Rosicrucian Articles Three Theories Of Life
Only three noteworthy theories have been offered as solutions...
After a longer or shorter time there comes in each life a poi...
The Problem Of Life
Among all the vicissitudes of life, which vary in each indivi...
A Description Of The Headquarters Of The Rosicrucian Fellowship
Work in the physical world requires physical means of accompl...
Education Of Children
Respecting the birth of the various vehicles and the influenc...
The Second Heaven
When both the good and evil of a life has been extracted, the...
T He Course In Christian Mysticism
Christ taught the multitude in parables, but explained the my...
Our Lessons Are Sermons
They embody the highest moral and spiritual principles, toget...
Birth And Child Life
It must not be imagined, however, that when the little body o...
The World Of Thought
When we have attained the spiritual development necessary to ...
The Desire Body
In addition to the visible body and the vital body we also ha...
The Vital Body
That body of ours which is composed of ether is called the "v...
The Region Of Abstract Thought
Various religious systems have been given to humanity at diff...
The Region Of Concrete Thought
The Region of concrete Thought is neither shadowy nor illusor...
This is the latest acquisition of the human spirit, and in mo...
The Constitution Of Man
Our chapter head, "the constitution of man," may surprise a r...
Invisible Helpers And Mediums
There are two classes of people in the world. In one class th...
The Cost Of The Course
There are no fixed fees; no esoteric instruction is ever put ...
The Third Heaven
In the third heaven most people have very little consciousnes...
We Do Not Cast Horoscopes
Despite all we can say, many people write enclosing money for...
After a longer or shorter time there comes in each life a point where the
experiences which a spirit can gain from its present environment have been
exhausted, and life terminates in death.
Death may be sudden and seemingly unexpected, as for instance by
earthquake, upon the battle-field, or by accident, as we call it, but in
reality, death is never accidental or unforeseen by Higher Powers. Not a
sparrow falls to the ground without divine Will. There are along life's
path partings of the way, as it were; on one side the main line of life
continues onward, the other path leads into what we might call a blind
alley. If the man takes that path, it soon ends in death. We are here in
life for the sake of gaining experience and each life has a certain
harvest to reap. If we order our life in such a manner that we gain the
knowledge it is intended we should acquire, we continue in life, and
opportunities of different kinds constantly come our way. But if we
neglect them, and the life goes into paths which are not congruous to our
individual development it would be a waste of time to let us stay in such
environment. Therefore the Great and Wise Beings, Who are behind the scene
of evolution, terminate our life, that we may have a fresh start in a
different sphere of influence. The law of conservation of energy is not
confined to the Physical World, but operates in the spiritual realms also.
There is nothing in life that has not its purpose. We do wrong to rail
against circumstances, no matter how disagreeable, we should rather
endeavor to learn the lessons which are contained therein, that we may
live a long and useful life. Some one may object, and say: You are
inconsistent in your teachings. You say there is really no death, that we
go into a brighter existence, and that we have to learn other lessons
there in a different sphere of usefulness! Why then aim to live a long
It is very true that we make these claims, and they are perfectly
consistent with the other assertions just mentioned, but there are lessons
to be learned here which cannot be learned in the other worlds, and we
have to bring up this physical body through the useless years of
childhood, through hot and impulsive youth, to the ripeness of manhood or
womanhood, before it becomes of true spiritual use. The longer we live
after maturity has been attained, when we have commenced to look upon the
serious side of life and started to truly learn lessons which make for
soulgrowth, the more experience we shall gather and the richer our harvest
will be. Then, in a later existence, we shall be so much more advanced,
and capable of taking up tasks that would be impossible with less length
of life and breadth of activity. Besides, it is hard to die for the man in
the prime of life with a wife and growing family whom he loves; with
ambitions of greatness unfulfilled; with hosts of friends about him, and
with interests all centered upon the material plane of existence. It is
sad for the woman whose heart is bound up in home and the little ones she
has reared, to leave them, perhaps without anyone to care for them; to
know that they have to fight their way alone through the early years when
her tender care is needed, and perhaps to see those little ones abused,
and she unable to lift a hand, though her heart may bleed as freely as it
would in earth life. All these things are sad, and they bind the spirit
to earth for a much longer time than ordinarily, they hinder it from
reaping the experiences it should reap upon the other side of death, and
they make it desirable along with other reasons already mentioned to live
a long life before passing onwards.
