Rosicrucian Articles Purgatory
During life the collapse of the vital body at night terminate...
The First Heaven
In the first heaven, which is located in the higher regions o...
A Description Of The Headquarters Of The Rosicrucian Fellowship
Work in the physical world requires physical means of accompl...
The Mystery Of Light Color And Consciousness
"God is Light," says the Bible, and we are unable to conceive...
The Etheric Region
In addition to the solids, liquids and gases which compose th...
The Second Heaven
When both the good and evil of a life has been extracted, the...
The Desire Body
In addition to the visible body and the vital body we also ha...
T He Course In Christian Mysticism
Christ taught the multitude in parables, but explained the my...
Education Of Children
Respecting the birth of the various vehicles and the influenc...
The Region Of Abstract Thought
Various religious systems have been given to humanity at diff...
Our Lessons Are Sermons
They embody the highest moral and spiritual principles, toget...
We Are Eternal
On whistling stormcloud; on Zephyrus wing,
Our Message And Mission
A Sane Mind
A Soft Heart
A Sound Body
This is the latest acquisition of the human spirit, and in mo...
The Desire World
When spiritual sight is developed so that it becomes possible...
The Third Heaven
In the third heaven most people have very little consciousnes...
The Problem Of Life
Among all the vicissitudes of life, which vary in each indivi...
The Region Of Concrete Thought
The Region of concrete Thought is neither shadowy nor illusor...
The World Of Thought
When we have attained the spiritual development necessary to ...
The Chemical Region
If one who is capable of consciously using his spiritual body...
During life the collapse of the vital body at night terminates our view of
the world about us, and causes us to lose ourselves in unconsciousness of
sleep. When the vital body collapses just subsequent to death, and the
panorama of life is terminated, we also lose consciousness for a time
which varies according to the individual. A darkness seems to fall upon
the spirit, then after a while it wakes up and begins dimly to perceive
the light of the other world, but is only gradually accustomed to the
altered conditions. It is an experience similar to that which we have when
coming out of a darkened room into sunlight, which blinds us by its
brilliancy, until the pupils of our eyes have contracted so that they
admit a quantity of light bearable to our organism.
If under such a condition we turn momentarily from the bright sunlight and
look back into the darkened room, objects there will be much more plain to
our vision than things outside which are illumined by the powerful rays of
the sun. So it is also with the spirit, when it has first been released
from the body it perceives sights, scenes and sounds of the material
world, which it has just left, much more readily than it observes the
sights of the world it is entering. Wordsworth in his Ode to Immortality
noted a similar condition in the case of new-born children, who are all
clairvoyant and much more awake to the spiritual world than to this
present plane of existence. Some lose the spiritual sight very early,
others retain it for a number of years and a few keep it all through life,
but as the birth of a child is a death in the spiritual world and it
retains the spiritual sight for a time, so also death here is a birth upon
the spiritual plane, and the newly dead retain a consciousness of this
world for some time subsequent to demise.
When one awakes in the Desire World after having passed through
aforementioned experiences, the general feeling seems to be one of relief
from a heavy burden, a feeling perhaps akin to that of a diver encased in
a heavy rubber suit, a weighty brass helmet upon his head, leaden soles
under his feet and heavy weights of lead upon his breast and back,
confined in his operations on the bottom of the ocean by a short length of
air tube, and able only to move clumsily with difficulty. When after the
day's work such a man is hauled to the surface, and divests himself of his
heavy garments and he moves about with the facility we enjoy here, he must
surely experience a feeling of great relief. Something like that is felt
by the spirit when it has been divested of the mortal coil, and is able to
roam all over the globe instead of being confined to the narrow
environment which bound it upon earth.
There is also a feeling of relief for those who have been ill. Sickness,
such as we know it, does not exist there. Neither is it necessary to seek
food and shelter, for in that world there is neither heat nor cold.
Nevertheless, there are many in the purgatorial regions who go to all
bothers of housekeeping, eating and drinking just as we do here. George Du
Maurier in his novel "Peter Ibbetson" gives a very good idea of this
condition in the life lived between the hero and the Countess of Towers.
This novel also illustrates splendidly what has been said of the
sub-conscious memory, for Geo. Du Maurier has somewhere, somehow
discovered an easy method which anyone may apply to do what he calls
"dreaming true." By taking a certain position in going to sleep, it is
possible, after a little practice, to compel the appearance, in a dream,
of any scene in our past life which we desire to live over again. The
book is well worth reading on that account.
When a fiery nebula has been formed in the sky and commences to revolve, a
little matter in the center where motion is slowest commences to
crystallize. When it has reached a certain density it is caught in the
swirl, and whirled nearer and nearer to the outward extremity of what has,
by that time, become the equator of a revolving globe. Then it is hurled
into space and discarded from the economy of the revolving sun.
