids of the present day. The student is requested to note carefully that it was the FORMS which degenerated. There is a very important distinction to be kept in mind be- tween the bodies (or forms) of a race, and the Egos (or life) which is re- born in those race-bodies. When a race is born, the FORMS are ensouled by a certain group of spirits and have inherent capability of evolving to a certain stage of completion and no further. There can be no standing still in nature, therefore when the limit of attainment has been reached the bodies or forms of that race begin to degenerate, sinking lower and lower until at last the race dies out. The reason is not far to seek. New race bodies are particularly flexible and plastic, affording great scope for the Egos who are reborn in them to improve these vehicles and progress thereby. The most advanced Egos are brought to birth in such bodies and improve them to the best of their abil- ity. These Egos, however, are only apprentices as yet, and they cause the bodies to gradually crystallize and harden until the limit of improvement of that particular kind of body has been reached. Then forms for another new race are created, to afford the advancing Egos further scope for more ex- tended experience and greater development. They discard the old race bodies for the new, their discarded bodies becoming the habitations for less [PAGE 290] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION advanced Egos who, in their turn, use them as stepping-stones on the path of progress. Thus the old race bodies are used by Egos OF INCREASING INFERIOR- ITY, gradually degenerating until at last there are no Egos low enough to profit by rebirth in such bodies. The women become sterile and the race-FORMS die. We may easily trace this process by certain examples. The Teutonic-Anglo-Saxon race (particularly the American branch of it) has a softer more flexible body and a more high-strung nervous system than any other race on earth at the present time. The Indian and Negro have much harder bodies and, because of the duller nervous system, are much less sen- sitive to lacerations, An Indian will continue to fight after receiving wounds the shock of which would prostrate or kill a white man, whereas the Indian will quickly recover. The Australian aborigines or Bushmen furnish an example of a race dying out on account of sterility, notwithstanding all that the British government is doing to perpetuate them. It has been said by white men against the white race, that wherever it goes the other races dies out. The whites have been guilty of fearful op- pression against those other races, having in many cases massacred multi- tudes of the defenseless and unsuspecting natives--as witness the conduct of the Spaniards towards the ancient Peruvians and Mexicans, to specify but one of many instances. The obligations resulting from such betrayal of confi- dence and be paid--yea, the last, least iota!--by those incurring them. It is equally true, however, that even had the whites not massacred, starved, enslaved, expatriated and otherwise maltreated those older races, the latter would nevertheless have died out just as surely, though more slowly, because such is the Law of Evolution--the Order of Nature. At some [PAGE 291] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH future time the white race-bodies when they become inhabited by the Egos who are now embodied in red, black, yellow or brown skins, will have degenerated so far that they also will disappear, to give place to other and better ve- hicles. Science speaks only of evolution. It fails to consider that LINES OF DE- GENERATION which are slowly but surely destroying such bodies as have crys- tallized beyond possibility of improvement. [PAGE 291 cont'd] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH THE ATLANTEAN EPOCH. Volcanic cataclysms destroyed the greater part of the Lemurian continent and in its stead rose the Atlantean continent, where the Atlantic Ocean now is. Material scientists, impelled by the story of Plato to undertake re- searched regarding Atlantis, have demonstrated that there is ample founda- tion for the story that such a continent did exist. Occult scientists know that it existed and they also know that the conditions there were such as shall now be described. Ancient Atlantis differed from our present world in many ways, but the greatest difference was in the constitution of the atmosphere and the water of that Epoch. From the southern part of the planet came the hot, fiery breath of the volcanoes which were still abundantly active. From the north swept down the icy blasts of the Polar region. The continent of Atlantis was the meeting place of those two currents, consequently its atmosphere was always filled with a thick and murky fog. The water was not so dense as now, but con- tained a greater proportion of air. Much water was also held in suspension in the heavy, foggy Atlantean atmosphere. Through this atmosphere the Sun never clearly shone. It appeared to be [PAGE 292] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION surrounded by an aura of light-mist, as do street-lamps when seen through a dense fog. It was then possible to see only a few feet in any direction and the outlines of all objects not close at hand appeared dim, hazy and uncer- tain. Man was guided more by internal perception than by external vision. Not only the country, but also the man of that time was very different from anything existent on earth at the present time. He had a head, but scarcely any forehead; his brain had no frontal development; the head sloped almost abruptly back from a point just above the eyes. As compared with our present humanity; he was a giant; his arms and legs were much longer, in proportion to this body, than ours. Instead of walking, he progressed by a series of flying leaps, not unlike those of the kangaroo. He had small blinking eyes and his hair was round in section. The latter peculiarity, if no other, distinguishes the descendants of the Atlantean races who remain with us at the present day. Their hair was straight, glossy, black and ROUND in section. That of the Aryan, thought it may differ in color, is al- ways OVAL in section. The ears of the Atlantean sat much further back upon the head than do those of the Aryan. The higher vehicles of the early Atlanteans were not drawn into a concen- tric position in relation to the dense body, as are ours. The spirit was not quite an INdwelling spirit; it was partially outside, therefore could not control its vehicles with as great facility as though it dwelt entirely inside. The head of the vital body was outside of and held a position far above the physical head. There is a point between the eyebrows and about half an inch below the surface of the skin, which has a corresponding point in the vital body. This point is not the pituitary body, which lies much [PAGE 293] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH deeper in the head of the dense body. It might be called "the root of the nose." When these two points in the dense and the vital bodies come into correspondence, as they do in man today, the trained clairvoyant sees then as a black spot, or rather as a vacant space, like the invisible core of a gas flame. This is the seat of the indwelling spirit in the man--the Holy of Holies in the temple of the human body, barred to all but that indwelling human Ego whose home it is. The trained clairvoyant can see with more or less distinctness, according to his capacity and training, all the different bodies which form the aura of man. This spot alone is hidden from him. This is the "Isis" whose veil none may lift. Not even the highest evolved being on earth is capable of unveiling the Ego of the humblest and least de- veloped creature. That, and that alone upon earth, is so sacred that it is absolutely safe from intrusion. These two points just spoken of--the one in the dense body and its coun- terpart in the vital body--were far apart in the men of the early Atlanteans days, as they are in the animals of our day. The head of the horse's vital body is far outside the head of its dense body. The two points are closer together in the dog than in any other animal except, perhaps, the elephant. When they come into correspondence we have an animal prodigy, able to count, spell, etc. On account of the distance between these two points, the Atlantean's power of perception or vision was much keener in the inner Worlds than in the dense Physical World, obscured by its atmosphere of thick, heavy fog. In the fullness of time, however, the atmosphere slowly became clearer; at the same time, the point spoken of in the vital body came closer and closer [PAGE 294] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION to the corresponding point in the dense body. As the two approached each other, man gradually lost touch with the inner Worlds. They became dimmer as the dense Physical World became clearer in outline. Finally, in the last third of the Atlantean Epoch, the point in the vital body was united to the corresponding point in the dense body. Not until then did man become fully awake in the dense Physical World; but at the same time that full sight and perception in the Physical World were gained, the capability of perceiving the inner Worlds were gradually lost to most of the people. In an earlier time the Atlantean did not clearly perceive the outline of an object or a person, but he saw the soul and at once knew its attributes, whether they were beneficial to him or otherwise. He knew whether the man or animal he was regarding was kindly or inimically disposed toward him. He was accurately taught by spiritual perception how to deal with others and how to escape harm. therefore when the Spiritual World gradually