The difference between those who pass out at a ripe old age, and one who
leaves this earth in the prime of life, may be illustrated by the manner
in which the seed clings to a fruit in an unripe state. A great deal of
force is necessary to tear the stone from a green peach; it has such a
tenacious hold upon the fruit that shreds of pulp adhere to it when
forcibly removed, so also the spirit clings to the flesh in middle life
and a certain part of its material interest remain and bind it to earth
after death. On the other hand, when a life has been lived to the full,
when the spirit has had time to realize its ambitions or to find out their
futility, when the duties of life have been performed and satisfaction
rests upon the brow of an aged man or woman; or when the life has been
misspent and the pangs of conscience have worked upon the man and shown
him his mistakes; when, in fact, the spirit has learned the lessons of
life, as it must have to come to old age; then it may be likened to the
seed of the ripe fruit which falls out clean, without a vestige of flesh
clinging thereto, at the moment the encasing pulp is opened. Therefore we
say, as before, that though there is a brighter existence in store for
those who have lived well, it is nevertheless best to live a long life and
to live it to the fullest extent possible.
We also maintain, that no matter what may be the circumstances of a man's
death, it is not accidental; it has either been brought about by his own
neglect to embrace opportunities of growth, or else life has been lived to
the ultimate possible. There is one exception to that rule, and that is
due to man's exercise of his divine prerogative of interference. If we
lived according to schedule, if we all assimilated the experiences
designed for our growth by the Creative Powers, we should live to the
ultimate length, but we ourselves usually shorten our lives by not
taking advantage of opportunities, and it also happens that other men
may shorten our lives and cut them off as suddenly as the so-called
accident whereby the divine rulers terminate our life here. In other
words, murder, or fatal accidents brought about by human
carelessness, are in reality the only termination to life not planned by
invisible leaders of humanity. No one is ever compelled to do murder or
other evil, or there could not come to them a just retribution for their
acts. The Christ said that evil must come but woe unto him by whom it
cometh, and to harmonize that with the law of divine justice: "as a man
soweth, so shall he also reap," there must at least be absolute free will
in respect to evil acts.
There are also cases where a person lives such a full and good life of
such vast benefit to humanity and to himself, that his days are lengthened
beyond the ultimate, as they are shortened by neglect, but such cases are
of course too few to allow of their being dwelt upon at length.
Where death is not sudden as in the case of accidents, but occurs at home
after an illness, quietly and peacefully, dying persons usually experience
a falling upon them as of a pall of great darkness shortly before
termination of life. Many pass out from the body under that condition, and
do not see the light again until they have entered the super-physical
realms. There are many other cases however, where the darkness lifts
before the final release from the body. Then the dying person views both
worlds at once, and is cognizant of the presence of both dead and living
friends. Under such circumstances it very often happens that a mother sees
some of her children who have gone before, and she will exclaim joyously:
Oh, there is Johnny standing at the foot of my bed; my but hasn't he
grown! The living relatives may feel shocked and uneasy, thinking the
mother suffering from hallucinations, while in reality she is more
clear-sighted than they; she perceives those who have passed beyond the
veil who have come to greet and help her to make herself at home in the
new world she is entering.
Each human being is an individual, separate and apart from all others, and
as experiences in the life of each differ from those of all others in the
interval from the cradle to the grave, so we may also reasonably infer
that the experiences of each spirit vary from those of every other spirit
when it passes through the gates of birth and death. We print what
purports to be a spirit message communicated by the late Professor James
of Harvard at the Boston spirit temple, and in which he describes
sensations which he felt when passing through the gate of death. We do not
vouch for its authenticity as we have not investigated the matter
Professor James had promised to communicate after death with his friends
in this life, and the whole world of psychic research was and still is on
watch for a word from him. Several mediums have claimed that Professor
James has communicated through them, but the most remarkable are those
given through the Boston spirit temple as follows:
"And this is death, only to fall asleep, only to awaken in the
morning and to know that all is well. I am not dead, only arisen.
