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Introductory Core Concepts
Independent Study Module No. 9

The Method of Evolution
1. The Seed Atoms and the Silver Cord:

   At death the higher vehicles — vital body, desire body, and mind — are seen to leave the dense body with a spiral movement, but are still connected with it by a slender, glistening, silvery cord shaped much like two figure sixes reversed. This cord is composed of ether, desire stuff and mind stuff, being fastened to the dense seed atom in the heart, to the seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus, to the seed atom of the desire body in the liver, and to the seed atom of the mind in the frontal sinus at the root of the nose. During life the seed atom of the dense body is situated in the left ventricle of the heart, near the apex. At death the forces of this atom rise to the brain by way of the pneumo-gastric nerve.

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.)

Describe briefly what takes place at death. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

2. The Panorama:

   When the silver cord is loosened in the heart a time of vital importance comes to the Ego. The whole of his past life passes before his sight like a panorama, the events being presented in reverse order. This record is etched into the desire body, providing the basis for the purgatorial existence.

Question 2:

Explain why the dying should be kept in an undisturbed condition. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

3. Purgatory:

   After death the collapse of the vital body terminates the panorama and forces the man to withdraw in the Desire World. If the dying man could leave all his desires behind him, the desire body would very quickly fall away from him, leaving him free to proceed into the heaven world, but unfortunately, in most cases his interest and desires bind him to the Desire World.

Question 3:

Describe briefly what takes place in Purgatory. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

4. The Borderland:

   The region located between Purgatory and the First Heaven is called the Borderland, which is neither Heaven nor Hell.

Question 4:

What type of people are found in the Borderland? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

5. The First Heaven:

   When the purgatorial existence is over the purified spirit rises into the First Heaven, which is a place of joy without a single drop of bitterness.

Question 5:

Describe briefly the Ego's experience in the First Heaven. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

6. The Second Heaven:

   From the First Heaven man, leaving the desire body behind, enters the Second Heaven, clad in the sheath of mind containing the three seed atoms with the quintessence of the three discarded vehicles.

Question 6:

Describe briefly the Ego's work in the Second Heaven. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

7. The Third Heaven:

   Having assimilated the fruits of the last life, the Spirit ascends into the Third Heaven for a period of rest and strengthening. After a time there comes a desire for new experiences, and a new birth is contemplated. Panoramas of the different lives offered are shown by the Recording Angels and the Ego makes its choice.

Question 7:

What is the purpose of rebirth? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

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Your Study Module #9 Answers:

Answers to Core Concepts Independent Study Module No. 8:

1. The names of man's four bodies are: Dense or physical body, vital body, desire body and mind or mental body.

  The dense body is correlated to the chemical region of the Physical World.

  The vital body is correlated to the etheric region of the Physical World.

  The desire Body is correlated to the Desire World.

  The mind or mental body is correlated to the concrete thought region of the World of Thought.

2. The Human Spirit power is correlated to the abstract thought region of the World of Thought.

  The Life Spirit power is correlated to the World of Life Spirit.

  The Divine Spirit power is correlated to the World of Divine Spirit.

3. From its specialized portion of the Region of Abstract Thought the Ego views 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 ideas.

4. a) It may be projected against the desire body in an endeavor to arouse feeling which will lead to immediate action.

b) Where no immediate action is called for, the image may be projected directly against the reflecting ether for future use.

c) The image may be projected toward another mind to act as suggestion, to carry information, etc.

5. The conscious memory is the result of sense perceptions and to which we have conscious access. The subconscious memory is made by means of the etheric record. These are the pictures that have been inspired and transmitted to the blood and thence to the negative atoms of the vital body. The superconscious memory is the record of past lives engraved on the Life Spirit.

6. When the desire body does not fully withdraw from the dense and vital bodies the axis of perception is askew and the recuperation which results from the restoration of rhythmic harmony in the desire body in the Desire World is prevented.

