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Introductory Core Concepts
Independent Study Module No. 4

The Four Kingdoms
1. Differences In The Kingdoms:

   The three worlds of our planet, Physical, Desire, and World of Thought, are at present the field of evolution for a number of different kingdoms of life at various stages of development. Only four of these concern us at present, namely, the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms. These four kingdoms are related to the three worlds in different ways, but the dense bodies of all kingdoms are composed of the same chemical substance — solids, liquids, and gases.

Question 1:

  (You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below. You will find the answers to the questions below in the next Core Concepts Independent Study Module.)

(a) Briefly compare man with the mineral, the plant, and the animal. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

(b) What is necessary in order to function in any world? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

2. The Basis of Growth:

   Science has demonstrated the fact that no two atoms touch each other. Each is enclosed in an envelope of ether. Plants, animals, and man all have individual vital bodies, hence are capable of growth. The mineral, having no separate vital body, does not grow.

Question 2:

State the difference in the relation to the Etheric Region of plant, animal, and man. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

3. The Vital Body:

   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.

Question 3:

Describe briefly the vital body of man. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

4. Relation of Dense and Vital Bodies:

   The vital body contains millions of points which enter into the hollow centers of the dense atoms, imbuing them vital force.

Question 4:

The dense body is an exact copy of the vital body, with one exception. What is that exception? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

5. Separation of Vital and Dense Bodies:

   When a person is drowning, freezing, or falling from a height, the vital body leaves the dense body, the atoms of which become temporarily inert. When anesthetics are used the vital body is partially driven out. This same phenomena may be observed in the case of a materializing medium.

Question 5:

Describe the effects of separating the vital from the dense body. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

6. The Source of Vital Force:

   Vital force is to the nervous system what the force of electricity is to a telegraph system. The Ego, the brain, and the nervous system may be in seemingly perfect order, but if the vital force is lacking to carry the message of the Ego through the nerves to the muscles, the dense body will remain inert.

Question 6:

What is the source of our vital force and how does it gain entrance to the dense body? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

7. The Vital Body and Health:

   During 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.

Question 7:

How do these radiations counteract disease? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

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Your Study Module #4 Answers:

Answers to Core Concepts Independent Study Module No. 3:

1. The two main regions of the World of Thought are: Region of Concrete Thought and Region of Abstract Thought.

2. The four divisions of the Region of Concrete Thought are:

3. The Archetypes and forces found in these four regions are:

4. The germinal ideas found in these three regions are those of desire and emotion, of life, and of form.

5. The Region of Abstract Thought is reflected in the World of Desire; the World of Life Spirit is reflected in the Etheric Region of the Physical World; the World of Divine Spirit is reflected in the Chemical Region of the Physical World.

6. Let a spherical sponge represent the Chemical Region or dense earth. Sand permeating the sponge and extending a little beyond it represents the Etheric Region. Water immersing the sponge and sand and extending somewhat beyond represents the Desire World. The Thought World is represented by the air in the water, extending to the confines of a spherical glass container in which all are placed.

7. (a) We are correlated to the other planets of our solar system through the World of Life Spirit.

  (b) We are correlated to the other solar systems by the World of Divine Spirit.

Supplemental Student Material:
I. Animal Behavior

  Animals, when confronted with a new problem which neither they nor any of their species has encountered before, generally show little or no reasoning abilities in trying to find a solution and just try many motions, hoping that they may hit on something that will work. Animals frequently, however, are in possession of patterns of behavior that solve their customary problems of life, which are so complex that it is difficult for material scientists to determine how the animal, without reason, could have arrived at such a pattern of behavior. For example, there is a species of spider that obtains food by building an elastic web, drawing the center back to make it cone-shaped, and then releasing it when a flying insect appears so that it springs out and catches the insect. (See John Paul Scott, "Animal Behavior," p. 166).

   The sea otter that lives off the western coast of North America dives for mussels, clams, and spiny lobsters. When it brings one of these to the surface, it also brings up a flat rock. The otter then lies on its back in the water, places the rock on its chest, holds the prey in both hands and brings it down hard on the rock until the shell of the prey is cracked. (See Scott, p. 167).

