If we begin with the dense vehicle and consider the physical means available to improve it and make it the best possible instrument for the Spirit and afterward consider the spiritual means to the same end, we shall be including all the other vehicles as well; therefore we shall follow that method.
The first visible state of a human embryo is a small, globulous, pulpy or jelly-like substance, similar to albumen, or the white of an egg. In this pulpy globule various particles of more solid matter appear. These gradually increase in bulk and density until they come in contact with one another. The different points of contact are slowly modified into joints or hinges and thus a distinct framework of solid matter, a skeleton, is gradually formed.
During the formation of this framework the surrounding pulpy matter accumulates and changes in form until at length that degree of organization develops which is known as a foetus. This becomes larger, firmer, and more fully organized up to the time of birth, when the stage of infancy begins.
The same process of consolidation which commenced with the first visible stage of existence, still continues. The being passes through the different stages of infancy, childhood, youth, manhood or womanhood, old age, and at last comes to the change that is called death.
Each of these stages is characterized by an increasing degree of hardness and solidity.
There is a gradual increase in density and firmness of the bones, tendons, cartilages, ligaments, tissues, membranes, the coverings and even the very substance of the stomach, liver, lungs, and other organs. The joints become rigid and dry. They begin to crack and grate when they are moved, because the synovial fluid, which oils and softens them, is diminished in quantity and rendered too thick and glutinous to serve that purpose.
The heart, the brain, and the entire muscular system, spinal cord, nerves, eyes, etc., partake of the same consolidating process, growing more and more rigid. Millions upon millions of the minute capillary vessels which ramify and spread like the branches of a tree throughout the entire body, gradually choke up and change into solid fibre, no longer pervious to the blood.
The larger blood vessels, both arteries and veins, indurate, lose their elasticity, grow smaller, and become incapable of carrying the required amount of blood. The fluids of the body thicken and become putrid, loaded with earthy matter. The skin withers and grows wrinkled and dry. The hair falls out for lack of oil. The teeth decay and drop out for lack of gelatine. The motor nerves begin to dry up and the movements of the body become awkward, and slow. The senses fail; the circulation of the blood is retarded; it stagnates and congeals in the vessels. More and more the body loses its former powers. Once elastic, healthy, alert, pliable, active, and sensitive, it becomes rigid, slow, and insensible. Finally, it dies of old age.
The question now arises, What is the cause of this gradual ossification of the body, bringing rigidity, decrepitude and death?
From the purely physical standpoint, chemists seem to be unanimous in the opinion that it is principally an increase of phosphate of lime (bone matter), carbonate of lime (common chalk), and sulphate of lime (plaster of paris), with occasionally a little magnesia and an insignificant amount of other earthy matters.
The only difference between the body of old age and that of childhood is the greater density, toughness and rigidity, caused by the greater proportion of calcareous, earthy matter entering into the composition of the former. The bones of a child are composed of three parts of gelatine to one part of earthy matter. In old age this proportion is reversed. What is the source of this death-dealing accumulation of solid matter?
It seems to be axiomatic that the entire body is nourished by the blood and that everything contained in the body, of whatever nature, has first been in the blood. Analysis shows that the blood holds earthy substances of the same kind as the solidifying agents--and mark!--the arterial blood contains more earthy matter than the venous blood.
This is highly important. It shows that in every cycle the blood deposits earthy substances. It is therefore the common carrier that chokes up the system. But its supply of earthy matter must be replenished; otherwise it could not continue to do this. Where does it renew its deadly load? There can be but one answer to that question--from the food and drink; there is absolutely no other source.
The food and drink which nourish the body must be, at the same time, the primary source of the calcareous, earthy matter which is deposited by the blood all over the system, causing decrepitude and finally death. To sustain physical life it is necessary that we eat and drink, but as there are many kinds of food and drink, it behooves us, in the light of the above facts, to ascertain, if possible, what kinds contain the smallest proportion of destructive matter. If we can find such food we can lengthen our lives, and from an occult standpoint, it is desirable to live as long as possible in each dense body, particularly after a start has been made toward the path. So many years are required to educate, through childhood and hot youth, each body inhabited, until the Spirit can at least obtain some control over it, that the longer we retain a body that has become amenable to the Spirit's promptings, the better. Therefore it is highly important that the pupil partake of such food and drink only as will deposit the least amount of hardening matter and at the same time keep the excretory organs active.
The skin and the urinary system are the saviors of man from an early grave. Were it not that by their means, most of the earthy matter taken from our food is eliminated, no one would live ten years.
It has been estimated that ordinary, undistilled spring water contains carbonate and other compounds of lime to such an extent that the average quantity used each day by one person in the form of tea, coffee, soup, etc., would in forty years form a block of solid chalk or marble the size of a man. It is also a significant fact that although phosphate of lime is always found in the urine of adults, it is not found in the urine of children, because in them the rapid formation of bone requires that this salt be retained. During the period of gestation there is very little earthy matter in the urine of the mother, as it is used in the building of the foetus. In ordinary circumstances, however, earthy matter is very much in evidence in the urine of adults and to this we owe the feat that physical life reaches even its present length.
Undistilled water, when taken internally, is man's worst enemy, but used externally, it becomes his best friend. It keeps the pores of the skin open, induces circulation of the blood and prevents the stagnation which affords the best opportunity for the depositing of the earthy, death-dealing phosphate of lime.
Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, said that health denotes a free circulation and disease is the result of an obstructed circulation of the blood.
The bathtub is a great aid in keeping up the health of the body and should be freely used the aspirant to the higher life. Perspiration, sensible and insensible, carries more earthy matter out of the body than any other agency.
As long as fuel is supplied and the fire kept free from ashes, it will burn. The kidneys are important in carrying away the ashes from the body, but despite the great amount of earthy matter carried away by urine, enough remains in many cases to form gravel and stone in the bladder, causing untold agony and often death.
Let no one be deceived into thinking that water contains less stone because it has been boiled. The stone that forms on the bottom of the teakettle has been left there by the evaporated water which escaped from the kettle as steam. If the steam were condensed, we should have distilled water, which is an important adjunct in keeping the body young.
There is absolutely no earthy matter in distilled water, nor in rain water, snow or hail (except what may be gathered in contact with house-tops, etc.), but coffee, tea, or soup made with ordinary water, no matter how long boiled, is not purified of the earthy particles; on the contrary, the longer they are boiled, the more heavily charged with ash they become. Those suffering from urinary diseases should never drink any but distilled water.
It may be said generally of the solid foods we take into our systems, that fresh vegetables and ripe fruits contain the greatest proportion of nutritious matter and the least of earthy substances.
Proper food given at the right time and under the right conditions will not only cure but prevent disease.
It is popularly supposed that sugar or any saccharine substance is injurious to the general health, and particularly to the teeth, causing their decay and the resulting toothache. Only under certain circumstances is this true. It is harmful in certain diseases, such as biliousness and dyspepsia, or if held long in the mouth as candy, but if sparingly used during good health and the amount gradually increased as the stomach becomes accustomed to its use, it will be found very nourishing. The health of negroes becomes greatly improved during the sugar-cane harvest time, notwithstanding their increased labor. This is attributed solely to their fondness for the sweet cane-juice. The same may be said of horses, cows, and other animals in those localities, which are all fond of the refuse syrup fed to them. They grow fat in harvest time, their coats becoming sleek and shining. Horses fed on boiled carrots for a few weeks will get a coat like silk, owing to the saccharine juices of that vegetable. Sugar is a nutritious and beneficial article of diet and contains no ash whatever.