faded from his consciousness, great was his sorrow at the loss. The Rmoahals were the first of the Atlantean Races. They had but little memory and that little was chiefly connected with sensation. They remem- bered colors and tomes, and thus to some extend they evolved Feeling. The Lemurian had entirely lacked Feeling, in the finer signification of the word. He had the sense of touch, could feel the physical sensations of pain, ease and comfort, but not the mental and spiritual ones of joy, sor- row, sympathy and antipathy. With memory came to the Atlanteans the rudiments of a language. They evolved words and no longer made use of mere sounds, as did the Lemurians. The Rmoahals began to give names to things. They were yet a spiritual race and, their soul-powers being like the forces of nature. They not only [PAGE 295] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH named the objects around them, but in their words was power over the things they named. Like the last of the Lemurians, their Feelings as spirits in- spired them, and no harm was ever done to one another. To them the language was holy, as the highest direct expression of the spirit. The power was never abused or degraded by gossip or small talk. By the use of definite language the soul in this race first became able to contact the soul of things in the outside world. The Tlavatlis were the second Atlantean Race. Already they began to feel their worth as separate human beings. They became ambitious, they demanded that their works be remembered. Memory became a factor in the life of the community. The remembrance of the deeds done by certain ones would cause a group of people to choose as their leader one who had done great deeds. This was the germ of Royalty. This remembrance of the meritorious deeds of great men was carried even beyond the time when such leaders died. Mankind began to honor the memory of ancestors and to worship them and others who had shown great merit. That was the beginning of a form of worship which is practiced to this day by some Asiatics. The Toltecs were the third Atlantean Race. They carried still further the ideas of their predecessors, inaugurating Monarchy and Hereditary Suc- cession. The Toltecs originated the custom of honoring men for the deeds done by their ancestors, but there was then a very good reason for so doing. Because of the peculiar training at that time, the father had the power to bestow his qualities upon his son in a way impossible to mankind at the present time. The education consisted of calling up before the soul of the child pic- tures of the different phases of life. The consciousness of the early [PAGE 296] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Atlantean was, as yet, principally an internal picture-consciousness. The power of the educator to call up these pictures before the soul of the child was the determining factor upon which depended the soul qualities that would be possessed by the grown man. The instinct and not the reason was appealed to and aroused and by this method of education the son, in the great major- ity of cases, readily absorbed the qualities of the father. It is thus evident that there was at that time good reason for bestowing honor upon the descendants of great men, because the son almost always inherited most of his father's good qualities. Unfortunately, that is not the case in our time, although we still follow the same practices of honoring the sons of great men; but we have no reason whatever for doing so. Among the Toltecs, experience came to be highly valued. The man who had gained the most varied experience was the most honored and sought. Memory was them so great and accurate that our present memory is nothing in com- parison. In an emergency, a Toltec of wide practical experience would be very likely to remember similar cases in the past, and suggest what action should be taken. Thus be became a valuable adviser to the community when a situation developed which none of the members had previously encountered and they were unable to think or reason from analogy as to how to deal promptly with the emergency. When such an individual was not available, they were compelled to experiment in order to find what was best to do. In the middle third of Atlantis we find the beginning of separate na- tions. Groups of people who discovered in one another similar tastes and habits would leave their old homes and found a new colony. They remembered [PAGE 297] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH old customs and followed them in their new homes as far as they suited, forming new ones to meet their own particular ideas and necessities. The Leaders of mankind initiated great Kings at that time to rule the people, over whom they were given great power. The masses honored these kings with all the reverence due to those who were thus truly Kings "by the grace of God." This happy state, however, had in it the germ of disintegra- tion, for in time the Kings become intoxicated with power. They forgot that it had been put into their hands by the grace of God, as a sacred trust; that they were made Kings for the purpose of dealing justly by and helping the people. They began to use their power corruptly, for selfish ends and personal aggrandizement instead of for the common good, arrogating them- selves privileges and authorities never intended for them. Ambition and selfishness ruled then and they abused their high, divinely derived powers, for purposes of oppression and revenge. This was true, not only of the Kings, but also of the nobles and the higher classes, and when one considers the power possessed by them over their fellow beings of the less developed classes, it is easy to understand that is misuse would bring about terrible conditions. The Original Turanians were the fourth Atlantean Race. They were espe- cially vile in their abominable selfishness. They erected temples where the Kings were worshiped as gods, and caused the extreme oppression of the help- less lower classes. Black magic of the worst and most nauseating kind flourished and all their efforts were directed towards the gratification of vanity and external display. The Original Semites were the fifth and most important of the seven Atlantean Races, because in them we find the first germ of the corrective quality of Thought. Therefore the Original Semitic Race become the "seed- [PAGE 298] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION race" for the seven races of the present Aryan Epoch. In the Polarian Epoch man acquired dense body as an instrument of action. In the Hyperborean Epoch the vital body was added to give power of motion necessary to action. In the Lemurian Epoch the desire body furnished incentive to action. The mind was given to man in the Atlantean Epoch to give purpose to ac- tion, but as the Ego was exceedingly weak and the desire nature strong, the nascent mind coalesced with the desire body, the faculty of Cunning resulted and was the cause of all the wickedness of the middle third of the Atlantean Epoch. In the Aryan Epoch Thought and Reason were to be evolved by the work of the Ego in the mind to conduct Desire into channel leading to the attainment of spiritual perfection, which is the Goal of Evolution. This faculty of Thought and of forming Ideas was gained by man at the expense of loss of control over the vital forces--i.e., power over Nature. With Thought and Mind man can present exercise power over the chemicals and minerals only, for his mind is now in the first of mineral stage of its evolution, as was his dense body in the Saturn Period. He can exercise no power over plant or animal LIFE. Wood and various vegetable substances, to- gether with different parts of the animals, are used by man in his indus- tries. These substances are all in the final analysis chemical matter ensouled by mineral life, of which the BODIES in all the kingdoms are com- posed, as previously explained. Over all these varieties of chemical min- eral combinations man at his present stage may have dominion, but until he has reached the Jupiter Period, that dominion will not be extended so that [PAGE 299] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH he can work with life. In that Period, however, he will have the power to work with plant life as the Angels do at present in the Earth Period. Material scientist have labored for many years in an endeavor to "create" life, but they will not succeed until they have learned that they must ap- proach the laboratory table with the deepest reverence, as they would draw near to the alter in a Temple--with purity of heart and with holy hands, de- void of greed and selfish ambition. Such is the wise decision of the Elder Brothers, who guard this and all the deep secrets of Nature until man shall be fit to use them for the up- lifting of the race--for the glory of God and not for personal profit or self-aggrandizement. It was, however, this very loss of power over the vital forces which the Atlanteans suffered that made it possible for man to evolve further. After that, no matter how great his selfishness became, it could not prove abso- lutely destructive of himself and of Nature, as would have been the case had the growing selfishness been accompanied by the great power possessed by man in his innocent former state. Thought that works only IN man is powerless to command Nature and can never endanger humanity, as would be possible were Nature's forces under man's control. The Original Semites regulated their desires to some extent by the mind, and instead of mere desires, came cunning and craftiness--the means by which those people sought to attain their selfish ends. Though they were a very turbulent people, they learned to curb their passions to a great extend and accomplish