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Introductory Core Concepts
Independent Study Module No. 8

The Method of Evolution
1. Relation of Man to the Denser Worlds:

   We have learned that there are seven worlds or states of matter, the highest being the World of God. The next highest is the World of Virgin Spirits, whence we as sparks from the Divine Flame began our evolutionary pilgrimage through the five denser worlds, namely, World of Divine Spirit, World of Life Spirit, World of Thought, the Desire World and the Physical World. The purpose of evolution is the development of man's latent potentialities into dynamic powers. We will now consider how man is related to these five worlds by means of his various vehicles or bodies, remembering that two of these worlds, the Physical World and the World of Thought, are divided into two main divisions, and that man has a vehicle for each of them.

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.)

Name man's four bodies and tell to what world or region each is correlated. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

2. Divisions of the Spirit:

   Man has potentially within himself three great powers, namely, the Human Spirit, Life Spirit, and Divine Spirit. These are not separate spirits but are names for different emanations or manifestations of the one great Spirit of man.

Question 2:

With what worlds are these three spiritual powers correlated? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, Diagram)

3. Formation of Ideas:

   We, 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.

Question 3:

How do we form ideas? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

4. Action of the Mind:

   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.

Question 4:

What are the three directions in which the image may be projected? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

5. Kinds of Memory:

   There are three kinds of memory: the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious.

Question 5:

Define each of these. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

6. Activities During Sleep:

   During waking hours the desire body and mind are constantly destroying the dense body by their activities, while the vital body is continually striving to restore harmony and build up the physical body. Finally the latter is overcome, it becomes drowsy, and the Ego withdraws with the higher vehicles, leaving the dense body interpenetrated by the vital body in the senseless state we call sleep. This is a period of intense activity during which the poisons resulting from the mental and physical activities of the day are eliminated.

Question 6:

Why does sleep not always rest the physical body? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

7. The Work of the Spirit:

   During life the threefold Spirit, the Ego, works on and in the threefold body, to which it is connected by the link of mind. This work brings the threefold soul, or food of the Spirit, into being.

Question 7:

Describe the work of the threefold Spirit on the three-fold body. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

8. Study Guide Questions:

   Complete The Rosicrucian Mysteries Study Guide, Section 4

Your Name:

Your E-mail Address:

Your Study Module #8 Answers:

Answers to Core Concepts Independent Study Module No. 7:

1. The desire body gives incentive to action.

2. The desire body of a member of an unsophisticated, uncultured individual is of dark, murky desire stuff, while that of a highly spiritual person is a glorious sight to behold: a luminous ovoid extending far beyond the dense body and having gold and blue as its predominant colors.

3. The centers of perception in the desire body are the means whereby a person contacts the desire world.

4. It is necessary to master the desire body so that we may have satisfactory health and make spiritual progress.

5. The mind is a luminous cloud of mind substance surrounding and interpenetrating the head.

6. The mind is the path or bridge which connects the Spirit and its vehicles.

7. The heart and the mind must be united before man can attain to the highest development.

Supplemental Student Material:
I. The Nature of Astrological Influences

God is Light...If we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another. — I John 1:5-7

"There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory." — I Corinthians 15:41

   When we speak or sing, we generate sound waves, which travel out in all directions from our bodies and can influence others if they listen. Our bodies generate heat and radiate heat out into the surrounding air or nearby objects and thereby warm them. Our bodies also generate finer types of waves [etheric waves, emotional waves, and thought waves] which can travel outward from our bodies and can influence others around us if they "attune" themselves. The nature of the etheric, feeling, and thought waves which we radiate depends on the nature of our character. If we are greedy, we radiate greed. If we are generous, we radiate generosity. If we are loving, we radiate love.

   The Sun, the planets that orbit the Sun, and the moons that orbit the planets are the bodies of exalted spiritual beings. Just as we through our bodies, radiate various waves, so also do these spiritual beings generate and radiate waves of various types. Just as the nature of the waves that we radiate depends on the nature of our personality, so also does the nature of the radiations of the Sun, planets, and moons depend on the nature of the beings working in these bodies. It is observed by astrologers that the planets radiate waves that tend to stimulate the following aspects in man: [Astrologers usually shorten the phrase "Sun, Moon and planets to "planets", although the Sun and Moon are still understood to be included.]