7. The Divine Spirit works on the dense body to bring the Conscious Soul into being; the Life Spirit upon the vital body to produce the Intellectual soul, the Human Spirit upon the desire body to produce the Emotional Soul. The addition of this threefold soul, or pabulum, in turn enhances the consciousness of the threefold Spirit.

Supplemental Student Material:
I. Laws Versus Freedom

   The creation of laws for the governing of people is a Piscean concept. Individual freedom is the Aquarian ideal. As we make the transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age, we need to consider the role of laws in society and to give serious thought as to the degree to which we are ready to get along without laws.

   Laws may save people the trouble of thinking. Perhaps this is why people consult books on rules of etiquette in order to learn how to give a wedding reception or a baby shower, or to determine what to do at a funeral. Saving people from thinking may, however, be equivalent to stagnating their intellectual growth. Just as a person's muscles and bones would deteriorate if their body were encased in a plaster cast, so also will a person's creative, reasoning, and problem-solving powers deteriorate if their actions are bounded on all sides by laws.

   Another problem with laws is that they are set up to govern certain situations, and if the situations change, the laws may no longer be suitable. This is illustrated in the story of Epaminandas.

   One day Epaminandas was sent to the market to buy butter. The day was very hot and on the way home the butter melted. When he got home his mother said, "When you bring butter from the market you should wrap it in cool leaves, and when you pass the stream on the way, dunk it in the stream to cool it."

   The next week his mother sent him to market to get a puppy dog. He bought the puppy dog, wrapped it in leaves, and when he got to the stream, he dunked it in the stream and almost drowned it. When he got home his mother said, "That is no way to treat a puppy dog. You should tie a string around its neck and lead it home."

   The next week she sent him to market to get a loaf of bread. Epaminandas bought the loaf of bread, tied a string around it, and dragged it home.

   If a child is taught only laws, and not how to think for himself, what will he do when he grows up and encounters an ever-changing world which contains situations and problems which his parents and teachers never dreamed of?

   Another problems with laws is that those who make the laws may sometimes be mistaken. Tennyson described such a situation in his poem "Charge of the Light Brigade," the first two stanzas of which are:

   If one person commands six hundred people, and that one makes a mistake, then the mistake is repeated six hundred times. If each person thinks for himself, at least each mistake is done only once.

   Laws can give direction to the ignorant. If a child does not understand the dangers of a hot stove, it can be given the law, "Don't touch," to keep it from burning itself. If, however, the ignorance is removed, the law is no longer needed. Once the child understands what excessive heat can do to human flesh, commands are no longer needed to keep it away from a hot stove. In the Aquarian Age, people will be expected to develop the Light within so that they will not need laws to guide them.

   Another problem with laws is that laws can produce right action, but they cannot generate right feeling. A manager in a store can require his employees to say polite things to the customers, but he cannot make the employees put love and meaning into their words. Laws can require people to fulfill contracts, but they cannot make people put devotion into their work. Laws can make people behave properly in situations in which they think they may get caught and punished, but they cannot make people feel responsible for their own actions. Laws can keep people from stealing from one another and may even force them to give to one another [through taxation and welfare programs], but laws cannot force people to love, respect, and care about one another. In fact, laws may hinder the development of right feeling. If we have our attention focused on obeying laws, we may not let our hearts lead the way. If a law forces us to contribute to some worthy cause, the heart may not bother developing any true concern or sympathy for the cause. J. Krishnamurti wrote [in "The First and Last Freedom," p. 92]: "A mind that conforms to any pattern of authority, inward or outward, cannot be sensitive."

   A baby cannot learn to walk if it is kept tied in bed due to fear that it might fall down. If the baby is to learn to walk it must practice, and practice will involve many stumbling efforts and many falls. In the Aquarian Age, all will be expected to develop the Light within to guide their own lives. People can only learn to guide their lives if they are free to make their own choices and if they can see the consequences of their choices, and thence learn from their experiences. People, given freedom, may make mistakes. But this is the only way to learn how to exercise choice and to grow. Only as the people within a society grow will the society as a whole grow.