"I only know that I experienced a great shock through my entire
system, as if some mighty bond had been rent asunder. For a moment
I was dazed and lost consciousness. When I awakened I found myself
standing beside the old body which had served me faithfully and
well. To say that I was surprised would only inadequately express
the sensation that thrilled my very being, and I realized that
some wonderful change had taken place. Suddenly I became conscious
that my body was surrounded by many of my friends, and an
uncontrollable desire took possession of me to speak and touch
them that they might know that I still lived. Drawing a little
nearer to that which was so like and yet unlike myself, I
stretched forth my hand and touched them, but they heeded me not."
"Then it was that the full significance of the great change that
had taken place flashed upon my newly awakened senses; then it was
that I realized that an impenetrable barrier separated me from my
loved ones on earth, and that this great change which had taken
place was indeed death. A sense of weariness and longing for rest
took possession of me. I seemed to be transported through space,
and I lost consciousness, to awaken in a land so different and yet
so similar to the one which I had lately left. It was not possible
for me to describe my sensations when I again regained
consciousness and realized that, though dead, I was still alive.
"When I first became conscious of my new environment I was resting
in a beautiful grove, and was realizing as never before what it
was to be at peace with myself and all the world."
"I know that only with the greatest difficulty shall I be enabled
to express to you my sensations when I fully realized that I had
awakened to a new life. All was still, no sound broke the silence.
Darkness had surrounded me. In fact, I seemed to be enveloped in a
heavy mist, beyond which my gaze could not penetrate. Soon in the
distance I discerned a faint glimmer of light, which slowly
approached me, and then, to my wonder and joy, I beheld the face
of her who had been my guiding star in the early days of my earth
One of the saddest sights witnessed by the seer at a death-bed is the
tortures to which we often subject our dying friends on account of
ignorance of how to care for them in that condition. We have a science of
birth; obstetricians who have been trained for years in their profession
and have developed a wonderful skill, assist the little stranger into this
world. We have also trained nurses attendant upon mother and child, the
ingenuity of brilliant minds is focused upon the problem of how to make
maternity easier, neither pains nor money are spared in these beneficent
efforts for one whom we have never seen, but when the friend of a
lifetime, the man who has served his kind well and nobly in profession,
state, or church, is to leave the scene of his labors for a new field of
activity, when the woman--who has labored to no less good purpose in
bringing up a family to take its part in the world's work--has to leave
that home and family, when one whom we have loved all our lives is about
to bid us the final farewell, we stand by utterly at a loss how to help;
perhaps we even do the very things most detrimental to the comfort and
welfare of the departing one.
Probably there is no form of torture more commonly inflicted upon the
dying than that which is caused by administering stimulants. Such potions
have the effect of drawing a departing spirit into its body with the force
of a catapult, to remain and to suffer for sometime longer. Investigators
of conditions beyond have heard many complaints of such treatment. When it
is seen that death must inevitably ensue, let not selfish desire to keep a
departing spirit a little longer prompt us to inflict such tortures upon
it. The death chamber should be a place of the utmost quiet, a place of
peace and of prayer, for at that time, and for three and one-half days
after the last breath, the spirit is passing through a Gethsemane and
needs all the assistance that can be given. The value of the life that has
just been passed depends greatly upon conditions which then prevail about
the body; yes even the conditions of its future life are influenced by our
attitude during that time, so that if ever we were our brother's keeper in
life, we are a thousand times more so at death.
Post-mortem examinations, embalming and cremation during the period
mentioned, not only disturb the passing spirit mentally, but are
productive of a certain amount of pain, for there is still a slight
connection with the discarded vehicle. If sanitary laws require us to
prevent decomposition while thus keeping the body for cremation, it may be
packed in ice till the three and one-half days have passed. After that
time the spirit will not suffer, no matter what happens to the body.
The Panorama of a Past Life.