Planets: Qualities Stimulated:
Sun Self-direction, use of will power
Mercury Logical thought, self-expression
Venus Harmony, beauty, personal love
Moon Memory, imagination
Mars Desire
Jupiter Devotion, giving of self
Saturn Retrospection, forethought, persistence
Uranus Outreach, altruism, exploration, independence, creativity
Neptune Intuition
Pluto Regeneration, forgiveness, reform

   Just as the angles of the Sun's rays determine whether the Earth will experience summer or winter, so also the angles at which the various planetary rays strike the Earth affect the nature of the influence of the planetary radiations. In order to determine the angles and the effects of the different angles, the sky as viewed from the position of a person on Earth is divided into twelve sections, called houses, and the path traveled by the Sun is divided into twelve sections, called signs of the Zodiac. The first house has its beginning at the Eastern horizon. The first sign [Aries] has its beginning at the point in the sky where the Sun is at the beginning of spring.

   Astrologers observe that the house a planet is in determines the area of life into which the planetary radiations tend to be focused.

House Number: Area of Life:
1 Personality
2 Material Possessions
3 Concrete Thought
4 Home
5 Leadership
6 Service
7 Partnership
8 Desires
9 Abstract Thought
10 Fame
11 Friends
12 Isolation

   Astrologers observe that the sign a planet is in determines the part of the human body on which the planetary rays will be focused and the level of being or consciousness on which the rays will be focused.

Sign: Part of the Human Body: Level of Being:
Aries Upper part of the head Fire — Cardinal
Taurus Lower jaw, neck Earth — Fixed
Gemini Arms, lungs Air — Common
Cancer Stomach Water — Cardinal
Leo Heart Fire — Fixed
Virgo Intestines Earth-Common
Libra Kidneys Air — Cardinal
Scorpio Genitals Water — Fixed
Sagittarius Hips, thighs Fire — Common
Capricorn Knees Earth — Cardinal
Aquarius Ankles Air — Fixed
Pisces Feet Water — Common

   The cardinal signs stimulate activity in the physical body; the fixed signs stimulate persistence in the desire nature; the common signs stimulate investigation with the mind. The fire signs focus the consciousness on the vitality; the earth signs focus the consciousness on the mind; the water signs focus the consciousness on the feelings.

   When a child is born, the exact moment it draws its first breath is taken as the time on which the natal horoscope is based. The reason for this is that this first breath of air carries with it the vibratory patterns in the atmosphere at that time. These vibratory patterns are carried from the lungs to the blood and thence to every part of the body, and they set every atom in the body into a like pattern of vibration. Thus the body is attuned to the astrological pattern of vibration present at the time when the first breath was drawn. This attunement remains throughout life. As the planets move through the sky throughout the person's life, they tend to stimulate one part or another of the natal vibratory pattern. The person then may feel an impulse or an energy within himself which makes him want to do something [what thing it is depends on the specific planets involved and their angles].

   One of the aims of evolution is to become fully capable of responding to the impulses from all the planets. All of our energies come from the planets and stars and, only insofar as we are capable of receiving them are they available for our use.

   Another aim of evolution is to gain conscious control over which energies we will use. Just because we have the energy needed to do something does not mean it is appropriate to do that thing. Not all energies blend harmoniously together. We need to learn when and how to use the available energies and when to let them pass right through us.


— Heindel, Max, Message of the Stars,
— Heindel, Max, Simplified Scientific Astrology,

II. The Aquarian Age

Every human being bears a higher man within himself besides what we may call the work-a-day man. This higher man remains hidden until he is awakened. And each human being can himself alone awaken this higher being within himself." — Rudolf Steiner "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

   The Earth rotates on its axis, making a complete turn every twenty-four hours. As the Earth turns its different sides toward the Sun, life on Earth alternately experiences day and night. Creatures on Earth adjust the timing of their activities so that during the day they do those things which are facilitated by light and warmth, and during the night they do those things which are suited to dark and cool conditions.

   Suppose we view the solar system from a spaceship, which flies in such a way that to it the center of the Earth appears to be at rest. When viewed from the spaceship, the Sun will appear to travel approximately in a circle around the Earth. The Sun's path is tilted so that part pf it lies above the plane of the Earth's equator [see figure 1]. When the Sun is on the part of its path above the equatorial plane [from March 21 to September 21], the days in the Northern Hemisphere are longer than the nights and the spring and summer seasons are experienced. When the Sun is on the part of its path below the equatorial plane [from September 21 to March 21], the days in the Northern hemisphere are shorter than the nights, and the fall and winter seasons are experienced. Life on Earth adjusts its activities to the changing seasons, using the spring and summer for procreation and growth, and using the fall and winter for harvesting and hibernating.