their purposes by the use of cunning, as being more subtle and potent than mere brute strength. They were the first to discover that "brain" is superior to "brawn." [PAGE 300] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION During the existence of this Race, the atmosphere of Atlantis commenced to clear definitely, and the previously mentioned point in the vital body came into correspondence with its companion point in the dense body. The combination of events gave man the ability to see objects clearly with sharp, well-defined contours; but it also resulted in loss of sight pertain- ing to the inner Worlds. Thus we see, and it may be well to definitely state it as a law: No progress is ever made that is not gained at the cost of some previously pos- sessed faculty, which is later regained in a higher form. Man built brain at the expense of the temporary loss of the power to bring forth offspring from himself alone. In order to get the instrument wherewith to guide his dense body, be became subject to all the difficulty, sorrow and pain which is involved in the co-operation necessary to the per- petuation of the race; he obtained his reasoning power at the cost of the temporary loss of his spiritual insight. While reason benefited him in many ways, it shut from his vision the soul of things which had previously spoken to him, and the gaining of the intel- lect which is now man's most precious possession was at first but sadly con- templated by the Atlantean, who mourned the loss of spiritual sight and power which marked its acquisition. The exchange of spiritual powers for physical faculties was necessary, however, in order that man might be able to function, independent of outside guidance, in the Physical World which he must conquer. In time his higher powers will be regained when, by means of his experiences in his journey through the denser Physical World, he has learned to use them properly. When he possessed them, he had no knowledge of their proper use, and they [PAGE 301] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH were too precious and too dangerous to be used as toys, with which to ex- periment. Under the guidance of a great Entity, the Original Semitic Race was led eastward from the continent of Atlantis, over Europe, to the great waste in Central Asia which is known as the Gobi Desert. There it prepared them to be the seed of the seven Races of the Aryan Epoch, imbuing them potentially with the qualities to be evolved by their descendants. During all the previous ages--from the commencement of the Saturn Period, through the Sun and Moon Periods, and in the three and one-half Revolutions of the Earth Period (the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and earlier part of the Atlantean Epochs)--man had been led and guided by higher Beings, without the slightest choice. In those days he was unable to guide himself, not yet having evolved a mind of his own; but at last the time had come when it was necessary for his further development that he should begin to guide himself. He must learn independence and assume responsibility for his own actions. Hitherto he had been compelled to obey the commands of his Ruler; now his thoughts were to be turned from the visible Leaders, the Lords from Venus, whom he worshiped as messengers from the gods--to the idea of the true God, the invisible Creator of the System. Man was to learn to worship and obey the commands of a God he could not see. Their Leader therefore called the people together and delivered a soul-stirring oration, which might be thus expressed: Hitherto, you have seen Those who led you, but there are Leaders of vary- ing grades of splendor, higher than They, Whom you have not seen, Who [PAGE 302] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION guided your every tottering step in the evolution of consciousness. Exalted above all these glorious Beings stands the invisible God Who has created the heaven, and the earth upon which you dwell. He has willed to give you dominion over all this land, that you may be fruitful and multiply in it. This invisible God only, must you worship, but you must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and not make any graven image of Him, nor use any like- ness to picture Him to yourselves, because He is everywhere present, and is beyond any comparison or similitude. If you follow His precepts, He will bless you abundantly in all good. If you stray from His ways, evil will follow. The choice is yours. You are free; BUT YOU MUST ENDURE THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR OWN ACTIONS. The education of man proceeds by four great steps. First, he is worked upon from without unconsciously. Then he is placed under the Rulership of Divine Messengers and Kings whom he sees, and whose commands he must obey. Next he is taught to revere the commands of a God whom he does not see. Fi- nally, he learns to rise above the commands; to become a law unto himself; and, by conquering himself of his own free will, to live in harmony with the Order of Nature, which is the Law of God. Fourfold also are the steps by which man climbs upward to God. First, through fear, he worships the God whom he begins to sense, sacri- ficing to propitiate Him, as do the fetish-worshipers. Next, he learns to look to God as the GIVER of all things, and hopes to receive from Him material benefits HERE AND NOW. He sacrifices through avarice, expecting that the Lord will repay an hundredfold, or to escape [PAGE 303] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH SWIFT punishment by plague, war, etc. Next, he is taught to worship God by prayer and the living of a good life; and that he must cultivate faith in a Heaven where he will be rewarded in the FUTURE; and to abstain from evil that he may escape a FUTURE punish- ment in Hell. At last he comes to a point where he can do right without any thought of reward, bribe, or punishment, but simply because "it is right to do right." He loves right for its own sake and seeks to govern his conduct thereby, re- gardless of present benefit or injury, or of painful results at some future time. The Original Semites had reached the second of these steps. They were taught to worship an invisible God and to expect to be rewarded my material benefits, or punished by painful afflictions. Popular Christianity is at the third step. Esotoric Christians, and the pupils of all occult schools are trying to reach the highest step, which will be generally achieved in the Sixth Epoch, the new Galilee, when the unifying Christian religion will open the hearts of men, as their under- standing is being opened now. The Akkadians were the sixth and the Mongolians the seventh of the Atlantean Races. They evolved the faculty of thought still further, but followed lines of reasoning which deviated more and more from the main trend of the developing life. The Chinese Mongolians maintain to this day that the old ways are the best. Progress constantly requires new methods and adaptability, keeping ideas in a fluid state, therefore those races fell be- hind and are degenerating, with the remainder of the Atlantean Races. As the heavy fogs, of Atlantis condensed more and more, the increased [PAGE 304] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION quantity of water gradually inundated that continent, destroying the greater part of the population and the evidences of their civilization. Great numbers were driven from the doomed continent by the floods, and wandered across Europe. The Mongolian races are the descendants of those Atlantean refugees. The Negroes and the savage races with curly hair, are the last remnants of the Lemurians. THE ARYAN EPOCH. Central Asia was the cradle of the Aryan Races, who descended from the Original Semites. Thence have the different Races gone out. It is unneces- sary to describe them here, as historical researches have sufficiently re- vealed their main features. In the present (the Fifth or Aryan) Epoch, man came to know the use of fire and other forces, the divine origin of which was purposely withheld from him, that he might be free to use them for higher purposes or his own development. Therefore we have in this present Epoch two classes: One looks upon this Earth and upon man as being of divine origin; the other sees all things from a purely utilitarian viewpoint. The most advanced among humanity at the beginning of the Aryan Epoch were given the higher Initiations, that they might take the place of the messen- gers of God, i.e. the Lords of Venus. Such human Initiates were from this time forth the only mediators between God and man. Even they did not appear publicly nor show any signs of wonders that they were Leaders and Teachers. Man was left entirely free to seek them or not, as he desired. At the end of our present Epoch the highest Initiate will appear pub- licly, when a sufficient number of ordinary humanity desire, and will [PAGE 305] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH voluntarily subject themselves to such a Leader. They will thus form the nucleus for the last Race, which will appear at the beginning of the Sixth Epoch. After that time races and nations will cease to exist. Humanity will form one spiritual Fellowship as before the end of the Lemurian Epoch. The names of the Races which have spread over the Earth during the Fifth Epoch, up to the present time, are as follows: 1.---The Aryan, which went south to India, 2.---The Babylonian-Assyrian-Chaldean. 3.---The Persian-Graeco-Latin. 4.---The Celtic. 5.