This process is not accomplished automatically as scientists would have us
believe,--an assertion which has been proven in The Rosicrucian Cosmo
Conception and other places in our literature. Herbert Spencer also
rejected the nebular theory because it required a First Cause, which he
denied, though unable to form a better hypothesis of the formation of
solar systems,--but it is accomplished through the activity of a Great
Spirit, which we may call God or by any other name we choose. As above, so
below, says the Hermetic axiom. Man, who is a lesser spirit, also gathers
about himself spirit-substance, which crystallizes into matter and becomes
the visible body which the spiritual sight reveals as placed inside an
aura of finer vehicles. The latter are in constant motion. When the dense
body is born as a child it is extremely soft and flexible.
Childhood, youth, maturity and old age are but so many different stages of
crystallization, which goes on until at last a point is reached where the
spirit can no longer move the hardened body and it is thrown out from the
spirit as the planet is expelled from the sun. That is death!--the
commencement of a disrobing process which continues in purgatory. The low
evil passions and desires we cultivated during life have crystallized the
desire stuff in such a manner that that also must be expelled. Thus the
spirit is purged of evil under the same law that a sun is purged of the
matter which later forms a planet. If the life lived has been a reasonably
decent one, the process of purgation will not be very strenuous nor will
the evil desires thus expurgated persist for a long time after having been
freed, but they quickly disintegrate. If, on the other hand, an extremely
vile life has been led, the part of the expurgated desire nature may
persist even to the time when the spirit returns to a new birth for
further experience. It will then be attracted to him and haunt him as a
demon, inciting him to evil deeds which he himself abhors. The story of
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not a mere fanciful idea of Robert Louis
Stevenson, but is founded upon facts well known to spiritual
investigators. Such cases are extremes of course, but they are
nevertheless possible and we have unfortunately laws which convert such
possibilities to probabilities in the case of a certain class of so-called
criminals. We refer to laws which decree capital punishment as penalty of
When a man is dangerous he should of course be restrained, but even apart
from the question of the moral right of a community to take the life of
anyone--which we deny--society by its very act of retaliatory murder defeats
the very end it would serve, for if the vicious murderer is restrained
under whatever discipline is necessary in a prison for a number of years
until his natural death, he will have forgotten his bitterness against his
victim and against society, and when he stands as a free spirit in the
Desire World, he may even by prayer have obtained forgiveness and have
become a good Christian. He will then go on his way rejoicing, and will in
the future life seek to help those whom he hurt here.
When society retaliates and puts him to a violent death shortly after he
has committed the crime, he is most likely to feel himself as having been
greatly injured, and not without cause. Then such a character will usually
seek to "get even" as he calls it, he will go about for a long time
inciting others to commit murder and other crimes. Then we have an
epidemic of murders in a community, a condition not infrequent.
The regicide in Servia shocked the Western World by wiping out an entire
royal house in a most shockingly bloody manner, and the Minister of the
Interior was one of the chief conspirators. Later he wrote his memoirs,
and therein he writes that whenever the conspirators had tried to win
anyone as a recruit, they always succeeded when they burned incense. He
did not know why, but simply mentioned it as a curious coincidence. To the
mystic investigator the matter is perfectly clear. We have shown the
necessity of having a vehicle made of the materials of any world wherein
we wish to function. We usually obtain a physical vehicle by going through
the womb, or perhaps in a few special cases from a particularly good
materializing medium, but where it is only necessary to work upon the
brain and influence someone else to act, we need but a vehicle made of
such ether as may be obtained from fumes of many different substances.
Each kind attracts different classes of spirits, and there is no doubt
that the incense burned at meetings where the conspirators were successful
was of a low and sensual order and attracted spirits who had a grudge
against humanity in general and the King of Servia in particular. These
malcontents were unable to injure the King himself, but used a subtle
influence which helped the conspirators in their work. The released
murderer who has a grudge against society on account of his execution, may
enter low gambling saloons where the fumes of liquor and tobacco furnish
ample opportunity for working upon the class of people who congregate in
such places, and the man whose spiritual sight has been developed is often
sadly impressed when he sees the subtle influences to which those who
frequent such places are exposed. It is a fact of course that a man must
be of a low caliber to be influenced by low thoughts, and that it is as
impossible to incite a person of benevolent character to do murder--unless
we put him into a hypnotic sleep--as to make a tuning fork which vibrates
to C sing by striking another attuned to the key of G, but the thoughts of
both living and dead constantly surround us, and no man ever thought out a
high spiritual philosophy under the influence of tobacco fumes or while
imbibing alcoholic stimulants. Were capital punishment, newspaper
notoriety of criminals, the manufacture of liquor and tobacco eliminated
from society, the gun factories would soon cease to advertise and go out
of business along with most of the locksmiths. The police force would
decrease, so would jails and taxes would be correspondingly minimized.
When a person enters purgatory he is exactly the same person as before he
died. He has just the same appetites, likes and dislikes, sympathies and
antipathies, as before. There is one important difference, however,
namely, that he has no dense body wherewith to gratify his appetites.
The drunkard craves drink, in fact, far more than he did in this life, but
has no stomach which can contain liquor and cause chemical combustion
necessary to bring about the state of intoxication in which he delights.