   The time when the Sun's path crosses the plane of the Earth's equator going northward [about march 21] is called the spring equinox. Starting from the position of the sun at the spring equinox, the Sun's path is divided into twelve sections, called signs of the Zodiac.

   Just as the atom appears to have structure similar to that of the solar system, so also does this twelve-sectioned structure appear at various levels within the universe. The human body is divisible into twelve parts, each having a particular sensitivity to the solar radiations when they come from the corresponding part of the Sun's path. Beyond the twelve parts of the human body and twelve parts of the Sun's path [signs of the Zodiac] are twelve patterns of fixed stars [which are called constellations].

   Due to a slow wobbling motion of the axis of rotation of the Earth, the plane of the Earth's equator slowly changes its orientation. This causes the spring equinox to change its position relative to the constellations. Viewed from the Earth, the spring equinox occurred in the constellation of Taurus between about 3700 B.C. and 1600 B.C. The Earth was then said to be in the Taurean Age, and worship of the bull was prominent in various religions. At the spring equinox, everything on Earth is impregnated with life, so that when the spring equinox was in the constellation of Taurus, the sun was focusing a Taurean influence into all plants and creatures on Earth at the time of their rejuvenation each spring.

   The spring equinox occurred in the constellation of Aries between about 1600 B.C. and A.D. 498. Then the lamb began to be worshiped. The blood of the lamb was used to protect the original Semites when they were trying to escape from the land of the bull [called Egypt in the biblical account]. Christ called himself the Good Shepherd.

   The spring equinox entered the constellation of Pisces around A.D. 498 and will continue to be in Pisces until around A.D. 2638. Christ called his disciples to be "fishers of men" and the Bishop's miter is in the form of a fish's head.

   The spring equinox will be in the constellation of Aquarius from about A.D. 2638 to A.D. 4700.

   Because the spring equinox has not yet reached the constellation of Aquarius, the question may be raised as to why we should at the present time bother thinking about the Aquarian Age. One reason for looking ahead is that it is good to keep in mind what one is aiming at so that one can move directly toward the goal. Another reason is that although the equinox does not enter the constellation of Aquarius until A.D. 2638, the Sun focuses the influences coming not just coming from a point, but from a band in the sky [which is broader than the physical boundaries of the Sun]. Already this band of influence of the Sun is touching the constellation of Aquarius. Thus, even now, the Aquarian influence is beginning to be felt by some people. Another reason is that among the millions of people in the School of Life on Earth, there are some who are sufficiently precocious that they are able to move forward faster than others and are thus ready to move into a new age prior to the time scheduled for humanity as a whole [just as some may need to remain in an old age after most of the rest of humanity has moved out of it].

   In nature there are cycles within cycles. In the day-night cycle, it tends to be warmer during the day and cooler at night. In the summer-winter cycle, it tends to be warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. With the summer-winter cycle superimposed in the day-night cycle, summer days will tend to be warmer than winter days, and summer nights will tend to be warmer than winter nights. Similarly, during an age, the characteristics of that age become superimposed on all the smaller cycles within the age. In the Piscean Age, the Sun still travels through the twelve signs of the Zodiac each year, bringing influences from each, but a Piscean influence is superimposed over all. In the Aquarian Age, the sun still travels through the twelve signs of the Zodiac each year, bringing influences from each, but an Aquarian influence will be superimposed over all.

   Astrologers have observed that a Piscean influence stimulates people to respect authority, to believe what authorities tell them to do, and to obey laws laid down by authorities. The ones set up as Piscean "authorities" may attain their positions by heredity [kings or other "well-born" or "high-class" individuals] or by the exercise of physical power [military leaders, dictators] or by some divine dispensation [priests, clergy]. Traditions and customs are also set up as "authorities" and are used as guides for actions.