---The Teutonic-Anglo-Saxon (to which we belong). From the mixture of the different nations now taking place in the United States will come the "Seed" for the last Race, in the beginning of the Sixth Epoch. Two more Races will be evolved in our present Epoch, one of them being the Slav. When, in the course of a few hundred years, the Sun, because of the precession of the equinoxes, shall have entered the sign Aquarius, the Russian people and the Slav Races in general will reach a degree of spiritual development which will advance them far beyond their present con- dition. Music will be the chief factor in bringing this about, for on the wings of music the soul which is attuned may fly to the very Throne of God, where the mere intellect cannot reach. Development attained in that manner, however, is not permanent, because it is one-sided, therefore not in harmony with the law of evolution, which demands that development, to be permanent, must be evenly balanced--in other words, that spirituality shall evolve [PAGE 306] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION through, or at least equally with, intellect. For this reason the Slavic civilization will be short-lived, but it will be great and joyful while it lasts, for it is being born of deep sorrow and untold suffering, and the law of Compensation will bring the opposite in due time. From the Slavs will descend a people which will form the last of the seven Races of the Aryan Epoch, and from the people of the United States will descend the last of all the Races in this scheme of evolution, which will run its course in the beginning of the Sixth Epoch. THE SIXTEEN PATHS TO DESTRUCTION. The sixteen Races are called the "Sixteen paths to destruction" because there is always, in each Race, a danger that the soul may become too much attached to the Race; that it may become so enmeshed in Race characteristics it cannot rise above the RACE idea, and will therefore fail to advance; that it may, so to speak, crystallize into that Race and consequently be confined to the Race bodies when they start to degenerate, as happened to the Jews. In Periods, Revolutions, and Epochs where there are no Races, there is much more time, and the likelihood of becoming fossilized is not so great, nor so frequent. But the sixteen Races are born and die in such a relatively short time there is grave danger that the one who gets too much attached to conditions may be left behind. Christ is the great unifying Leader of the Sixth Epoch, and He enunciated this law when He uttered those little-understood words: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. [PAGE 307] EVOLUTION ON THE EARTH "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me cannot be my disciple. ". . . whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Not that we are to leave, nor underestimate family ties, but that we are to rise above them. Father and mother are "bodies"; all relations are part of the Race--which belongs to Form. The souls must recognize that they are not Bodies, nor Races, but Egos striving for perfection. If a man forgets this, and identifies himself with his Race--clinging to it with fanatic patriotism--he is likely to become enmeshed in and sink with it when his compeers have passed to greater heights on the Path of Attainment. [PAGE 308] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION CHAPTER XIII. BACK TO THE BIBLE. In our age the missionary spirit is strong. The Western churches are sending missionaries all over the world to convert the people of every na- tion to a belief in their creeds; nor are they alone in their proselyting efforts. The East has commenced a strong invasion of Western fields, and many Christians who have become dissatisfied with the creeds and dogmas taught by the clergy and impelled to search for truth to satisfy the demands of the intellect for an adequate explanation of the problems of life, have familiarized themselves with, and in many cases accepted, the Eastern teach- ings of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. From an occult point of view, this missionary effort, whether from East to West or VICE VERSA, is not desirable, because it is contrary to the trend of evolution. The great Leaders of humanity Who are in charge of our devel- opment give us every aid necessary to that end. Religion is one of these aids, and there are excellent reasons why the Bible, containing not only one, but both the Jewish and Christian religions, should have been given to the West. If we earnestly seek for light we shall see the Supreme Wisdom which has given us this double religion and how no other religion of the present day is suitable to our peculiar needs. To this end we will in this [PAGE 309] BACK TO THE BIBLE chapter touch again upon certain points previously brought out in various places and connections. In the Polarian, Hyperborean and Lemurian Epochs the task of leading hu- manity was a comparatively easy one, for man was then without mind, but when that disturbing element came in during the first part of the Atlantean Ep- och, he developed Cunning, which is the product of the mind unchecked by the spirit. Cunning acts as an aid to desire, regardless of whether the desire is good or bad, whether it will bring joy or sorrow. In the middle of the Atlantean Epoch the spirit had drawn completely into its vehicles and commenced to work in the mind to produce Thought and Rea- son: the ability to trace a given cause to its inevitable effect, and to de- duce from a given effect the cause which produced it. The faculty of Reasoning or Logic was to become more fully developed in the Aryan Epoch, and therefore the Original Semites (the fifth race of the Atlantean Epoch) were a "chosen people," to bring out that germinal faculty to such a ripe- ness that it would be impregnated into the very fibre of their descendants, who would thus become the New Race. To transmute Cunning into Reason proved no easy task. The earlier changes in man's nature had been easily brought about. He could then be led without difficulty because he had no conscious desire, nor mind to guide him, but by the time of the Original Semites he had become cunning enough to resent limitations of his liberty and to circumvent repeatedly the measures taken to hold him in line. The task of guiding him was all the more dif- ficult because it was necessary he should have some liberty of choice, that he might in time learn self-government. Therefore a law was enacted which [PAGE 310] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION decreed IMMEDIATE REWARDS for obedience and INSTANT PUNISHMENT for disregard of its provisions. Thus was man taught, coaxed and coerced into reasoning in a limited manner that "the way of the transgressor is hard," and that he must "fear God," or the Leader Who guided him. Out of all who were chosen as "seed" for the new Race, but few remained faithful. Most of them were rebellious and, so far as they were concerned, entirely frustrated the purpose of the Leader by intermarrying with the other Atlantean Races, thus bringing inferior blood into their descendants. That is what is meant in the Bible where the fact is recorded that the sons of God married the daughters of men. For that act of disobedience were they abandoned and "lost." Even the faithful died, according to the body, in the Desert of Gobi (the "Wilderness") in Central Asia, the cradle of our present Race. They reincarnated, as their own descendants of course, and thus in- herited the "Promised Land," the Earth as it is now. They are the Aryan Races, in whom Reason is being evolved to perfection. The rebellious ones who were abandoned are the Jews, of whom the great majority are still governed more by the Atlantean faculty of Cunning than by Reason. In them the race-feeling is so strong that they distinguish only two classes of people: Jews and Gentiles. They despise the other nations and are in turn despised by them for their cunning, selfishness and avarice. It is not denied that they give to charity, but it is principally, if not exclusively, among their own people and rarely internationally, as was done in the case of the earthquake disaster in Italy, where barriers of creed, race and nationality were forgotten in the HUMAN feeling of sympathy. In such cases as that and the San Francisco disaster, the inner spiritual [PAGE 311] BACK TO THE BIBLE nature of man becomes more in evidence than under any other circumstances, and the close observer may then discern the trend of evolution. The fact then becomes manifest that though the stress of ordinary life our actions may deny it, nevertheless at heart we know and acknowledge the great truth that we are brothers and the hurt of one is really felt by all. Such inci- dents, therefore, point out the direction of evolution. The control of man by Reason must be succeeded by that of Love, which at present acts indepen- dent of and sometimes even contrary to the dictates of Reason. The anomaly arises from the fact that Love, at present, is rarely quite unselfish and our Reason is not always true. In the "New Galilee," the coming Sixth Ep- och, Love will become unselfish and Reason will approve its dictates. Uni- versal Brotherhood shall then be fully realized, each working for the good of all, because self-seeking will be a thing of the past. That this much-to-be-desire end may be attained, it will be necessary to select another "chosen people" from the present stock to serve as a nucleus from which the new Race shall spring. This choosing is not to be done con- trary to the will of the chosen. Each man must choose for himself; he must WILLINGLY enter the ranks. Races are but an evanescent feature of evolution. Before the end of the Lemurian Epoch there was a "chosen people," different from the ordinary hu- manity of that time, who became the ancestors of the Atlantean Races. From the fifth race of those another "chosen people" was drawn, from which the Aryan Races descended, of which there have been five and will be two more. Before a new Epoch