Fruits are an ideal diet. They are in fact evolved by the tree to induce animal and man to eat them, so that the seed may be disseminated, as flowers entice bees for a similar purpose.
Fresh fruit contains water of the purest and best kind, capable of permeating the system in a marvelous manner. Grapejuice is a particularly wonderful solvent. It thins and stimulates the blood, opening the way into capillaries already dried and choked up--if the process has not gone too far. By a course of unfermented grapejuice treatment, people with sunken eyes, wrinkled skins and poor complexions become plump, ruddy, and lively. The increased permeability enables the Spirit to manifest more freely and with renewed energy.
Considering the body from a purely physical standpoint, it is what we might call a chemical furnace, the food being the fuel. The more the body is exercised, the ore fuel it requires. It would be foolish for a man to change an ordinary diet which for years had adequately nourished him, and take up a new method without due thought as to which would be the best for serving his purpose. To simply eliminate meats from the ordinary diet of meat-eaters would unquestionably undermine the health of most persons. The only safe way is to experiment and study the matter out first, using due discrimination. No fixed rules can be given, the matter of diet being as individual as any other characteristic. All that can be done is to describe the general influence of each chemical element, allowing the aspirant to work out his own method.
Neither must we allow the appearance of a person to influence our judgment as to the condition of his health. Certain general ideas of how a healthy person should look are commonly accepted, but there is no valid reason for so judging. Ruddy cheeks might be an indication of health in one individual and of disease in another. There is no particular rule by which good health can be known except the feeling of comfort and well-being which is enjoyed by the individual himself, irrespective of appearances.
Water is the great solvent.
Nitrogen or protein is the essential builder of flesh, but contains some earthy matter.
Carbohydrates or sugars are the principle power-producers.
Fats are the producers of heat and the storers of reserve force.
Ash is mineral, earthy, and chokes the system. We need have no fear of not obtaining it in sufficient quantities to build the bones; on the contrary, we cannot be too careful to get as little as possible.
The calorie is the simple unit of heat. In a pound of Brazil nuts, for instance, when bought at the market, 49.6 per cent of the whole is waste (shells), but the remaining 50.4 per cent contains 1485 calories. That means that about one-half of what is bought is waste, but the remainder contains the number of calories named. That we may get the nearest amount of strength from our food we must pay attention to the number of calories it contains, for from them we obtain the energy required to perform our daily work.
Chocolate is the most nutritious food we have; also cocoa, in its powdered state, is the most dangerous of all foods, containing three times as much ash as most of the others, and ten times as much as many. It is a powerful food and also a powerful poison, for it chokes the system more quickly than any other substance.
Of course, it will require some study at first to secure the best nourishment, but it pays in health and longevity and secures the free use of the body, making study and application to higher things possible. After a while one will become so familiar with the subject that he will need to give it no particular attention.
It must be remembered that not all of the chemical substances contained in each article of food are available for use in the system, because there are certain portions which the body refuses to assimilate.
Of vegetables we digest only about 83 per cent of the proteins, 90 per cent of the fat, and 95 per cent of the carbohydrates.
Of fruits we assimilate about 85 per cent of the proteins, 90 per cent of the fat, and 90 per cent of the carbohydrates.
Phosphorous is the particular element by means of which the Ego is able to express thought and influence the dense physical body. It is also a fact that the proportion and variation of this substance is found to correspond to the state and stage of intelligence of the individual. Idiots have very little phosphorus; shrewd thinkers have much; and in the animal world, the degree of consciousness and intelligence is in proportion to the amount of phosphorus contained in the brain.
It is therefore of great importance that the aspirant who is to use his body for mental and spiritual work, should supply his brain with the substance necessary for that purpose. Most vegetables and fruits contain a certain amount of phosphorus, but it is a peculiar fat that the greater proportion is contained in the leaves, which are usually thrown away. It is found in considerable quantities in grapes, onions, sage, beans, cloves, pineapples, in the leaves and stalks of many vegetables, and also in sugar-cane juice, but not in refined sugar.
The following table shows the proportions of phosphoric acid in a few articles:
In conclusion, let the aspirant choose such food as is most easily digested, for the more easily the energy in food is extracted, the longer time will the system have for recuperation before it becomes necessary to replenish the supply. Milk should never be drunk as one may drink a glass of water. Taken in that way, it forms in the stomach a large cheese ball, quite impervious to the action of the gastric juices. It should be sipped for it will then form many small globules in the stomach, which are easily assimilated. Citrus fruits are powerful antiseptics, and cereals, particularly rice, are antitoxins of great efficiency.
Having now explained, from the purely material point of view, what is necessary for the dense body, we will consider the subject from the occult side, taking into consideration the effect on the two invisible bodies which interpenetrate the dense body.
The particular stronghold of the desire body is in the muscles and the cerebrospinal nervous system, as already shown. The energy displayed by a person when laboring under great excitement or anger is an example of this. At such times the whole muscular system is tense and no hard labor is so exhausting as a "fit of temper." It sometimes leaves the body prostrated for weeks. There can be seen the necessity for improving the desire body by controlling the temper, thus sparing the dense body the suffering resulting from the ungoverned action of the desire body.
Looking at the matter from an occult standpoint, all consciousness in the Physical World is the result of the constant war between the desire and vital bodies.
The tendency of the vital body is to soften and build. Its chief expression is the blood and the glands, also the sympathetic nervous system, having obtained ingress into the stronghold of the desire body (the muscular and the voluntary nervous systems) when it began to develop the heart into a voluntary muscle.
The tendency of the desire body is to harden, and it in turn has invaded the realm of the vital body, gaining possession of the spleen and making the white blood corpuscles, which are not "the policement of the system" as science now thinks, but destroyers. It uses the blood to carry these tiny destroyers all over the body. They pass through the walls of arteries and veins whenever annoyance is felt, and especially in times of great anger. Then the rush of forces in the desire body makes the arteries and veins swell and opens the way for the passage of the white corpuscles into the tissues of the body, where they form bases for the earthy matter which kills the body.
Given the same amount and kind of food, the person of serene and jovial disposition will live longer, enjoy better health, and be more active than the person who worries, or loses his temper. The latter will make and distribute through his body more destructive white corpuscles than the former. Were a scientist to analyze the bodies of these two men, he would find that there was considerably less earthy matter in the body of the kindly disposed man than in that of the scold.
This destruction is constantly going on and it is not possible to keep all the destroyers out, nor is such the intention. If the vital body had uninterrupted sway, it would build and build, using all the energy for that purpose. There would be no consciousness and thought. It is because the desire body checks and hardens the inner parts that consciousness develops.
There was a time in the far, far past when we set out the concretions, as do the mollusks, leaving the body soft, flexible, and boneless, but at that time we had only the dull, glimmering consciousness the mollusks now have. Before we could advance, it became necessary to retain the concretions and it will be found that the stage of consciousness of any species in in proportion to the development of the bony framework WITHIN. The Ego must have the solid bones with the semifluid red marrow, in order to be able to build the red blood corpuscles for its expression. That is the highest development of the dense body.
Most people feel that a meal without meat is incomplete, for from time immemorial it has been regarded as an axiom that meat is the most strengthening food we have. All other foodstuffs have been looked upon as mere accessories to the one or more kinds of flesh on the menu. Nothing could be more erroneous; science has proved by experiments that invariable the nourishment obtained from vegetables has a greater sustaining power, and the reason is easy to see when we look into the matter from the occult side.