   An Aquarian influence, on the other hand, stimulates people to wish to break away from tradition and authoritative rule, and to wish to freely exercise their own initiative. Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus, and one of the basic characteristics of Uranus is independence. Another basic characteristic of the planet Uranus is outreach. As people are stimulated to reach out to new ideas, they will engage in scientific research and develop their own creativity. As people reach out to try to understand people from other groups, religions, races, and nations, universal love will develop. Aquarius is also ruled by the planet Saturn, whose basic characteristic is the establishing of connections between the past, present, and future. In the Aquarian Age people will be stimulated to develop an understanding of cause-effect relations, and to use these to achieve self-control.

   Life is a school. The various ages may be considered to be grades in the school. Just as in a regular school these are certain things which the students are supposed to learn in each grade, so also in each age are there certain things which humanity is supposed to learn. Many learn unconsciously. But not knowing the goal they wander and take many unnecessary steps which do not move them directly toward the goal. If, however, we study the plan of evolution as shown in the stars, then we can know what lessons we are supposed to be learning and then can move directly and surely toward the goal without wasted effort.


— Heindel, Max, The Message of the Stars,
— Heindel, Max, Questions and Answers. Volume 2,

III. Aquarian Value Systems

   As the world makes the transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age, the things which people consider to be of most value will also change. In the Piscean Age, association with "great" people is considered to be very important. If someone has an impressive genealogy or gets invited to "high-society" parties, or can claim acquaintance with some king or high priest, then that person is admired and envied. In the Aquarian Age, it will not be who you associate with but what you can do yourself that will count. [The term "priest" is being used categorically to denote any religious leader who is looked up to as an authority in religious matters.] Personal skills, learning, and character will be placed in high esteem. Anyone, regardless of heredity or association, will be considered to be capable of developing his own skills.

   In the Piscean Age, approval of authority gives people a sense of self-worth. Thus, people bow down to authority, agree with authority, and conform to the laws laid down by authority. The question of whether or not the dictates of authority are wise never arises. In the Piscean Age, approval of peers also gives people a sense of self-worth. Because peers have only physical vision in the Piscean Age, they base their judgments on externals. Thus, to get approval of peers, people surround themselves with rich material possessions, fill their minds with whatever is the most popular subject for social talk or gossip, and learn and conform to all the customs and rules of etiquette. The question does not arise as to the ultimate value of the material possessions, the social talk, or the customs.

   In the Aquarian Age, people will gain their sense of self-worth through self-approval. Each will be aware of his own divinity. Each will set his own goals for self-development and service. Each will judge himself and praise or blame himself as his actions merit. Since a person looking at himself can see his own inner nature, soul qualities will begin to be valued. Since a person who can judge himself is no longer tied to what everyone else thinks, self-judgment promotes freedom and creativity.

   In the Piscean Age, security and comfort are given high value. In the Aquarian Age, exploration, boldness, and courage will be aspired to, even if security and comfort are somewhat sacrificed.

   If we would help the world move toward adoption of an Aquarian value system, there are some things we can do.

   1. We can avoid paying more attention to people who have famous ancestors, "high" connections, much wealth or popularity than the people who are otherwise situated.

   2. We can respect personal achievements, boldness, and creativity.

   3. We can judge our own actions, but avoid judging the actions of others.

IV. The Aquarian View of Self

   The Aquarian influence stimulates self-awareness. It can lead us to say such things as, "I am a child of God"; "I have value and potential"; "I can do anything if I work at it long enough and hard enough"; and "I can think for myself and make decisions."

   Once we have been awakened to the realization of our own self-worth, we can no longer be put down or subjugated by others. No longer are we willing to play the role of pawn, or slave, or doormat.

   Once we have been awakened to our own ability to think and make decisions and realize that we can make just as good decisions as anyone else, then no longer will we be happy when others make decisions for us. We want to be free to decide what we will think, what we will believe, where we will go, and what we will say and do.

   Once we realize our own potential, we want to be free to develop this potential. We want to be free to try new things which we (and perhaps others) have never tried before, even if this involves taking risks, sometimes making mistakes, and sometimes failing and starting over again.

   Because we must live on the Earth with other people, it is logical that we must treat others as we would like others to treat us. As we want others to respect us, we must respect others. We must keep in mind that everyone is a child of God and has value and potential. As we want freedom to make our own decisions, we must likewise allow others to run their own lives. As we want to be free to try new things, we must allow others to do likewise.

Supplemental Material Reference: The Aquarian Age, Elsa M. Glover, PhD

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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