is ushered in, however, there must be "a new Heaven and a new earth"; the physical features of the Earth will be changed and its den- sity decreased. There will be one Race at the beginning of the next Epoch, [PAGE 312] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION but after that every thought and feeling of Race will disappear. Humanity will again constitute one vast Fellowship, regardless of all distinctions. Races are simply steps in evolution which must be taken, otherwise there will be no progress for the spirits reborn in them. But, though necessary steps, they are also extremely dangerous ones, and are therefore the cause of grave concern to the Leaders of mankind. They call these sixteen Races "the sixteen paths to destruction," because , while in previous Epochs the changes came after such enormous intervals that it was easier to get the ma- jority of the entities in line for promotion, it is different with the Races. They are comparatively evanescent; therefore extra care must be taken that as few of the spirits as possible become enmeshed in the fetters of Race. This is exactly what happened to the spirits reborn in the Jewish Race-bodies. They attached themselves so firmly to the Race that they are drawn back into it in successive births. "Once a Jew, always a Jew" is their slogan. They have entirely forgotten their spiritual nature and glory in the material fact of being "Abraham's seed." Therefore they are neither "fish nor flesh." They have no part in the advancing Aryan Race and yet they are beyond those remnants of the Lemurian and Atlantean peoples which are still with us. They have become a people without a country, an anomaly among mankind. Because of their bondage to the Race-idea, their one-time Leader was forced to abandon them, and they became "lost." That they might cease to regard themselves as separate from other peoples, other nations were stirred up against them at various times by the Leaders of humanity and they were led captive from the country where they had settled, but in vain. They [PAGE 313] BACK TO THE BIBLE stubbornly refused to amalgamate with others. Again and again they returned in a body to their arid land. Prophets of their own Race were raised up who mercilessly rebuked them and predicted dire disaster, but without avail. As a final effort to persuade them to cast off the fetters of Race, we have the seeming anomaly that the Leader of the coming Race, the Great Teacher Christ, appeared among the Jews. This still further shows the com- passion and Wisdom of the great Beings Who guide evolution. Among all the Races of the Earth, none other was "lost" in the same sense as the Jews; none other so sorely needed help. To send them a stranger, not one of their own Race, would have been manifestly useless. It was a foregone conclusion that they would have rejected him. As the great spirit known as Booker T. Washington incarnated among the negroes, to be received by them as one of themselves, and thus enabled to enlighten them as no white man could, so the great Leaders hoped that the appearance of Christ among the Jews as one of their own might bring them to accept Him and His teachings and thus draw them out of the meshes of the Race-bodies. But sad it is to see how human prejudice can prevail. "He came unto His own and" they chose Barabbas. He did not glory in Abraham, nor any other of their ancient traditions. He spoke of "another world," of a new earth, of Love and Forgiveness, and repu- diated the doctrine of "an eye for an eye." He did not call them to arms against Caesar; had He done so, they would have hailed Him as delivered. In that respect He was misunderstood even by His disciples, who mourned as greatly over their vanished hope of an earthly kingdom as over the Friend slain by Roman hands. [PAGE 314] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The rejection of Christ by the Jews was the supreme proof of their thralldom to Race. Thenceforth all efforts to save them AS A WHOLE by giv- ing them special prophets and teachers, were abandoned and, as the futility of exiling them IN A BODY had been proven, they were, as a last expedient, scattered among all the nations of the earth. Despite all, however, the ex- treme tenacity of this people has prevailed even to the present day, the ma- jority being yet ORTHODOX. In America, however, there is now a slight fall- ing away. The younger generation is commencing to marry outside the Race. In time, an increasing number of bodies, with fewer and fewer of the Race characteristics, will thus be provided for the incarnating spirits of the Jews of the past. In this manner will they be saved in spite of themselves. They become "lost" by marrying into inferior Races; they will be saved by amalgamating with those more advanced. As the present Aryan Races are reasoning human beings, capable of profit- ing by past experience, the logical means of helping them is by telling them of past stages of growth and the fate that overtook the disobedient Jews. Those rebels had a written record of how their Leaders had dealt with them. It set forth how they had been chosen and rebelled; were punished; but were yet hopeful of ultimate redemption. That record may be profitably used by us, that we may learn how NOT to act. It is immaterial that, in the course of ages, it has become mutilated, and that the Jews of today are still under the delusion of being "chosen people"; the lesson that may be drawn from their experience is none the less valid. We may learn how a "chosen people" may harass their Leader, frustrate His plans, and become bound to a Race for ages. Their experience should be a warning to any future "chosen people". [PAGE 315] BACK TO THE BIBLE This Paul points out in unmistakable terms (Heb. ii. 3-4); "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast and every transgression and disobedience re- ceived a just recompense of reward, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" and Paul was speaking to Christians, for the Hebrews to whom he wrote this were converted, had accepted Christ and were people whom he expected would, in some future life, be among the new "chosen people", who would WILLINGLY follow a Leader and evolve the faculty of Love and spiritual perception, the intuition which shall succeed self-seeking and Reason. The Christian teaching of the New Testament belongs particularly to the pioneer Races of the Western World. It is being specially implanted among the people of the United States, for as the object of the new Race of the Sixth Epoch will be the unification of all the Races, the United States is becoming the "melting pot" where all the nations of the earth are being amalgamated and from this amalgamation will the next "chosen people," the nucleus, be chiefly derived. Those spirits, from all countries of the earth, who have striven to fol- low the teachings of the Christ, consciously or otherwise, will be reborn here, for the purpose of giving them conditions suitable for that develop- ment. Hence the American-born Jew is different from the Jew of other countries. The very fact that he has been reborn in the Western World shows that he is becoming emancipated from the Race spirit, and is consequently in advance of the crystallized Old World orthodox Jew, as were his parents, or they would not have conceived the idea of severing the old ties and moving to America. Therefore the American-born Jew is the pioneer who will prepare the path which his compatriots will follow later. [PAGE 316] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION Thus we can see that the Bible contains the teaching peculiarly needed by the Western peoples, that they may be taught a lesson by the awful example of the Jewish Race as recorded in the Old Testament, and learn to live by the teachings of the Christ in the New, willingly offering up their bodies as a LIVING sacrifice upon the altar of Fellowship and Love. --- END OF FILE --- [PAGE 317] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS CHAPTER XIV. THE OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS. LIMITATIONS OF THE BIBLE. In our study thus far, previous to Chapter XIII, comparatively little reference has been made to the Bible, but we shall now devote our attention to it for some time. Not that it is intended to attempt a vindication of the Bible (in the form in which it is commonly known to use at the present day) as the only true and inspired Word of God, nevertheless it is true that it contains much valuable occult knowledge. This is, to great extent, hid- den beneath interpolations and obscured by the arbitrary withholding of cer- tain parts as being "apocryphal." The occult scientist, who knows the intended meaning, can, of course, easily see which portions are original and which have been interpolated. Yet, if we take the first chapter of Genesis even as it stands, in the best translations we possess, we shall find that it unfolds the identical scheme of evolution which has been explained in the preceding portion of this work and harmonized quite well with the occult in- formation in regard to Periods, Revolutions, Races, Etc. The outlines given are necessarily of the briefest and most condensed character, an entire Pe- riod being covered in a score of words--nevertheless, the outlines are there. Before proceeding with an analysis it is necessary to say that the words [PAGE 318] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION of the Hebrew language, particularly the old style, run into one another and are not divided as those of our language. Add to this that there is a cus- tom of leaving out vowels from the writing, so that in reading much depends upon where and how they are inserted, and it will be seen how great are the difficulties to be surmounted in ascertaining