No matter how long we may keep the spirit from passing out however, at
last there will come a time when no stimulant can hold it and the last
breath is drawn. Then the silver cord, of which the Bible speaks, and
which holds the higher and the lower vehicles together, snaps in the heart
and causes that organ to stop. That rupture releases the vital body, and
that with the desire body and mind float above the visible body for from
one to three and one-half days while the spirit is engaged in reviewing
the past life, an exceedingly important part of its post-mortem
experience. Upon that review depends its whole existence from death to a
The question may arise in the student's mind: How can we review our past
life from the cradle to the grave when we do not even remember what we did
a month ago, and to form a proper basis for our future life, this record
ought to be very accurate, but even the best memory is faulty? When we
understand the difference between the conscious and sub-conscious memory
and the manner in which the latter operates, the difficulty vanishes. This
difference and the manner in which the sub-conscious memory keeps an
accurate record of our life experiences may be best understood by an
illustration, as follows: When we go into a field and view the surrounding
landscape, vibrations in the ether carry to us a picture of everything
within the range of our vision. It is as sad as it is true however, that
"we have eyes and see not," as the Savior said. These vibrations impinge
upon the retina of our eyes, even to the very smallest details, but they
usually do not penetrate to our consciousness, and therefore are not
remembered. Even the most powerful impressions fade in course of time so
that we cannot call them back at will when they are stored in our
When a photographer goes afield with his camera the results which he
obtains are different. The ether vibrations emanating from all things upon
which his camera is focused, transmit to the sensitive plate an impression
of the landscape true to the minutest detail, and, mark this well, this
true and accurate picture is in no wise dependent upon whether the
photographer is observant or not. It will remain upon the plate and may be
reproduced under proper conditions. Such is the subconscious memory, and
it is generated automatically by each of us during every moment of time,
independently of our volition, in the following manner.
From the first breath which we draw after birth to our last dying gasp, we
inspire air which is charged with pictures of our surroundings, and the
same ether which carries that picture to the retina of our eye, is inhaled
into our lungs where it enters the blood. Thus it reaches the heart in due
time. In the left ventricle of that organ, near the apex, there is one
little atom which is particularly sensitized, and which remains in the
body all through life. It differs in this respect from all other atoms
which come and go, for it is the particular property of God, and of a
certain spirit. This atom may be called the book of the Recording Angel,
for as the blood passes through the heart, cycle after cycle, the pictures
of our good and evil acts are inscribed thereon to the minutest detail.
This record may be called the sub-conscious memory. It forms the basis of
our future life when reproduced as a panorama just subsequent to death. By
removal of the seed atom--which corresponds to the sensitized plate in a
camera,--the reflecting ether of the vital body serves as a focus, and as
the life unrolls slowly backwards from death to birth the pictures thereof
are etched into the desire body which will be our vehicle during our
sojourn in purgatory and the first heaven where evil is eradicated and
good assimilated, so that in a future life the former may serve as
conscience to withhold the man from repeating mistakes of the past, and
the latter will spur us to greater good.
A phenomenon similar to the panorama of life usually takes place when a
person is drowning. People who have been resuscitated speak of having seen
their whole life in a flash. That is because under such conditions the
vital body also leaves the dense body. Of course there is no rupture of
the silver cord, or life could not be restored. Unconsciousness follows
quickly in drowning, while in the usual post-mortem review the
consciousness continues until the vital body collapses in the same manner
that it does when we go to sleep. Then consciousness ceases for a while
and the panorama is terminated. Therefore also the time occupied by the
panorama varies with different persons, according to whether the vital
body was strong and healthy, or had become thin and emaciated by
protracted illness. The longer the time spent in review, and the more
quiet and peaceful the surroundings, the deeper will be the etching which
is made in the desire body. As already said, that has a most important and
far reaching effect, for then the sufferings which the spirit will realize
in purgatory on account of bad habits and misdeeds will be much more keen
than if there is only a slight impression, and in a future life the still
small voice of conscience will warn so much more insistently against
mistakes which caused sufferings in the past.
When conditions are such at the time of death that the spirit is disturbed
by outside conditions, for instance the din and turmoil of a battle, the
harrowing conditions of an accident or the hysterical wailings of
relatives, the distraction prevents it from realizing an appropriate depth
in the etching upon the desire body. Consequently its post-mortem
existence becomes vague and insipid, the spirit does not harvest fruits of
experience as it should have done had it passed out of the body in peace
and under normal conditions. It would therefore lack incentive to good in
a future life, and miss the warning against evil which a deep etching of
the panorama of life would have given. Thus its growth would be retarded
in a very marked degree, but the beneficent powers in charge of evolution
take certain steps to compensate for our ignorant treatment of the dying
and other untoward circumstances mentioned. What these steps are, we shall
discuss when considering the life of children in heaven, for the present
let it be sufficient to say that in God's kingdom every evil is always
transmuted to a greater good though the process may not be at once
Previous: Invisible Helpers And Mediums