   Henry David Thoreau had aligned himself with a Aquarian ideal when he wrote [in "Civil Disobedience," 1849]: "I heartily accept the motto — `That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, if finally amounts to this, which I also believe — `That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."


-Krishnamurti, J. The First and Last Freedom, -Newbrough, Michael, Liberty and Consciousness, San Marcos, California: Palomar College, 1984

II. Copying Versus Exploring

   In the the Piscean Age, people tend to seek to copy what others have done. They follow traditions and customs. Once they have established a pattern of behavior, they continue in this pattern out of habit. In the Aquarian Age, people will break away from the past and explore new territory. As we move toward the Aquarian Age, we need to give consideration as to when we should copy what other have done or repeat what we have done in the past, and when we should break away from the past and find new ways of doing things.

   One situation in which people sometimes copy others is when they feel subordinate to another and are trying to gain favor with their superior. Shakespeare illustrated this in his play "Hamlet" in which the following conversation occurs:

  Hamlet was the Prince of Denmark, and Polonius, no doubt, thought that he could win Hamlet's favor by being agreeable. As the Aquarian Age approaches, people will be less likely to play the subordinate-superior game, as each begins to feel his own self-worth and to respect the self-worth of others. In the Aquarian Age, people will not feel that they need to agree with one another in order to be on good terms, and all will seek to hear new ideas and gain new perspectives.

   Another situation in which people may tend to copy others is when they have no comprehension of a situation and have no basis for deciding for themselves what to do. Such blind copying is, however, dangerous. The student who has no comprehension of a given subject may try to copy an answer written by another student, only to find later that the other student was answering a different question. Different people are in different situations in life and what is suitable for one may not be suitable for another. Also, people frequently find in life that the ones they have chosen to copy from do not have any more comprehension of the situation than they do, so that it ends up with the blind leading the blind. The only safe procedure in determining a line of action is to first gain a comprehension of the situation for ourselves and then decide for ourselves what to do.

   If we only copy from others, then we can never go where others have not gone. We cannot become leaders who explore new territory and show others the way unless we are willing to step out from the crowd and try new things and travel untrodden ways. If we only repeat what we have done in the past, we cannot evolve or grow or reach new goals.

   If we cease copying and start trying that which is new, we must be prepared for an adventure. In Tolkien's story The Hobbitt, the wizard, Gandalf, told Bilbo that he was having difficulty finding someone to go on an adventure, and Bilbo responded, "I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them." In time, however, Bilbo was persuaded to go on an adventure. One thing that helped persuade him was a song sung by the dwarves, which went in part,

  This is, ultimately, what usually persuades people to go on an adventure: They are seeking something which they do not have and which cannot be found in the corner grocery store or on other well-trodden paths.

   Besides making us late for dinner, adventures may make us feel insecure and unsafe. There is a Sufi saying (Idries Shah, The Way of the Sufi, p. 89):

   One who recognizes the goodness and omnipresence of God will be more willing to enter unknown regions than one who does not have this realization. Christ encouraged his disciples, as they set out to preach the Gospel to a hostile world, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." (Matt. 10:28) Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap." (Gal. 5:7) If we align ourselves with the forces of Light and serve the Light, then the forces of evil cannot hurt us. Wherever we go, even if we make our bed in Sheol or "take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea" (Psalms 139:9), God is present, and his love, justice, and mercy prevail.


-Shah, Idries, The Way of the Sufi, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1970
-Tolkien, J.R.R, The Hobbit, New York: Ballantine Books, 1966

III. Personal Initiative In The Aquarian Age

   Sometimes external forces may induce us to act in certain ways. Other people may tell us to do something, or ask us to do something, or expect us to do something, or praise or blame us for doing certain things. The weather or astrological radiations may stimulate us to do certain things rather than other things. People, however, need not be like leaves blown in the wind. People do not have to move in the direction in which the external forces push, but they rather can choose whether they will respond to the external forces, and how they will respond. People may even choose to act when no external forces are present. Whenever someone initiates an action which is not a response to an external force, that person is said to exhibit initiative.