the original meaning. A slight change may entirely alter the signification of almost any sentence. In addition to these great difficulties we must also bear in mind that of the forty-seven translators of the King James version (that most commonly used in England and America), only THREE were Hebrew scholars, and of those three, two died before the Psalms had been translated! We must still fur- ther take into consideration that the Act which authorized the translation prohibited the translators from any rendition that would greatly deviate from or tend to disturb the already existing belief. It is evident, there- fore, that the chances of getting a correct translation were very small in- deed. Nor were conditions much more favorable in Germany, for there Martin Luther was the sole translator and even he did not translate from the original Hebrew, but merely from a Latin text. Most of the versions used in Continental Protestant countries today are simply translations, into the different languages, of Luther's translations. True, there have been revisions, but they have not greatly improved mat- ters. Moreover, there is a large number of people in this country who insist that the ENGLISH text of the King James version is absolutely correct from cover to cover, as though the Bible had been originally written in En- glish, and the King James version were a certified copy of the original [PAGE 319] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS manuscript. So the old mistakes are still there, in spite of the efforts which have been made to eradicate them. It must also be noted that those who originally wrote the Bible did not intend to give out the truth in such plain form that he who ran might read. Nothing was further from their thoughts than to write an "open book of God." The great occultists who write the Zohar are very emphatic upon this point. The secrets of the Thorah were not be be understood by all, as the following quotation will show: "Woe to man who sees in the Thorah (the law) only simple recitals and or- dinary words! Because, if in truth it contained only these, we would even today be able to compose a Thorah much more worthy of admiration. But it is not so. Each word of the Thorah contains an elevated meaning and a sublime mystery. . . .The recitals of the Thorah are the vestments of the Thorah. Woe to him who takes this vestment of the Thorah for the Thorah itself!. . . The simple take notice of the garments and recitals of the Thorah alone. They know no other thing. They see not that which is concealed under the vestment. THE MORE INSTRUCTED MEN DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE VESTMENT, but to body which it envelops." In the preceding words, the allegorical meanings are plainly implied. Paul also unequivocally says that the story of Abraham and the two sons whom he had by Sarah and Hagar is purely allegorical (Gal. iv:22-26). Many pas- sages are veiled; others are to be taken verbatim; and no one who has not the occult key is able to find the deep truth hidden in what is often a very hideous garment. The secrecy regarding these deep matters and invariable use of allegories where the mass of the people were permitted to come in contact with occult [PAGE 320] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION truths will also be apparent from the practice of Christ, who always spoke to the multitude in parables, afterward privately explaining to His dis- ciples the deeper meaning contained therein. On several occasions He im- posed secrecy upon them with regard to private teachings. Paul's methods are also in harmony with this, for the gives "milk: or the more elementary teaching to the "babes" in the faith, reserving the "meat" or deeper teaching for the "strong"--those who had qualified themselves to understand and receive them. The Jewish Bible was originally written in Hebrew, but we do not possess one single line of the original writings. As early as 260 B.C. the Septuagint, a translation into Greek, was brought forth. Even in the time of Christ there was already the utmost confusion and diversity of opinion regarding what was to be admitted as original, and what had been interpo- lated. It was not until the return from Babylonian exile that the scribes began to piece together the different writings, and not until about 500 A.D. did the Talmud appear, giving the first text resembling the present one, which, in view of the foregoing facts, cannot be perfect. The Talmud was them taken in hand by the Masorete school, which from 590 to about 800 A.D. was principally in Tiberias. With great and painstaking labor, a Hebrew Old Testament was produced, which is the nearest to the original we have at the present time. This Masorectic text will be used in the following elucidation of Gen- esis, and, not relying upon the work of one translator, it will be supple- mented by a German translator, the work of three eminent Hebrew scholars-- [PAGE 321] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS H. Arnheim, M. Sachs, and Jul. Furst, who co-operated with a fourth, Dr. Zunz, the latter being also the editor. IN THE BEGINNING The opening sentence of Genesis is a very good example of what has been stated about the interpretation of the Hebrew text, which may be changed by differently placing the vowels and dividing the words in another way. There are two well recognized methods of reading this sentence. One is: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"; the other is: "Out of the ever-existing essence (of space) the twofold energy formed the double heaven." Much has been said and written as to which of these two interpretations is correct. The difficulty is, that the people want something settled and definite. They take the stand that, if a certain explanation is true, all others must be wrong. But, emphatically, this is not the way to get at truth, which is many sided and multiplex. Each occult truth requires ex- amination from many different points of view; each viewpoint presents a cer- tain phase of the truth, and all of them are necessary to get a complete, definite conception of whatever is under consideration. The very fact that this sentence and many others in the vestment of the Thorah can thus be made to yield many meanings, while confusing to the uninitiated, is illuminative to those who have the key, and the transcenden- tal wisdom of the wonderful Intelligences Who inspired the Thorah is thereby shown. Had the vowels been inserted, and a division made into words, there would have been only one way of reading it and these grand and sublime mys- teries could not have been hidden therein. That would have been the proper [PAGE 322] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION method to pursue if the authors had meant to write an "open" book of God; but that was not their purpose. It was written solely for the initiated; and can be read understandingly by them only. It would have required much less skill to have written the book plainly than to have concealed its mean- ing. No pains are ever spared, however, to bring the information, in due time, to those who are entitled to it, while withholding it from those who have not year earned the right to possess it. THE NEBULAR THEORY. Regarded by the light thrown upon the genesis and evolution of our sys- tem, it is plain that both renderings of the opening sentence in the Book of Genesis are necessary to an understanding of the subject. The first tells that there was a beginning of our evolution, in which the heavens were cre- ated; the other interpretation supplements the first statement by adding that the heavens and the earth were created; the other interpretation supplements the first statement by adding that the havens and the earth were created out of the "ever-existing essence," not out of "nothing," as is jeering pointed out by the materialist. The Cosmic Root-substance is gath- ered together and set in motion. The rings formed by the inertia of the re- volving mass break away from the central part, forming planets, etc., as the modern scientist, with remarkable ingenuity, has reasoned out. Occult and modern science are in perfect harmony as to the MODUS OPERANDI. There is nothing in these statements inconsistent with the two theories, as will presently be shown. Occult science teaches that God instituted the process of formation and is constantly guiding the System in a definite path. The modern scientist, in refutation of what he calls a foolish idea, and to dem- onstrate that a God is not necessary, takes a basin of water and pours [PAGE 323] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS a little oil into it. The water and the oil represent space and fire-mist respectively. He now commences to turn the oil around with a needle, bring- ing in into the form of a sphere. This, he explains, represents the Central Sun. As he turns the oil-ball faster and faster, it bulges at the equator and throws off a ring, the ring breaks and the fragments coalesce, forming a smaller ball, which circles around the Sun. Then he pityingly asks the oc- cult scientist, "Do you not see how it is done?" There is not need for your God, or any supernatural force." The occultist readily agrees that a Solar System may be formed in ap- proximately the manner illustrated. But he marvels greatly that a man pos- sessing the clear intuition enabling him to perceive with such accuracy the operation of Cosmic processes, and the intellect to conceive this brilliant demonstration of this monumental theory, should at the same time be quite unable to see that in his demonstration HE HIMSELF PLAYS THE PART OF GOD. His was the extraneous power that placed the oil in the water, where it would have remained inert and shapeless through all eternity had he not sup- plied