He may and does enter saloons, where he interpolates his body into the
body of a physical drunkard, so that he may obtain his desires at second
hand as it were, he will incite his victim to drink more and more. Yet
there is no true satisfaction. He sees the full glass upon the counter but
his spirit hand is unable to lift it. He suffers tortures of Tantalus
until in time he realizes the impossibility of gratifying his base desire.
Then he is free to go on so far as that vice is concerned. He has been
purged from that evil without intervention of an angry deity or a
conventional devil with hell's flames and pitchfork to administer
punishment, but under the immutable law that as we sow so shall we reap,
he has suffered exactly according to his vice. If his craving for drink
was of a mild nature, he would scarcely miss the liquor which he cannot
there obtain. If his desires were strong and he simply lived for drink, he
would suffer veritable tortures of hell without need of actual flames.
Thus the pain experienced in eradication of his vice would be exactly
commensurate with the energy he had expended upon contracting the habit,
as the force wherewith a falling stone strikes the earth is proportionate
to the energy expended in hurling it upwards into the air.
Yet it is not the aim of God to "get even;" love is higher than law
and in His wonderful mercy and solicitude for our welfare He has opened
the way of repentance and reform whereby we may obtain forgiveness of sin,
as taught by the Lord of Love: the Christ. Not indeed contrary to law, for
His laws are immutable, but by application of a higher law, whereby we
accomplish here that which would otherwise be delayed until death had
forced the day of reckoning. The method is as follows:
In our explanation concerning the sub-conscious memory we noted that a
record of every act, thought and word is transmitted by air and ether into
our lungs, thence to the blood, and finally inscribed upon the tablet of
the heart:--a certain little seedatom, which is thus the book of
Recording Angels. It was later explained how this panorama of life is
etched into the desire body and forms the basis of retribution after
death. When we have committed a wrong and our conscience accuses us in
consequence, and this accusation is productive of sincere repentance
accompanied by reform, the picture of that wrong act will gradually fade
from the record of our life, so that when we pass out at death it will not
stand accusingly against us. We noted that the panorama of life unwinds
backwards just after death. Later, in the purgatorial life it again passes
before the spiritual vision of the man, who then experiences the exact
feeling of those whom he has wronged. He seems to lose his own identity
for the time being, and assumes the condition of his one time victim, he
experiences all the mental and physical suffering himself which he
inflicted upon others. Thus he learns to be merciful instead of cruel, and
to do right instead of wrong in a future life. But if he awakens to a
thorough realization of a wrong previous to his death, then, as said, the
feeling of sorrow for his victim and the restitution or redress which he
gives of his own free will, make the suffering after death unnecessary,
hence--"his sin is forgiven."
The Rosicrucian Mystery teaching gives a scientific method whereby an
aspirant to higher life may purge himself continually, and thus be able to
entirely avoid existence in purgatory. Each night after retiring the pupil
reviews his life during the past day in reverse order. He starts to
visualize as clearly as possible the scene which took place just before
retiring. He then endeavors to impartially view his actions in that scene
examining them to see whether he did right or wrong. If the latter, he
endeavors to feel and realize as vividly as possible that wrong. For
instance, if he spoke harshly to someone, and upon later consideration
finds it was not merited, he will endeavor to feel exactly as that one
felt whom he wronged and at the very earliest opportunity to apologize for
the hasty expression. Then he will call up the next scene in backward
succession which may perhaps be the supper table. In respect of that scene
he will examine himself as to whether he ate to live, sparingly and of
foods prepared without suffering to other creatures of God, (such as flesh
foods that cannot be obtained without taking life). If he finds that he
allowed his appetite to run away with him and that he ate gluttonously, he
will endeavor to overcome these habits, for to live a clean life we must
have a clean body and no one can live to his highest possibilities while
making his stomach a graveyard for the decaying corpses of murdered
animals. In this respect there occurs to the writer a little poem by Ella
"I am the voice of the voiceless;
Through me the dumb shall speak,
Till a deaf world's ear
Shall be made to hear
The wrongs of the wordless weak.
The same force formed the sparrow
That fashioned man the king;
The God of the whole
Gave a spark of soul
To furred and feathered thing.
And I am my brother's keeper
And I will fight his fight,
And speak the word
For beast and bird
Till the world shall set things right.
Thus the pupil will continue to review each scene in reverse order from
night till morning, and to feel really sorry for whatever he has done
amiss. He will not neglect to feel glad either when he comes to a scene
where he has done well, and the more intensely he can feel, the more
thoroughly he will eradicate the record upon the tablet of the heart and
sharpen his conscience, so that as time goes on from year to year, he
will find less cause for blame and enhance his soul power enormously. Thus
he will grow in a measure impossible by any less systematic method, and
there will be no necessity for his stay in purgatory after death.
This evening exercise and another, for the morning, if persistently
performed day by day, will in time awaken the spiritual vision as they
improve life. This matter has, however, been so thoroughly treated in
number 11 of the lecture series: "Spiritual Sight and Insight; its safe
culture and control," that it is unnecessary to dwell upon the matter
further in this place.
Next: The First Heaven