   In the Piscean Age, people were not expected or encouraged to exhibit initiative. The leaders told people what to do and the people did as they were told without question. In the Aquarian Age, however, initiative is to be developed. Aquarius is ruled by the planet Uranus, one of whose characteristics is outreach." As people reach out to new ideas, they will think up new ways of doing things and thence will initiate new actions.

   In any age the constellation opposite the constellation of the age shows the esoteric ideals which will be striven for in the age. Thus, Leo [which is opposite Aquarius] shows the esoteric ideals for the Aquarian Age. Leo is ruled by the Sun, which stimulates people to develop the power to say, "I will." In the Aquarian Age, the constellation of Leo will help awaken the Spirit within man to the point where it can exert the willpower to make people self-motivated.

   If we would respond to the Aquarian radiations, we must strive to develop initiative in ourselves. As we do so there are several things we need to keep in mind.

   1) As we break away from imitating friends, following leaders, and accepting customs and begin to make our own decisions, we need some inner Light to guide us. We must awaken the Light of Truth and Love within ourselves so that we can distinguish truth from falsehood and right from wrong.

   2) We must always think before we act. Regardless of what others say or do, or what we feel like doing [due to our habits or to astrological force patterns], we must have well-considered reasons for everything we do.

   3) We must be committed to finding for ourselves ways to serve, and to serving others whenever the opportunity arises. Max Heindel notes ["Letters to Students," p. 53] that we must learn to work without leadership; each being prompted by the Spirit of Love from within to strive for the physical, moral, and spiritual uplift of all the world. He further notes ["Questions and Answers," Volume II] that the Elder Brothers who guide the spiritual growth of the pupils in the Western Mystery Schools "never urge, never praise, and never blame. The urge must come from within the pupil, and they teach him to judge himself...In every respect they educate him to stand upon his own feet without leaning on them or anyone else."

   We need to continuously examine the circumstances we find ourselves in, decide what needs to be done, and then initiate those actions which will lead to the desired goals.


— Heindel, Max, Letters to Students,
— Heindel, Max, Questions and Answers, Volume II

IV. Creativity

   Radiations from Aquarius stimulate creativity. We will be able to respond to these radiations most effectively if we make a conscious effort to do so. Let us, therefore, give some attention to the attitudes and techniques which facilitate creativity.

   The creative person has the courage to be different and to try something new. As long as someone feels that he has to think and act like everyone else, he will not be creative. As long as one is afraid to do anything different because someone might laugh at him, he will not be creative. The creative person generally has a sense of humor and enjoys putting ideas together in unusual and playful ways and often will laugh along with others at the novelty of his creations.

   The creative person views common things from new perspectives, asks questions that others would not think of asking, and then seeks answers. He clears old ideas out from his mind and looks at the world with the eyes of a child. He lets himself forget that he has been told that shoes could be put on the feet and starts wondering what would happen if he put on the feet and starts wondering what would happen if he put them on his hands. He lets himself forget that when you write, the pen should move and the paper moved. He is not satisfied with the statement learned in school that, "It is gravity which pulls things toward the Earth," and he starts wondering what gravity is and how the pulling is really accomplished. He has seen clothes hung out to dry many times, but he can still look at them with wonder and ask how the water manages to jump off the clothes.

   The creative person can imagine something he has not seen or which he has only partially seen. He can imagine how the room would look if the furniture were rearranged, or how a new tool could make a job easier to do, or what chain of events could have produced some observed end results.

   The creative person is flexible in his thinking. He is willing to change his thinking as the situations change. He is willing to consider many different solutions to a given problem. When one proposed solution is shown not to work, he is willing to try some other.

   The creative person judges his creations by his own standards, not by what others think. He is guided by his inner vision, not by external praise or criticism.

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

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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