the force that set it in motion, thereby causing it to shape itself into representation of Sun and planets. His was the Thought which designed the experiment, using the oil, water and force, thus illustrating in a splendid manner the Triune God working in Cosmic substance to form a Solar System. The attributes of God are Will, Wisdom and Activity. (See diagram 6. Note carefully what the name "God" signifies in this terminology.) The sci- entist has WILL to make the experiment. He has ingenuity to supply ways and means for the demonstration. This ingenuity corresponds to WISDOM, the [PAGE 324] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION second attribute to God. He has also the muscular force necessary to per- form the action, corresponding to ACTIVITY, which is the third attribute of God. Further, the universe is not a vast perpetual-motion machine, which, when once set going, keeps on without any internal cause or guiding force. That also is proven by the experiment of the scientist, for the moment he ceases to turn the oil-ball the orderly motion of his miniature planets also ceases and all returns to a shapeless mass of oil floating on the water. In a cor- responding manner, the universe would at once dissolve into "thin space" if God for one moment ceased to exert His all-embracing care and energizing ac- tivity. The second interpretation of Genesis is marvelously exact in its descrip- tion of a twofold formative energy. It does not specifically state the God is Triune. The reader's knowledge of that fact is taken for granted. It states the exact truth when it says that only two forces are active in the formation of a universe. When the first aspect of the Triune God manifests as the Will to create, It arouses the second aspect (which is Wisdom) to design a plan for the fu- ture universe. This first manifestation of Force is Imagination. After this primal Force of Imagination has conceived the Idea of a universe, the third aspect (which is Activity), working in Cosmic substance, produces Mo- tion. This is the second manifestation of Force. Motion alone, however, is not sufficient. To form a system of worlds, it must ORDERLY motion. Wisdom is therefore necessary to guide Motion in an intelligent manner to produce definite results. Thus we find the opening sentence of the Book of Genesis tells us that [PAGE 325] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS in the beginning, orderly, rhythmic motion, in Cosmic Root-substance, formed the universe. THE CREATIVE HIERARCHIES. The second interpretation of the opening sentence also gives us a fuller idea of God when it speaks of the "two fold energy," pointing to the positive and negative phases of the One Spirit of God in manifestation. In harmony with the teaching of occult science, God is represented as a compos- ite Being. This is accentuated in the remaining verses of the chapter. In addition to the creative Hierarchies which worked voluntarily in our evolution, there are seven others which belong to our evolution, and are co-workers with God in the formation of the universe. In the first chapter of Genesis these Hierarchies are called "Elohim." The name signifies a host of dual and double-sexed Beings. The first part of the work is "Eloh," which is a feminine noun, the letter "h" indicating the gender. If a single feminine Being were meant, the work "Eloh" would have been used. The feminine plural is "oth," so if the intention had been to indicate a number of Gods of the feminine gender, the correct word to use would have been "Elooth." Instead of either of those forms, however, we find the masculine plural ending, "im," added to the feminine noun, "Eloh," indicating a host of male-female, double-sexed Beings, expressions of the dual, positive-negative, creative energy. The plurality of Creators is again implied in the latter part of the chapter, where these words are ascribed to the Elohim: "Let US make man in OUR image;" after which it is inconsistently added, "HE made them male and female." The translators have here rendered the puzzling word "Elohim" (which was [PAGE 326] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION decidedly not only a plural word but also BOTH masculine and feminine) as being the equivalent of the singular, sexless word, "God." yet could they have done differently, even had they known? They were forbidden to disturb existing ideas. It was not truth at any price, but peace at any price that King James desired, his sole anxiety being to avoid any controversy that might create a disturbance in his kingdom. The plural "them" is also used where the creation of man is mentioned, clearly indicating that the reference is to the creation of ADM, the human species, and not Adam, the individual. We have shown that six creative Hierarchies (besides the Lords of Flame, the Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the two unnamed Hierarchies which have passed into liberation) were active in assisting the virgin spirits which in themselves form a seventh Hierarchy. The Cherubim and the Seraphim had nothing to do with the creation of Form; therefore they are not mentioned in the chapter under consideration, which deals principally with the Form-side of Creation. Here we find men- tioned only the seven creative Hierarchies which did the actual work of bringing man to where he acquired a dense physical form, through which the indwelling spirit could work. After a description of teach part of the work of Creation it is said: "and Elohim saw that it was good." This is said seven times, the last time being on the sixth day, when the human form had been created. It is stated that on the seventh day "Elohim rested." This is all in ac- cord with our occult teaching of the part taken by each of the creative Hi- erarchies in the work of evolution down to the present Period. It is also [PAGE 327] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS taught that in the present Epoch the Gods and creative Hierarchies have withdrawn from active participation, that man may work out his own salva- tion, leaving the necessary guidance of ordinary humanity to the "Elder Brothers," who are now the mediators between man and the Gods. THE SATURN PERIOD. Having satisfied ourselves that the beginning of our System and the work of the creative Hierarchies, as described by occult science, harmonize with the teachings of the Bible, we will now examine the Bible account of differ- ent "Days of Creation" and see how they agree with the occult teachings relative to the Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods; the three and one-half Revolutions of the Earth Period; and the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantean Epochs, which have preceded the present Aryan Epoch. Naturally, a detailed account could not be given in a few lines like the first chapter of Genesis, but the main points are there in orderly succes- sion, very much like an algebraical formula for Creation. The second verse proceeds: "The Earth was waste and uninhabited, and darkness rested upon the face of the deep; and the Spirits of the Elohim floated above the deep." In the beginning of manifestation that which is now the Earth was in the Saturn Period, and in exactly the condition de- scribed, as may be seen by referring to the descriptions already given of that Period. It was not "without form and void," as expressed in the King James version. It was hot, and thus well-defined and separate from the deep of space, which was cold. It is true that it was dark, but it could be dark and still be hot, for "dark" heat necessarily precedes glowing or visible [PAGE 328] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION heat. Above this dark Earth of the Saturn Period floated the creative Hier- archies. They worked upon it from the outside and molded it. The Bible re- fers to them as the "Spirits of the Elohim." THE SUN PERIOD. The Sun Period is well described in the third verse, which says, "And the Elohim said, Let there be Light; and there was Light." This passage has been jeered at as the most ridiculous nonsense. The scornful query has been put, How could there be light upon the Earth when the Sun was not made until the fourth day? The Bible narrator, however, is not speaking of the Earth alone. He is speaking of the central "Fire-mist," from which were formed the planets of our system including the Earth. Thus when the nebula reached a state of glowing heat, which it did in the Sun Period, there was no neces- sity for an outside illuminant, the Light was within. In the fourth verse we read: "The Elohim differentiated between the light and the darkness." Necessarily, for the outside space was dark, in contradistinction to the glowing nebula which existed during the Sun Period. THE MOON PERIOD. The Moon Period is described in the sixth verse, as follows: "and Elohim said, Let there by an EXPANSION (translated "firmament" in other versions) in the waters, to provide the water from the water." This exactly describes conditions in the Moon Period, when the heat of the glowing fire-mist and the cold of outside space had formed a body of water around the fiery core. The contact of fire and water generated steam, which is water in expansion, [PAGE 329] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS as our verse describes. It was different from the comparatively cool water, which constantly gravitated toward the hot, fiery core, to replace the outrushing stream. Thus there was a constant circulation of water held in suspension, and also an expansion, as the steam, rushing outward from the fiery core, formed an atmosphere of "fire-fog" condensed by contact with outside space, returning again to the core to be reheated and perform an- other cycle. Thus there were two kinds of water, and a