The law of assimilation is that "no particle of food may be built into the body by the forces whose task that is until it has been overcome by the in-dwelling spirit," because he must be absolute and undisputed ruler in the body, governing the cell lives as an autocrat, or they would each go their own way as they do in decay when the Ego has fled.
It is evident that the dimmer the consciousness of a cell is, the easier it is to overpower it, and the longer it will remain in subjection. The different kingdoms have different vehicles and consequently a different consciousness. The mineral has only its dense body and a consciousness like the deepest trance. It would therefore be easiest to subject foods taken directly from the mineral kingdom. Mineral food would remain with us the longest, obviating the necessity of Eating so often; but unfortunately we find that the human organism vibrates so rapidly that it is incapable of assimilating the inert mineral directly. Salt and like substances are passed out of the system at once without having been assimilated at all; the air is full of nitrogen which we need to repair waste, we breathe it into our system, yet cannot assimilate it or any other mineral till it has first been transmuted in Nature's laboratory and built into the plants.
The plants have a dense and a vital body, which enables them to do this work; their consciousness is as a deep, dreamless sleep. Thus it is easy for the Ego to overpower the vegetable cells and keep them in subjection for a long time, hence the great sustaining power of the vegetable.
In animal food the cells have already become more individualized, and as the animal has a desire body giving it a passional nature, it is easily understood that when we eat meat it is harder to overcome these cells which have animal consciousness resembling the dream state, and also that such particles will not stay long in subjection, hence a meat diet requires larger quantities and more frequent meals than the vegetable or fruit diet. If we should go one step farther and eat the flesh of carnivorous animals, we should find ourselves hungry all the time, for there the cells have become exceedingly individualized and will therefore seek their freedom and gain it so much the quicker. That this is so, is well illustrated in the case of the wolf, the vulture, and the cannibal, which have become proverbs for hunger, and as the human liver is too small to take care of even the ordinary meat diet, it is evident that if the cannibal lived solely upon human flesh instead of using it as an occasional "tidbit," he would soon succumb, for while too much of the carbohydrates, sugars, starches, and fats do little if any harm to the system, being exhaled through the lungs as carbonic acid gas or passing as water by way of the kidneys and the skin, an excess of meat is also burned up, but leaves poisonous uric acid and it is being more and more recognized that the less meat we eat the better for our well-being.
It is natural that we should desire the very best of food, but every animal body has in it the poisons of decay. The venous blood is filled with carbon dioxide and other noxious products on their way to the kidneys or the pores of the skin to be expelled as urine or perspiration. These loathsome substances are in every part of the flesh and when we eat such food we are filling our own bodies with toxic poisons. Much sickness is due to our use of flesh foods.
There is plenty of proof that a carnivorous diet fosters ferocity. We may mention the well-known fierceness of beasts of prey and the cruelty of the meat-eating American Indian as fair examples. On the other hand, the prodigious strength and the docile nature of the ox, the elephant, and the horse show the effects of the herb diet on animals, while the vegetarian and peaceable nations of the Orient are a proof of the correctness of the argument against a flesh diet which cannot successfully be gainsaid.
As soon as we adopt the vegetarian diet, we escape one of the most serious menaces of health, namely the putrefaction of particles of flesh imbedded between the teeth, and this is not one of the least arguments why a vegetarian diet should be adopted. Fruits, cereals, and vegetables are from their very natures slow to decay, each particle contains an enormous amount of ether which keeps it alive and sweet for a long time, whereas the ether which interpenetrated the flesh and composed the vital body of an animal, was taken away with the Spirit thereof at the time of death. Thus the danger from infection through vegetable food is very small in the first place, but many of them so far from being poisonous, are actually antiseptic in a very high degree. This applies particularly to the citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc., not to speak of the king of all antiseptics, the pineapple, which has been used very often with complete success as a cure for the dreaded diphtheria, which is only another name for a septic sore throat. Thus instead of poisoning the digestive tract with putrefactive elements as meats do, fruits cleanse and purify the system, and the pineapple is one of the superior to pepsin, and no fiendish cruelty is used to obtain it.
There are twelve salts in the body; they are very vital and represent the twelve signs of the zodiac. These salts are required for the building of the body. They are not mineral salts as generally supposed, but are vegetable. The mineral has no vital body, and it is only by way of the vital body that assimilation is accomplished; therefore, we have to obtain these salts through the vegetable kingdom.
Doctors claim to do this, but they are not aware that fire used in the process drives out and destroys the vital body of the plant just as cremation treats our body, and leaves only the mineral parts. Therefore, if we desire to renew the supply of any salt in our body we must obtain it from the uncooked plant. To the sick this is the way it should be administered.
But we must not jump to the conclusion that everyone should quit eating meat and live on raw plant life. At our present stage of evolution there are very few who can do so. We must take care not to raise the vibrations of our bodies too rapidly, for we, to continue our labor among present conditions, must have a body fitted for the work, but let us keep the thought always with us.
There is in the skull at the base of the brain a flame. It burns continually in the medulla oblongata at the head of the spinal cord, and like the fire on the altar of the tabernacle, is of divine origin. This fire emits a singing sound like the buzz of a bee, which is the keynote of the physical body, and is sounded by the archetype. It builds in and cements together that mass of cells known as "our body."
The fire burns high or low, clear or dim, according to how we feed it. There is fire in everything in nature except the mineral kingdom. It has no vital body and therefore no avenue for the ingress of the Life Spirit, the fire. We replenish this sacred fire partly from the forces from the Sun entering the vital body through the etheric counterpart of the spleen and from there to the solar plexus where it is colored and then carried upward through the blood. We also feed the fire from the living fire we absorb from the uncooked food which we eat and thus assimilate.
Looking at the matter of flesh-eating from the ethical side also, it is against the higher conception to kill to eat. In olden times man went out to the chase as any beast of prey, rough and callous; now he does his hunting in the butcher shop, where none of the nauseating sights of the slaughter house will sicken him. If each had to go into of of those blood places where horrors are enacted day after day to be able to satisfy an abnormal injurious habit which causes more sickness and suffering than even liquor craving; if each had to wield the bloody knife and plunge it into the quivering flesh of his victim, how much meat would we eat? Very little. In order to escape doing this nauseating work ourselves on occasion, we force a fellow being to stand in that bloody pen day after day killing thousands of animals every day of the wee; we brutalize him to such an extent that the law will not allow him to sit on a jury in a capital case because he has ceased to have any regard for life.
The animals which we kill also cry aloud against this murder; there is a cloud of gloom and hatred over the great slaughter cities. The law protects cats and dogs against cruelty. We all rejoice to see the little squirrels in the city parks come and take food from our hands, but as soon as there is money in the flesh or fur of an animal, man ceases to have regard for its right to live, and becomes its most dangerous foe, feeding and breeding it for gain, imposing suffering and hardships upon a fellow being for the sake of gold. We have a heavy debt to pay to the lower creatures whose mentors we should be; whose murderers we are, and the good law which works every to correct abuses will also in time relegate the habit of Eating murdered animals to the scrapheap of obsolete practices as cannibalism is now.