   Some material scientists theorize that in the past some one spider or sea otter may have hit on its patterns of behavior by "chance, and then continued the behavior because it was found to be rewarding. The offspring and associates of this particular spider or sea otter may then have learned the pattern of action by imitation. There are, however, some complex patterns of action that the animals of a species are all observed to carry out even without having observed any other members of the species. For example, the amoeba is a one-celled animal that has no sense organs and thus has no means of observing other amoebas. Yet all amoebas have similar "wise" procedures for catching prey. If the prey is moving and hence likely to escape, it flows around the prey in a wide embrace, so as not to disturb it prematurely. Quiet prey, on the other hand, is tightly surrounded. If the prey is an object that usually moves in a horizontal plane, the amoeba surrounds it in this plane first, and then cuts off the vertical paths of escape. (See Margaret F. Washburn, "The Animal Mind," p. 39).

   Some indigo buntings were separated from other indigo buntings at an early age and hand-reared. If they were not exposed to the night sky at an early age, they did not know what direction to travel in the autumn. If they were exposed to the night sky or even to the artificial sky of a planetarium at an early age, then they were correctly able to choose the southerly direction for their autumnal migration. (See Scott, pp. 238-239). How the indigo buntings arrived at their choice of the southerly direction, even without cues from other birds, remains a mystery to material scientists.

   Another remarkable example of a complex pattern of behavior that the members of a species carry out without having watched other members is the nest-building of the mallee fowl of Australia. The male mallee in late winter scoops out a hole in the sand, fills it with vegetation, and covers it with a mound of sand. Decomposition heats up the sand, and the female comes to the mound, mates, and lays one very large egg approximately once a week. The male covers each egg with sand and visits the mound daily, uncovering the nest, and testing the temperature by thrusting its open beak into the sand. If it becomes too hot, the bird opens the nest early in the morning and scratches cool sand into it. As summer progresses, less heat radiates from the decaying vegetation, and the bird piles the sand deeper and deeper in order to provide insulation. Later in the autumn, the ground begins to cool down, and the bird keeps the nest warm by opening it during the middle of the day and scratching in sand that has been warmed by the sun. In this way, the bird is able to keep the nest at a relatively constant temperature of 92 degrees F throughout the long laying season. In the process of incubation, the mallee fowl may build a mound of sand fifteen feet across and three feet high and move a large portion of it daily. When the chicks hatch, they dig their way through two or three feet of sand, leave the nest, and go off into the scrub to find food for themselves. They do not stay around to watch their father's activities, and yet when the males grow up, they carry out the same procedures. (See Scott, pp. 271-273).

   Clairvoyants can see a part of reality that material scientists cannot see, and thus clairvoyants can provide information concerning the source of the wisdom of the animals that the material scientists are puzzled about. According to clairvoyants, each animal has an individual spirit. Clairvoyants agree with material scientists that the animal spirits do not have developed thinking and problem-solving powers. Clairvoyants also see, however, that an archangel is associated with each species or tribe of animals. The archangel of the species is connected to each member of the species by means of a silver chord composed of material from the World of Thought. Through this silver chord, the archangel can send commands to the animal as to what it should do in any given circumstance. The archangel is in touch with cosmic wisdom, and thus can set up patterns of behavior which embody wisdom for the animals in its charge.

   It is the archangel in charge of the spiders who guides the spiders to build and operate their "clever" webs. It is the archangel in charge of sea otters who guides them to use the stone for cracking the shells of the mussels. It is the archangel in charge of amoebas who guides them in their catching of prey. It is the archangel in charge of indigo buntings who helps them to determine what direction to fly by observing the stars. it is the archangel in charge of the mallee fowls who guides them in building and caring for their nests.

   The archangel of each species of animal designed the patterns of action for that species in order to promote the well-being of that species. Sometimes individuals of a species will encounter unusual circumstances that the general pattern of response does not fit. Then the individuals may need to learn specialized responses. If an individual animal eats a particular thing that gives it an unpleasant reaction, that individual animal will learn to stay away from that particular food. The guidance of the archangels does not hinder or obviate the necessity for individual learning of animals.

   An interesting illustration of the individual learning that animals engage in has been obtained from observation of the jackdaw, a crowlike bird. An inexperienced jackdaw fashioning its first nest initially collects almost anything, including pieces of ice, light bulbs, and unsuitable twigs. A jackdaw with a potential nest item tries to push the object into the other materials already gathered. If it is unable to wedge the object in, it discards it. Types of materials that have been discarded once are no longer collected. Most jackdaws eventually become specialists, collecting twigs from only one species of tree that happens to produce especially "good" nest material. (See John Alcock, Animal Behavior, pp. 135-137).