division between them, as stated in the Bible. The dense water was nearest the fiery core; the expanded water or stream was on the outside. This also harmonizes with the scientific theory of modern times. First the dark heat; then the glowing nebula; later the outside moisture and in- side heat; and, finally incrustation. THE EARTH PERIOD. The Earth Period is next described, Before we take up its description, however, we have to deal with the Recapitulations. The verses quoted and the descriptions given will also correspond to the recapitulatory Periods. Thus what is said of the Saturn Period describes also the condition of the System when it emerges from any of the rest of the Periods. The descrip- tions of the Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods would therefore correspond to the first three Revolutions of our present Earth Period, and the following would correspond with conditions on Earth in the present Revolution. In the ninth verse, we read: "And Elohim said, Let the waters be divided from the dry land. . . .and Elohim called the dry land Earth." This refers [PAGE 330] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION to the first firm incrustation. Heat and moisture had generated the solid body of our present Globe. THE POLARIAN EPOCH: The ninth verse, which describes the Earth Period in this fourth Revolution (where the real Earth Period work commenced), also describes the formation of the mineral kingdom and the Recapitulation by man of the mineral stage in the Polarian Epoch. Each Epoch is also a Reca- pitulation of the previous stage. Just as there are Recapitulations of Globes, Revolutions, and Periods, so there are on each Globe, recapitula- tions of all that has gone before. These Recapitulations are endless. There is always a spiral within a spiral--in the atom, in the Globe, and in all other phases of evolution. Complicated and bewildering as this may appear at first, it is really not so difficult to understand. There is an orderly method running through it all and in time one is able to perceive and follow the workings of this method, as a clue leading through a maze. Analogy is one of the best helps to an understanding of evolution. THE HYPERBOREAN EPOCH is described in verses 11 to 19, as the work of the fourth day. It is here recorded that Elohim created the plant kingdom, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. The Bible agrees with the teaching of modern science that plants suc- ceeded the mineral. The different between the two teachings is in regard to the time when the Earth was thrown off from the central mass. Science as- serts that it was before the formation of any incrustation which could be called mineral and plant. If we mean such minerals and plants as we have today, that assertion is correct. There was no dense material substance, but nevertheless the first incrustation that took place in the central Sun was mineral. The Bible narrator gives only the principal incidents. It is [PAGE 331] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS not recorded that the incrustation melted when it was thrown off from the central mass as a ring which broke, the fragments afterward coalescing. In a body as small as our Earth, the time required for recrystallization was so comparatively short that the historian does not mention it, nor the further subsidiary fact that the melting process took place once more when the Moon was thrown off from the Earth. He probably reasons that one who is entitled to occult information is already in possession of such minor details as those. The plants of the incrustation of the central fire-mist were ethereal, therefore the melting processes did not destroy them. As the lines of force along which the ice crystals form are present in the water, so when the Earth crystallized, were those ethereal plant-forms present in it. They were the molds which drew to themselves the dense material forming the plant-bodies of the present day and also of the plant-forms of the past, which are embedded in the geological strata of the Earth globe. These ethereal plant-forms were aided in the formation when the heat came from outside, after the separation of the Earth from Sun and Moon. That heat gave them the vital force to draw to themselves the denser substance. THE LEMURIAN EPOCH is described in the work of the fifth day. This Ep- och, being the third, is in a sense a Recapitulation of the Moon Period, and in the Biblical narrative we find described such conditions as obtained in the Moon Period--water, fire-fog, and the first attempts at moving, breath- ing life. Verses 20 and 21 tell us that "Elohim said, Let the waters bring forth life-breathing things. . .and fowl. . . ; and Elohim formed the great am- phibians and all life-breathing things according to their species, and [PAGE 332] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION amphibians and all life-breathing things according to their species, and all fowl with wings." This also harmonizes with the teaching of material science that the am- phibians preceded the birds. The student is invited to note particularly that THE THINGS THAT WERE FORMED WERE NOT LIFE. It does NOT say that Life was created, but "THINGS" THAT BREATHE OR INHALE LIFE. . . .The Hebrew word for that which they inhale is NEPHESH, and it should be carefully noted, as we shall meet it in a new dress later. THE ATLANTEAN EPOCH is dealt with in the work of the sixth day. In verse 24 the creation of mammals is mentioned, and there the work NEPHESH again occurs, explaining that the mammals "breathed life." "Elohim said, Let the earth bring forth life-breathing things. . .mammals. . .;" and in verse 27, "Elohim formed man in their likeness; male and female made they (Elohim) like them." The Bible historian here omits the a-sexual and hermaphrodite human stages and comes to the two separate sexes, as we know them now. He could not do otherwise, as he is describing in the Atlantean Epoch, and by the time that stage in evolution was reached there were neither sexless men nor hermaphrodites, the differentiation of the sexes having taken place earlier--in the Lemurian Epoch. That which afterward became man could hardly be spoken of as man in the earlier stages of its development, as it differed but little from the animals. Therefore the Bible narrator is doing no violence to facts when he states that man was formed in the Atlantean E- poch. In verse 28 (all versions) will be found a very small prefix, with a very great significance: "Elohim said, Be fruitful and RE-plenish the earth." This plainly shows that the scribe who wrote it was cognizant of the occult [PAGE 333] OCCULT ANALYSIS OF GENESIS teaching that the life wave had evolved here, on Globe D of the Earth Pe- riod, in previous Revolutions. THE ARYAN EPOCH corresponds to the seventh day of Creation, when the Elohim rested from their labors as Creators and Guides, and humanity had been launched upon an independent career. This ends the story of the manner in which the Forms were produced. In the following chapter the story is told from the point of view which deals a little more with the Life side. JEHOVAH AND HIS MISSION There has been much learned discussion concerning the discrepancy be- tween, and especially the authorship of the creation story of the first chapter and that which starts at the fourth verse of the second chapter. It is asserted that the two accounts were written by different men, because the Being or Beings, the name of Whom the translators have rendered as "God" in both the first and second chapters of the English version, are, in the He- brew text, called "Elohim" in the first chapter, and "Jehovah" in the second chapter, It is argued that the same narrator would have have named God in two different ways. Had he meant the same God in both cases, he probably would not, but he was not a monotheist. He knew better than to think of God as simply a supe- rior Man, using the sky for a throne and the earth for a footstool. When he wrote of Jehovah he meant the Leader Who had charge of the particular part of the work of Creation which was then being described. Jehovah was and is one of the Elohim. He is the Leader of the Angels who were the humanity of the Moon Period and He is Regent of our Moon. The reader is referred to [PAGE 334] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION diagram 14 for an accurate understanding of the position and constitution of Jehovah. As Regent of Our Moon, He has charge of the degenerate, evil Beings there, and He also rules the Angels. With Him are some of the Archangels, who were the humanity of the Sun Period. They are the "Race-Spirits". It is the work of Jehovah to build concrete bodies or forms, by means of the hardening, crystallizing Moon forces. Therefore He is the giver of children and the Angels are His messengers in this work. It is well know to physiologists that the Moon is connected with gestation; at least, they have observed that it measures and governs the period of intra-uterine life and other physiological functions. [PAGE 334 cont'd] ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION The Archangels, as Spirits and Leaders of a Race, are known to fight for or against a people, as the exigencies of the evolution of that Race demand. In Daniel x:20 an Archangel speaking to Daniel, says, "And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." The Archangel Michael is the Race-spirit of the Jews (Daniel xii:1), but JEHOVAH IS NOT THE GOD OF THE JEWS ALONE; HE IS THE AUTHOR OF ALL RACE-RELIGIONS WHICH LED UP TO CHRISTIANITY. Nevertheless, it is true that He did take a special interest in the progenitors of the present degenerate Jews--the Original Semites, the "seed-race" for the seven races of the Aryan Epoch. Jehovah, of course