It is the nature of a beast of prey to eat any animal that comes in its path, and its organs are such that it must have that kind of a diet to exist, but everything is in a stage of becoming; it is always changing to something higher. Man, in his earlier stages of unfoldment, was also like the beasts of prey in certain respects; however, he is to become God-like and thus he must cease to destroy at some time in order that he may commence to create. Flesh food has fostered human ingenuity of a low order in the past; it has served a purpose in our evolution; but we are now standing on the threshold of a new age when self-sacrifice and service will bring spiritual growth to humanity. The evolution of the mind will bring a wisdom beyond our greatest conception, but before it will be safe to entrust us with that wisdom, we must become harmless as doves, for otherwise we should be apt to turn it to such selfish and destructive purposes that it would be an inconceivable menace to our fellow men. To avoid this the vegetarian diet must be adopted.
We have been taught that there is no life in the universe but the life of God; that "in Him we live and move and have our being"; that His life animates everything that is, and therefore we naturally understand that as soon as we take life we are destroying form built by God for his manifestation. The lower animals are evolving Spirits and have sensibilities. It is their desire for experience that causes them to build their various forms, and when we take their forms away from them we deprive them of their opportunity for gaining experience. We hinder their evolution instead of helping them, and the day will come when we shall feel a deep disgust at the thought of making our stomachs the burying ground for the carcasses of murdered animals. All true Christians will be abstainers from flesh foods out of pure compassion; they will realize that all life is God's life, and to cause suffering to any sentient being is wrong.
In a great many places where the Bible speaks of "meat," it is very plain that flesh food is not meant. The chapter in Genesis where man's food is first allotted to him says that he should eat of every tree and herb bearing seed, "and to you it shall be for meat." The most evolved people at all times have abstained from flesh foods. We see, for instance, Daniel, who was a holy man and a wise man, beg that he might not be forced to eat meat, but that he and his companions be given pulse. The children of Israel in the wilderness are spoken of as "lusting after flesh," and their God is angry with them in consequence.
There is an esoteric meaning to the feeding of the multitude where fish was used as food, but looking to the purely material aspect we may sum up the points in our answer by reiterating that we shall some time outgrow flesh and fish Eating as we have risen above cannibalism. Whatever license may have been given in the barbaric past will disappear in the altruistic future, when more refined sensibilities shall have awakened us to a fuller sense of the horrors involved in the gratification of a carnivorous taste.
In the most sublime of all prayers, we are taught by the Christ to pray for our daily bread, but under existing modern conditions, alas, how often do we get a stone instead.
Because of our complex civilization, of cold storage methods, and other abominations our food is such that, generally speaking, instead of nourishing the body as it should, it depletes us and makes us subject to various diseases; "indigestible" is a very mild arraignment of the food supply in most places where the public eats.
Even in the home, that which is placed upon the table to nourish and sustain and build the body in health, is often only an apology for food, masquerading under various seasonings and dressings as palatable, for we eat usually to please our palate rather than to nourish our bodies.
On the other hand, there is no denying that some people who profess to cook along scientific lines and with common sense, who profess to be vegetarians and are very strict in their notions of how food should be prepared, seem to lack all appreciation of the fact that food may be made palatable as well as wholesome and nutritious, that there is no incompatibility between the requirements of proper cooking and the pleasure afforded to the palate. Indeed it may be said that unless food is so cooked that it is pleasing to the palate as well as wholesome and nutritious, it falls far short of its full purpose. The palate has been given to us so that we may enjoy our food, that we may, as it were, receive it with gladness and welcome it into our body, for this furthers assimilation and nutrition, whereas unpalatable food is obnoxious to the recipient and therefore not so easily assimilated. This fact should be kept before the mind: It is not how much we eat that counts, but how much we assimilate.
Some who have been improperly instructed in this most important subject of nutrition may have been told that the legumes, peas, beans, etc., will take the place of meat, and they then commenced to devour these vegetables in great quantities after discarding meat. It is perfectly true that beans contain more protein than beefsteak, but the protein contained in the bean is not so readily assimilated. There is heavy waste and also uric acid in such foods that should be reckoned with, for unless counteracted by plenty of green vegetables, disastrous results are bound to follow. It is important to remember, however, that the green vegetables should not be eaten at the same meal with the heavy legumes. There are others who, after leaving the meat diet, start to live on bread, potatoes, and similar starchy foods, with the result that they become undernourished and anemic. A satisfactory diet must be properly balanced in every respect, and only in so far as we study the system of diet required to keep our body in good health can we expect to obtain the proper results.
Diet, like health, is determined individually, and no general standard can be set up. At the same time, it may be safely said that the less meat we can get along with, the better our general health will be. But if we wish to without it altogether, it is absolutely essential that we should study a table of food values so that we get the necessary proteins from the vegetables we eat. No man can go to the ordinary table and get sufficient nourishment if he eats only the vegetables provided as accessories to the meat; he must have beans, peas, nuts, and like foods which are rich in protein to take the place of the discarded flesh, or he will starve.
The spirit alcohol, which is fermented outside the system, is being superseded by sugar, which ferments within. In the past a stimulant was indispensable in rousing the human Spirit from the lethargy attendant upon a meat diet; the bacchanalian orgies in ancient temples, which properly fill us with horror nowadays, were then of immense value in human development. As consumption of sugar increases, use of alcohol diminishes and, concurrently, the moral standard is gradually elevated. People grow more altruistic and Christlike in proportion to their use of the non- inebriating stimulant, and therefore the temperance movement is one of the most powerful factors to hasten the coming of Christ.
It is evident that evolutionary progress is elevating the lower kingdoms as well as humanity. The animals, particularly the domesticated species, are nearing individualization, and their withdrawal from manifestation has already commenced. As a result it will in time be impossible to obtain flesh food. Then the death knell of "King Alcohol" will have struck, for only flesh eaters crave liquor.
In the meantime plant life is growing more sentient. The lateral limbs of trees produce more abundantly than do vertical branches because in plants, as in us, consciousness results from the antagonistic activities of the desire and vital currents. Lateral limbs are swept through their entire length by desire currents which circle our planet and which act so powerfully in the horizontal animal spines. The desire currents rouse the sleeping plant life in the lateral limbs to a higher degree of consciousness than is the case with the vertical branches, which are traversed lengthwise by vital currents radiating from the center of the Earth. Thus, in time, the plants will also become too sensitive as food and another source must be sought.
Today, we have considerable ability in working with the chemical mineral substances; we mold them into houses, ships, and all outer things which evidence our civilization. We are masters of the minerals outside our body, but powerless to assimilate and use them inside our system to build our organs until the plant life has transmuted crystals into crystalloids. Our work with the minerals in the exterior world is raising their vibration and paving the way for direct interior use. By spiritual alchemy we shall build the temple of the Spirit, conquer the dust whence we came, and qualify as true Master Masons prepared for work in higher spheres.
We may readily conceive that there are more people in the West who die from overeating than from getting too little food. Under certain conditions fasting for a day or two is undoubtedly beneficial, but just as there are gourmands and gluttons, so there are others who go to the opposite extreme and fast to excess. There lies a great danger. The best way is to eat in moderation and to eat the proper kinds of food; then it will not be necessary to fast at all.
If we study the chemistry of food we shall find that certain foods have properties of value to the system under conditions of disorder, and taken properly food is really medicine. All the citrus fruits, for instance, are splendid antiseptics. Thus they prevent disease. All the cereals, particularly rice, are antitoxins; they will kill disease and the germs of putrefaction. Thus, by knowing these medicinal properties of the different foods, we may very readily secure a supply of that which we need to cure our ordinary ailments by food instead of by fasting.