   A young child needs the care of its parents to ensure that it obtains the necessities of life and keeps out of harm. But during the years of parental care, the child is growing, developing its own skills, and learning about the world so that in time it will be able to care for itself. Likewise, during the ages in which the animals are directed by the archangels, the animals are also evolving their skills and abilities, so that in time they will outgrow the need for the direction of the archangels. Clairvoyants can see that animal spirits are no different, in essence, than human spirits. The animals spirits are just less evolved. Animals are thus, in truth, our younger "brothers," and are deserving of our respect and compassion.


— Alcock, John. Animal Behavior Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer, 1975
— Scott, John Paul. Animal Behavior Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1962
— Washburn, Margaret F. The Animal Mind New York: Macmillan, 1926

II. Personality

  Material scientists observe that one's personality is influenced, first of all, by the structure and composition of one's body, which is influenced by heredity, what the mother takes into her body during pregnancy, and diet after birth. Babies get half of their genes from their mother and half from their father, and the genes determine the major characteristics of the body structure. The materials from which the baby's body are built come from the mother's body. To build a strong and healthy body for the baby, the mother needs appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If the mother's diet does not contain sufficient protein, mental retardation of the child may result. If the mother smokes, the baby's body will develop more slowly and also be more likely to be born prematurely, which increases the risk of deformity (especially cleft palate and cleft lip.) If the mother takes medicines or drugs, there is danger of improper development of the baby's body. After birth, continued good nutrition is needed for proper development and functioning. Lack of B vitamins in the diet has been linked with irritability, depression, and forgetfulness. Alcohol consumption leads to decreased ability to make correct judgments, decreased ability to remember, and loss of self-control. Drugs can influence the feelings and thinking ability. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke decreases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, which reduces the oxygen reaching the brain, which decreases attentiveness and cognition abilities.

   Material scientists also observe that the environment influences the personality of a person. One's physical surroundings, the books one reads, the TV shows one watches, the people one associates with can all have an influence. Physical surroundings stimulate personality development through the various types of problems that they present and the hardships in them that must be overcome. From books and TV, one obtains views of how others act under varying circumstances, which tend to lead to imitation. Associates not only provide examples to be imitated, but also give feedback on one's own actions when they express approval or disapproval, or if they reward or punish various actions. Material scientists have observed that people tend to do that which brings rewards and to not do that which brings them effects that they consider undesirable.

   Does the personality depend only on heredity, body development during pregnancy, diet, physical surroundings, the models one has observed, and the conditioning one has received in the form of rewards and punishments? These are all the influences that material scientists have detected, but clairvoyants can see additional influences.

   The clairvoyant can see that each Ego has a long history prior to the time of conception, and that in this time prior to conception has developed body structure patterns of its own and many skills and concepts of right and wrong and good and bad. Although the Ego must get its genes and dense body materials from its parents, it fits these materials (as well as it can) into its own previously structured dense body pattern. Although the Ego may learn certain things in this life, it comes into life knowing certain other things (which it learned in previous lives).

   The clairvoyant can see that different Egos are given different astrological force patterns to work with, and that which of the many models in one's environment one is most likely to imitate is determined by which is most in tune with one's own force pattern. Also, the astrological force pattern that one has to work with will influence what one considers to be rewarding.

   Can the personality of a person be explained entirely in terms of heredity, body development during pregnancy, diet, physical surroundings, models, conditioning, pre-conception (past-life) experiences and development, and astrological force patterns? The answer is still no. Neither the material scientist nor the clairvoyant can see the Will of the Ego. Regardless of any past or present circumstances or conditions, the Ego can exert its Will and make a break with its past and take a new direction or rise above its present circumstances if it so chooses. It is because of this, that regardless of what our parents and teachers did or did not do, regardless of what our associates do, regardless of what we have done in the past, regardless of what horoscopes we have, we yet may turn our lives in any direction that we wish. We ourselves may make our lives beautiful or ugly, productive or destructive, satisfying or empty. It is because the Ego has the capability of exerting its Will that Paul could admonish people (Eph. 4:22-23) to "Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."

III. Birth Defects

  The physical process by which a baby is produced is quite intricate. The human body is composed of structural units called cells. Each cell contains a central part, called the nucleus, which is surrounded by cytoplasm, which is surrounded by a wall. In the nucleus are "genes" which contain the coded patterns according to which the various proteins in the body are built. These genes are linked together into chains called chromosomes. When an offspring is to be produced, the chromosomes within a cell must duplicate, and the duplicated chromosomes then go to form a sperm cell or an egg cell. A sperm cell unites with an egg cell, and the resulting cell then proceeds to duplicate and the embryo begins to grow.