Under the ancient dispensations it was required that sacrifices of bulls and goats should be made as atonement for sin, for man then treasured his material possessions even higher than today, and felt keenly their loss when forced to give them up for such a purpose. Upon the altar of sacrifice men were forced to offer their cherished possessions for every transgression, God appearing to them as a hard taskmaster whose displeasure it was dangerous to incur. But there has always been an esoteric teaching, which is is being promulgated exoterically today, and this teaching does not accept the sacrifice of an animal, money, or other possessions, but demands that each one make a sacrifice of himself. This was taught to the aspirants in the ancient Mystery School when they were prepared for the mystic rite of Initiation.
To them were explained the mysteries of the vital body, how it is composed of four ethers, etc. The aspirant was thoroughly instructed in the functions of the two lower ethers as compared with the two higher. He knew that all the purely animal functions of the body depended upon the density of the lower ethers, and that the two upper ethers composed the should body which was the vehicle of service. He aspired, naturally, to cultivate this glorious garment by self-abnegation, and by curbing the propensities of the lower nature, as as we do today.
These facts were kept secret from the masses, as said, or rather they should have been, but some neophytes who were overzealous to attain, no matter how, forgot that it is only by service and unselfishness that the Golden Wedding Garment composed of the two higher ethers is grown. They thought that the occult maxim:
meant only that so long as the lower nature, the dross, was expelled, it did not matter how, and if they could find an easy method, they would have left only the gold composed of the two higher ethers, the should body, in which they could enter the invisible world without let or hindrance. They reasoned that as the chemical ether is the agent of assimilation, it could be eliminated from the vital body by starving the physical vehicle.
But the result obtained by these misguided people and their followers was far from being what was intended by the training in the Mystery School. The candidate was there taught first and foremost that the body is the Temple of God, and that to defile, destroy, or mutilate it in any manner is a great sin. Indulgence of the appetite is a sin, a defiling practice which brings with it certain retribution, but it is no more to be reprehended than the practice of fasting for soul growth. Right living is neaither fasting nor feasting, but giving the body those elements which are necessary to maintain it in the proper form of health, strength, and efficiency as an instrument of the Spirit. Therefore fasting for soul growth is a pseudo-method which has exactly the opposite effect to that which it was designed to accomplish by its shortsighted originators.
It may seem absurd, at the first blush, to say that the more indigestible our foods are the better the health will be; nevertheless, when the statement is slightly qualified, it is true. Foods which are usually reared as indigestible because we feel distress after Eating them, really cause trouble because they have been too thoroughly digested, while other foods which are nearly totally indigestible, and therefore in a sense not foods at all, leave us with all the feelings of health and well-being.
Lack of proper appreciation of these essential facts is at the bottom of the difficulties which many people experience when they adopt what they are pleased to call a vegetarian diet. They have in most cases suffered from digestive troubles before ceasing to eat flesh, and have in many cases adopted a fleshless diet with the expectation that they would work a miracle in restoring their health. They are therefore often bitterly disappointed that they feel no better, nay, in a number of cases they may even feel worse, because they continue their dietetic errors in all other respects, so that in many cases their reformed diet is from a standpoint of health, a thousand times worse than the usual mixed diet of the average person, and goodness knows, that is bad enough. In fact, instead of wondering that the body breaks down under the strain of dietetic indiscretion, it is really wonderful that it can stand up as well as it does in spite of the abuse and ill treatment to which is is subjected.
It happens not infrequently that people who apply to us for healing admit unblushingly the most atrocious dietetic blunders, perfectly oblivious to the fact that they are doing wrong. They will eat four to five meals a day, composed of hot cakes, coffee, eggs, beefsteak, white bread, potatoes, pie, cheese, etc., etc., and then they honestly wonder why they do not feel well. This class of people will claim that they have no bad habits. They smoke a few cigars, drink a few glasses of beer, or perhaps they take a cocktail or two; they live on what they call a "natural diet," go to bed at ten or eleven, and pat themselves on the back with the feeling that they are models. As a rule when it is first brought to their attention that they are committing serious blunders they stare in utter amazement and incredulity; they seem to doubt their senses when told that they are killing themselves with food; actually and in truth digging their graves with their teeth.
Nevertheless, that is absolutely true and it is not so much because their food is indigestible, either, as because of the lack of indigestible materials to mix among the highly concentrated foods which form the chief elements of such a diet. But in that respect that class of people are no worse than people who live on a diet of such concentrated foods as prunes, nuts, raisins, etc.
They also eat highly concentrated food; they get both protein from the nuts and carbohydrates from the raisins, but lack the indispensable though indigestible cellulose to give the necessary amount of bulk and cause irritation in the digestive tract which is absolutely essential to induce peristalsis and secretion of the necessary digestive ferments.
There is no question that whole wheat is much more nutritious, palatable, and healthful than white flour which is composed only of the starchy portions of the grain, but its health value is not particularly great because it is more easily digested than white bread, for as a matter of fact it is not, nor is the great benefit derived from whole wheat bread due to the mineral salts necessary to body building which it contains and which are absent in white bread. For it should be remembered that just as a portion of the protein contained in meat and the phosphorus contained in fish remain undigested, so also with the protein and phosphorus which abound in the whole meal bread. We do not assimilate all the protein and mineral salts which are contained in the coarsest portions of the whole wheat. But while the white bread is almost entirely digested and leaves but little ash, provided of course that it is well made, the coarser particles of the whole wheat flour pass through the intestinal tract undigested; they massage them, so to speak, irritate them and induce a flow of blood which keeps the intestines sweet and healthy. They do not pack as closely as the little residue left from highly concentrated foods, and therefore they take with them in the air spaces noxious gases, leaving the digestive tract pure and clean.
Compare the action on the bowels of such foods as eggs, and meat and cheese, which are almost totally assimilated and leave no coarse bulk to cleanse the bowels after a meal has been digested, with such vegetables as legumes (used sparingly), turnips, carrots, celery, onions, etc., which contain every element found in flesh and in addition the, to health, indispensable bulk composed of coarse fibrous matter which alone can sweep the intestinal tract, clear off all deleterious products of waste and leave the system in a healthy condition.
The archetype determines the form and figure of a person and this will be his normal statue in health, but by our dietetic disorder we often change this, so that the energy of the body is used in the process of eliminating an enormous amount of food which we cannot assimilate and therefore we grow thinner. The reverse happens when the eliminative powers are poor; then surplus flesh, or adipose tissue, is put on because of an unnatural diet. When a scientifically prepared diet is adopted, the people who have been too thin because of a previous wrong diet, taken on flesh, and conversely those who have put on unnatural flesh cease to do so and therefore their weight is reduced.
Another fruitful cause of digestive disorders is the habit of Eating every few hours. People who are in the habit of Eating five or six times a day frequently assert that they are hungry and must have food or they are sick. As a matter of fact, the raving is due to a diseased condition of the stomach, and the relief results from the weight of food which deadens the stomach.
We call it criminal to give to a person addicted to the morphine habit more just because he craves it, and it would give temporary relief from suffering, and we should apply the same logic and philosophy to people who are poisoned by an excess of food. This is not theory, either, but the result of investigation which cannot be matched by experiments on animals or human beings, where the suffering incident to tabulating the results of investigations causes an unnatural digestive condition. There are no such barriers to one whose spiritual sight is opened and who can see the peristaltic action of the stomach and intestines when the system has been burdened. Then there exudes from the food a black poisonous gas which is thrown outward through the periphery of the aura by the man's vital body so long as he is in good health. But when his vitality becomes enfeebled and the flow of the solar force through the spleen is not as strong as usual, this poisonous gas remains around the abdominal region as a broad black band which poisons all organic activities of the body while it is there. When a person eats three meals a day there is a slight chance for the dissolution of the poison band generated by one meal before the next is taken. But where meals are eaten at intervals of only a few hours there is absolutely no chance for the person to rid himself of this poison cloud, and as a consequence he grows worse and worse, shortening the span of his natural life in a manner that would be a shocking surprise to most of these people could they realize it.
For these reasons anyone who wishes to obtain and maintain health should make it a point to eat only two or three times a day and sparingly, taking care to secure an abundance of bulk rather than nutriment, for it is an actual fact that many, many more people die of too much nourishment of too little.
It is well known to the modern physician that the condition of the blood, and therefore the condition of the whole body, changes in sympathy with the state of mind of the patient, and the more the physician uses suggestion as an adjunct to medicine the more successful he is. Few perhaps would credit the further fact that both our mental and physical condition is influenced by planetary rays which change as the planets move. In these days since the principle of radio-activity has been established we know that everybody projects into space numberless little particles. Wireless telegraphy has taught us that etheric waves travel swiftly and surely through space and operate a key according to our will. We also know that the rays of the sun affect us differently in the morning when they strike us horizontally than at noon when they are perpendicular. If the light rays from the swift-moving sun produce physical and mental changes, may not the persistent rays of slower planets also have an effect? If they have, they are factors in health not to be overlooked by a thoroughly scientific healer, and we therefore maintain that results may be obtained more easily at certain times when the stellar rays are propitious for the healing of a particular disease or for treatment with remedies previously prepared under auspicious conditions.
If physicians would study the science of astrology, they would thus with a very slight effort be able to diagnose their patient's condition in a manner altogether impossible from the ordinary diagnostician's point of view. Some physicians are waking up to that fact and have discovered by their experiences that the heavenly bodies do have an influence upon the human frame. For instance, when the writer was in Portland, Oregon, a physician mentioned as his observation that whenever it was possible for him to perform an operation while the moon was increasing in light, that is to say, going from the new to the full, the operation was always successful and no complications would set in. On the other hand, he had found that when circumstances compelled him to perform an operation when the Moon was going from the full to the dark there was great danger of trouble, and that such operations were never as satisfactory as those performed while the light of the Moon was increasing.
The way to find out the peculiarities of the Spirit that dwells in the patient's body is to cast his horoscope to see when the times are propitious for the administration of drugs, giving the appropriate herbs at the proper time. Paracelsus did that, and therefore he was always successful with his patients; he never made a mistake. There are some who use astrology for that purpose today; the writer, for instance, has thus used it in diagnosis in many cases. He has then always been able to see the crises in the patient's condition, the past, present, and future; and thus has been able to afford much relief to persons suffering from various illnesses. It is to such uses that astrology should be put, and not degraded into fortunetelling for the sake of gold, for, like all spiritual sciences, it ought to be used for the benefit of humanity, regardless of mercenary considerations.
There are seven spheres, the planets of our solar system. Each has its own keynote and emits a sound varying from that of every other planet. One or more among them vibrates in particular synchrony with the seed atom of the Ego then seeking embodiment. This planet then corresponds to the "tonic" in the music scale, and though the tones from all the planets are necessary to build up an organism completely, each is modified and made to conform to the basic impact given by the most harmonious planet, which is therefore the ruler of that life. As in terrestrial music so also in the celestial there are harmonies and discords, and these all impinge upon the seed atom and aid in building the archetype. Vibratory lines of force are thus formed, which later attract and arrange physical particles as spores of sand are marshaled into geometrical figures by bowing a brass plate with a violin bow.
Along these archetypal lines of vibration the physical body is later built, and thus it expresses accurately the harmony of the spheres as it was played during the period of construction. This period, however, is much longer than the actual period of gestation, and varies according to the complexity of the structure required by the life seeking physical manifestation. Nor is the process of construction of the archetype continuous, for under aspects of the planets which produce notes to which vibratory powers of the seed atom cannot respond it simply hums over those which it has already learned, and thus engaged it waits for a new sound which it can use to build more of the organism which it desires in order to express itself.
Thus, seeing that the terrestrial organism which each of us inhabits is molded along vibratory lines produced by the song of the spheres, we may realize that the inharmonies which express themselves as disease are produced in the first place by the spiritual inharmony within. It is further evident that if we obtain accurate knowledge concerning the direct cause of the inharmony and remedy it, the physical manifestation of disease will shortly disappear. It is this information which is given by the horoscope of birth, for there each planet in its house and sign expresses harmony or discord, health or disease. Therefore, all methods of healing are adequate only in proportion as they take into consideration the stellar harmonies and discords expressed in the wheel of life--the horoscope.
While the laws of Nature that govern in the lower realms are all-powerful under ordinary circumstances, there are higher laws which pertain to the spiritual realms and which may under certain circumstances be made to supersede the former. For instance, the forgiveness of sins upon recognition thereof and true repentance is made to supersede the law which demands and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. When Christ walked upon this Earth and healed the sick, He, being the lord of the Sun, embodied within Himself the synthesis of the stellar vibrations as the octave embodies all the tones of the scale, and He could therefore emit from Himself the true corrective planetary influence required in each case. He sensed the inharmony and knew at once wherewith to offset it by virtue of His exalted development. He had no need of any further preparation, but obtained results at once by substituting harmony for the planetary discord which caused the disease wherewith He was dealing. Only in one case did He take refuge in the higher law and say, "Arise, thy sins are forgiven."
Likewise with the ordinary methods employed in the Rosicrucian System of Healing, they depend upon a knowledge of the planetary inharmonies which cause disease and the correcting influence which will remedy the same. This has sufficed in all the instances which have come under our notice to date. However, there is a more powerful method available under a higher law which may accelerate recovery in cases of long standing, and under certain circumstances where the sincere and heartfelt recognition of wrong exists, may even obliterate the effects of disease before destiny, cold and hard, would otherwise so decree.
When we look with spiritual vision upon one who is diseased, whether the physical body be emaciated or not, it is plainly evident to the Seer that the finer vehicles are much more tenuous than during health. Thus they do not transmit to the physical body a proper quota of vitality, and as a consequence that instrument becomes more or less disrupted. But whatever may be the state of emaciation of the rest of the physical body, certain centers which are tenuous during health in a degree varying with the spiritual development of the man, become clogged in an increasing degree according to the seriousness of the disease. This is particularly true of the main center between the eyebrows. Therein the Spirit is immured, sometimes to such an extent that it loses touch with the outer world and its progress and becomes so thoroughly centered upon its own condition that only complete rupture of the physical body can set it free. This may be a process of long years, and in the meantime the planetary inharmony which caused the initial disease may have passed by, but the sufferer is unable to take advantage of the improved conditions. In such cases a spiritual outpouring of a special kind is necessary to bring to the soul its message, "Thy sins are forgiven." When that has been heard, it may respond to the command, "Take up thy bed and walk."
None among our present humanity can measure anywhere near the stature of the Christ, consequently none can exercise His power in such extreme cases; but the need of that power in active manifestation exists today as much as it did two thousand years ago. Spirit pervades everything in and upon our planet, but in a varying measure. It has more affinity for some substances than for others. Being an emanation from the Christ Principle, it is the Universal Spirit composing the World of Life Spirit that restores the synthetic harmony of the body.