   If one or both parents have defective genes, and if the parent's defective genes are among the half that are transmitted to the sperm and egg, then the baby will have defective genes and may have corresponding structural and functional weaknesses in its body. In the duplication and separation processes in the production of the sperm and egg and in the early growth of the fetus, if a gene is not duplicated accurately, or if a portion of a chromosome gets broken off or if chromosomes break and reattach in improper order, or if too many or too few chromosomes get transferred to the sperm or egg, then structural or functional weaknesses in the body may result.

   Throughout the ages there have always been (as far as we know) low levels of "cosmic rays" that are capable of producing genetic and chromosomal mutations. Also, viral infections that can induce mutations (such as the virus that produces German measles) have been around for some time. Mankind has, however, introduced into his environment various new factors that are able to significantly increase the number of mutations. High-energy radiation produced by X-ray machines, or radioactive materials or video screens; some chemicals (mustard gas, formaldehyde, dioxin, caffeine, cigarette smoke, alcohol, lead, herbicides, acridine dyes, apoxides, ethyl urethane, phenol, manganous chloride, bromouracil, etc.); and some drugs (LSD, diethylstilbestrol, aspirin, hormones. etc.) have been found to increase the number of mutations. In general it is the pregnant mother who must avoid these mutagenic agents, but in some cases the mutation can originate in the father. Soldiers who were assigned the job of spraying herbicides in Vietnam were found to father an unusually large number of defective children when they returned to their wives in the United States.

   Clairvoyants see that many congenital defects had their origin in a past life. Max Heindel notes (see "Web of Destiny," pp. 58-71) that when the creative force has, in one life, been wasted on gratification of the passions, then there is a dearth of creative force available in the next life for the building of the brain, nervous system, and larynx. Thus, the Ego may be born into a body that has mental, nervous, and/or speech disorders. Materialism in one life can lead to a construction of a body in the next life in which parts that should be soft are hardened, and parts that should be hardened are soft. Protracted disregard for truth in order to serve one's one selfish desires in one life can lead to misalignment of the Ego with the forces of truth when the archetype is being formed for the body for the next life. This can lead to malformation of the archetype and thence to malformation of the body for the coming life. Those who fail to make proper use of their sense organs in one life, who try to shut themselves off from the world around them, who ignore the cries for help or the opportunity to see the conditions and needs of others, may have impaired hearing or siight in their next life.

   Clairvoyants also see some congenital defects that were not due to actions in a previous life. Some Egos may not have done anything particularly wrong, but may need to concentrate on developing certain soul powers, and inhabiting a body with certain limitations may help focus their efforts on developing these soul powers as they struggle to overcome these limitations. Some Egos may be in the process of restructuring a particular organ and in the transition stages that organ may not function well. This is the origin of some of the eye problems that people have, as the eye is in the process of being restructured so that instead of receiving reflected rays and forming an image on the retina, the so-called blind spot will be sensitized and people will look out through the eye and see directly the thing itself, both inside and out. Just before an Ego enters into a fetus, it sees a panorama of the coming life. If the Ego sees that a particularly difficult life is in store for it, panics, and tries to escape from the mother's womb, it may cause a partial disconnection between the sense centers in the etheric and dense bodies, so that the etheric cranium extends above the physical cranium. Then the spirit cannot enter into the body and control it. Idiocy results.

   The material scientist sees congenital defects as being the result of inheritance, environmental factors, and "chance" (which determines what genes an offspring will get from each parent and what genes and chromosomes get influenced by environmental factors). The clairvoyant sees congenital defects as being the result of past actions and current soul development needs of the Ego that is coming into the body. These two points of view can be united if it is allowed that those events attributed to "chance" are, in fact, intelligently controlled. We then may get the following unified picture: An Ego, due to past actions or current soul development needs, is in need of inhabiting a body that will have certain limitations. The Recording Angels find for this Ego some parents who can provide appropriate gene and chromosome structures, and the Recording Angels oversee the replication process to make sure that the appropriate choice of genes is obtained from each parent and that these genes are (if needed) mutated as required by the needs of the incoming Ego. This picture holds true for cases in which "natural" mutations occur. When humans introduce mutagenic agents into their environments, the natural situation no longer exists. Man has been given free will, and has power to do things that are harmful to himself and others. When man introduces mutagenic agents into his environment, he may be initiating a cause-effect chain. He may be causing malformation and malfunctioning of some bodies that would otherwise have been whole. In such cases, debts are being stored up that will need to be repaid at some future time.


— Heindel, Max. Web of Destiny.
— Supplemental Student Material Reference: Science and Religion, Elsa M. Glover, PhD

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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