There are two basic laws in the science of Astrotherapy or healing by use of the stellar ray; one is the Law of Compatability, the other, the law of Systemic Receptibility. By knowledge and intelligent application of these laws the sick regain health much more rapidly than otherwise and with minimum effort on the part of the health adjuster.
At the time of conception the Moon was in the degree which ascends at birth (or its opposite); the vital body was then placed in the mother's womb as a matrix into which the chemical elements forming our dense body are built. The vital body emits a sound similar to the buzz of a bumblebee. During life these etheric sound waves attract and place the chemical elements of our food so that they are formed into organs and tissues. So long as the etheric sound waves in our vital body are in harmony with the keynote of the archetype, the chemical elements wherewith we nourish our dense body are properly disposed of and assimilated, and health prevails no matter whether we are stout or thin, of rosy complexion or sallow, or whatever the outward appearance. But the moment the sound waves in the vital body vary from the archetypal key-note, this dissonance places the chemical elements of our food in a manner incongruous with the lines of force in the archetype.
Then imperfect elimination of waste, accumulation of poison in the system, and abnormal growths and other conditions become manifest in the dense body, and disease continues until harmony has been restored to the vital body. When the invisible cause has been removed, the visible effects disappear, and health is restored. Thus we see that incipient disease manifests in the vital body before the dense body begins to show signs of disability, and recovery of the vital body also precedes convalescence.
When a healthy person meets with an accident, his vital body is unimpaired; therefore he may not feel the full extent of the injury until several days afterwards. If he survives the shock of the maximum dissonance between the vital body and the archetype, the chances are good for recovery.
The pitch of the etheric vibration in the vital body is determined by the rising sign, for the reason given. Each of the twelve signs imparts a sound different from that of all the other signs, as each of the twelve signs in the chromatic scale varies from the rest. Some notes blend harmoniously and with a pleasing effect; others are basically discordant and grate upon our sensibilities. Similarly, the harmony of their rising signs makes some people agreeable and capable of helping and healing each other when necessary, while people whose rising signs are in dissonance can neither give each other help nor receive it from each other.
The first consideration, when about to undertake a case, is to discover the basic spiritual relationship between the healer and patient. If the Law of Compatability shows harmony, the outlook is good for a speedy recovery; but where inharmony appears, the patient should be turned over to a doctor or healer with whom he is in accord.
This is the method which the Elder Brothers use in apportioning patients among Invisible Helpers, and it is the key to the success we have had in benefiting all who have applied to Headquarters for help.
Astrologically, there are four elements: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. The planets are so many foci through which the influences of the signs are projected upon the newborn babe and give tone to the body, particularly if located in the Ascendant. The success of the healer varies in proportion as his constitution agrees with that of the patient's ascending sign, whether fiery, earthy, airy, or water.
When Saturn in the horoscope of one person occupies any degree of the zodiac included in the 1st or 6th house of another, those people are mutually incompatible and incapable of conferring benefit upon each other. Mars and Uranus also have an evil effect, but their force is quickly spent; it may be compared to the snap of a terrier. But the influence of Saturn is like the locked jaws of a bulldog, a strangle hold, a death grip, from which there is no release.
The Sun is the great reservoir of life, the very opposite of Saturn; we may therefore readily see that its position would mark one as particularly beneficial to a certain class and in certain diseases. This influence is determined by its position according to triplicity. Thus, those who have the Sun in one of the fiery signs have great healing power with respect to people suffering from diseases ruled by these signs; those with the Sun in airy signs have power over diseases usual to airy signs, etc. Those born under the cardinal sign of a certain triplicity are most successful in treating acute cases of disease pertaining to those three signs; one who has the Sun in a fixed sign is apt in the cure of chronic diseases of that triplicity. Those born with the Sun in common signs make the least successful healers, but have more power to soothe the sick, and often bring recovery by their quieting influence on the patient's nerves. Therefore, they make the best nurses for patients under their triplicity, especially where there is mental trouble or where physical illness is the result of mental unrest.
Thus, people born when the Sun was in one of the fiery signs, Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius, are particularly successful in the treatment of the head, heart, spinal cord, femoral region, fevers, etc. Those born in April, with the Sun in Aries, would be best for the treatment of acute cases of those ailments. Those born in August, with the Sun in Leo, would succeed in chronic cases where others would fail, and if these healers secure a nurse having the Sun in Sagittarius, he or she will aid them in all their cases as no one else could. The same holds good of the other triplicities.
The Moon is the heavenly orb that brings all things to pass; whatever is foreshown by all the other planets never comes to fruition until the Moon brings it to a climax.
There is within the human body an ebb and flow, a tide, just the same as there is in the outside world. There are critical periods in certain diseases in particular that can be measured accurately by the Moon and it is therefore important that all understand the influence of this unusual planet.
There is a cosmic force that culminates at the New Moon and another at the time when the Moon is full. Everything that is started from the time of the New Moon until the full increases in intensity and finally culminates when the Moon is full. That period marks the flowing out of the life that comes from the Sun and is reflected to us by way of the Moon. This force is a great aid in building up the body and keeping it in a healthy condition. From the Full Moon to the time of the New Moon this great light force becomes darker and darker and everything that has come to a focus begins to fade and gradually dies.
Knowing that the Moon has these two influences according to whether it is increasing or decreasing, we find that in applying treatment notice must be taken of them. All treatments, like drugs, may be divided into two general classes: stimulants and sedatives. The first class has a distinctly better effect and is more easily applied during the increase of the Moon, and the other is found much more effectual if used during the Moon's decrease.
The general rule is: From the time of the New Moon to that of the Full Moon stimulants produce the greatest effect and sedatives are weakest. Decrease the dose of stimulants and increase that of sedatives. The exception is: When the Moon increasing approaches a conjunction to Saturn give larger doses of stimulants and smaller doses of sedatives.
When the Moon is increasing and approaching a conjunction to Mars and Mercury, stimulants have their maximum and sedatives their minimum effect.
When the increasing Moon is in good aspect to Jupiter and Venus cardiac stimulation produces the most lasting results. Palpitation is most effectively treated when the Moon is decreasing and aspects the before mentioned planets favorably. Apply heart stimulants with extreme care when the Moon aspects these planets unfavorably, especially when dark. Anesthetics are also then most liable to produce fatal results. If we inhibit the functioning of the pneumogastric nerve to a certain extent, we quiet the heart action and are then applying what would be the equivalent of a sedative in medicine. Manipulation of this nerve in such a way as to stimulate action is applying the equivalent of a medical stimulant.
When we study magnetism we are dealing with an invisible force; and ordinarily we can at best state the way it manifests in the Physical World only, as is the case whenever we deal with any force. The Physical World is the world of effects; the causes are hidden from our sight, though they are nearer than hands or feet. Force is all about us, invisible and only seen by the effects it produces.
If we take a dish of water, for illustration, and allow it to freeze, we shall see a myriad of ice crystals, beautiful geometrical figures. These show the lines along which the water congealed and these lines are lines of force which were present before the water congealed; but they were invisible until the proper conditions were furnished them and they became manifest.
In the same way there are lines of force going between the two poles of a magnet; they are neither seen nor felt until we bring iron or iron filings into the place where they are, when they will manifest by arranging the filings in an orderly pattern. By making the proper conditions we may cause any of the nature forces to show their effects--moving our street cars, carrying messages with lightning speed over thousands of miles, etc., etc., but the force itself is ever invisible. We know that magnetism travels always at right angles to the electric current from which it manifests; we know the difference between the manifestation of the electric and magnetic current, so dependent upon one another, but we have never seen either; though they are about the most valuable servants we have today.
Magnetism may be divided into "mineral" and "animal" magnetism, though in reality they are one, but the former has very little influence upon animal tissue, while the latter is generally impotent in working with minerals.
The mineral magnetism is derived directly from lodestones which are used to magnetize iron; this process gives to the metal thus treated the property of attracting iron. This kind of magnet is very little used, however, as its magnetism becomes depleted, is too weak in proportion to its bulk, and principally because the magnetic force cannot be controlled in such a so-called "permanent" magnet.
The "electromagnet" is also a "mineral" magnet. It is simply a piece of iron wound round with many turns of wire, and the strength of the magnet varies as the number of turns of wire, and the strength of the electric current that is passed through it.
Electricity is all about us in a diffused state, of no use for industrial purposes until it is compressed and forced through the electric wires by the powerful electromagnets. We must have magnetism in the first place before we can get any electricity. Before a new electric generator is started the "fields," which are nothing but electromagnets, must be magnetized. If this is not done they may turn it till the crack of doom, at any rate of speed they please, and it will never light a single lamp nor move a grain of weight; all depends upon the magnetism being there first. After this magnetism is once started it will leave a little behind when the generator is shut down, and this so-called "residual magnetism" will be the nucleus of force to be built up each time the generator is started afresh.
All bodies of plants, animals, and men are but transformed mineral. They have all come from the mineral kingdom in the first place, and chemical analysis of the plant, animal, and human bodies brings out the fact beyond cavil. Moreover, we know that the plants get their sustenance from the mineral soil, and both animal and man are eating mineral when they consume the plants as food; even when man eats the animals he is nevertheless eating mineral compounds, and therefore he gets with his food both the mineral substances and the magnetic force which they contain.
This force we see manifesting in "haemoglobin," or the red coloring matter in the blood, which attracts the life-giving oxygen when it comes into contact with it in the millions of minute capillaries of the lungs, parting with it as readily when it passes through the capillaries which all over the body connect the arteries with the veins. Why is this?
To understand this, we must acquaint ourselves a little closer with the way magnetism manifests as seen in industrial uses.
There are always two fields or a multiple of two fields in a generator or motor, every alternate "field" or magnet being "north-pole" and every other alternating one "south-pole." If we wish to run two or more generators in "multiple" and force electricity into the same wire, the first requisite is that the magnetic current in the field-magnets should run in the same direction.
If that were not the case, they would not run together; they would generate currents going in opposite directions, blowing their fuses. That would be because the poles in one generator, which should have attracted, repelled, and vice versa. The remedy is to change the ends of the wire which magnetizes the field; then the magnetic current in one generator will become like the current of the other, and both will run smoothly together.
Similar conditions prevail in magnetic healing; a certain vibratory pitch and magnetic polarity were infused into each of us when the stellar forces surged through our bodies and gave us our planetary baptism at the moment when we drew our first complete breath. These are modified during our pilgrimage of life, but in the main their initial impulse remains undisturbed and therefore the horoscope at birth remains the most vital power in life to determine our sympathies and antipathies as well as all other matters. Nay, more, its pronouncements are more reliable than our conscious likes and dislikes.
Sometimes we may meet and learn to like a person, although we have a feeling that he has an inimical influence on us for which we cannot account, and therefore strive to put aside; but a comparison of his horoscope with our own will reveal the reason and if we are wise we heed its warning, or as surely as the circling stars move in their orbits around the Sun we will live to regret our disregard of this handwriting on the wall.
But there are also many cases when we do not sense the antipathy between ourselves and a certain person, though the horoscope reveals it, and if we see the signs when comparing the two horoscopes we may feel inclined to trust our feelings rather than the stellar script of the horoscopes. That also will in time lead to trouble, for the planetary polarity is certain to manifest in time unless both parties are sufficiently evolved to rule their stars in a large measure. Such people are few and far between at our present stage of evolution. Therefore we shall do well if we use our knowledge of the stellar script to compare our horoscopes with those at least who come intimately into our lives. This may save both them and us much misery and heartache. We would advise this course particularly with regard to a healer and his patients, and with reference to a prospective marriage partner.
When anyone is ill, resistance is at the lowest ebb, and on that account he is least able to withstand outside influences. So the vibrations of the healer have practically unrestrained effect, and even though he may be ensouled by the noblest of altruistic motives, desiring to pour out his very life for the benefit of the patient, if their stars were adverse at birth, his vibratory pitch and magnetism are bound to have an inimical effect upon the patient. Therefore it is of prime necessity that any healer should have a knowledge of astrology and the Law of Compatibility, whether he belongs to those who admittedly heal by magnetism and the laying on of hands or to the regular school of physicians, for the latter also infuse their vibrations into the patient's aura and help or hinder according to the agreement of their planetary polarity with that of the patient.
What has been said with regard to the healer applies with tenfold force to the nurse, for he or she is with the patient practically all the time and the contact is so much more intimate.
For healer, nurse, and patient, compatability is determined by the rising sign, Saturn, and the 6th house. If their rising signs agree in nature so that all have fiery signs rising, or all have earthy, airy, or watery signs rising, they are harmonious, but if the patient has a watery sign rising, a nurse or a doctor with fiery signs will have a detrimental effect.
It is also necessary to see that Saturn in the horoscope of the nurse or healer is not placed in any of the degrees of the zodiac within the patient's 6th house.
God is Light.
Each time we sink ourselves in these three words we lave in a spiritual fountain of inexhaustible depth, and each succeeding time we sound more thoroughly the divine depths and draw more closely to our Father in heaven.
With every year that passes, with the aid of the greatest telescopes which the ingenuity and mechanical skill of man have been able to construct to pierce the depths of space, it becomes more evident that the infinitude of light teaches us the infinitude of God.
Truly, God is One and undivided. He enfolds within His being all that is, as the white light embraces all colors. But he appears threefold in manifestation, as the white light is refracted in three primary colors: blue yellow, and red. Wherever we see these colors they are emblematical of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three primary rays of divine life are diffused or radiated through the Sun and produce Life, Consciousness, and Form upon each of the seven light-bearers, the planets, which are called "the Seven Spirits before the Throne." Their names are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
Each of the seven planets receives the light of the Sun in a different measure, according to its proximity to the central orb and the constitution of its atmosphere, and the beings upon each, according to the stage of their development have affinity for some of the solar rays. They absorb the color or colors congruous to them, and reflect the remainder upon the other planets. This reflected ray bears with it an impulse of the nature of the beings with which it has been in contact.
Thus the divine Light and Life comes to each planet, either directly from the Sun, or reflected from its six sister planets, and as the summer breeze which has wafted over blooming fields carries upon its silent invisible wings the blended fragrance of a multitude of flowers, so also the subtle influences from the garden of God bring to us the commingled impulses of all the Spirits and in that varicolored light we live and move and have our being.
The rays which come directly from the Sun are productive of spiritual illumination, the reflected rays from other planets make for added consciousness and moral development, and the rays reflected by way of the Moon give physical growth.
But as each planet can absorb only a certain quantity of one or more colors according to the general stage of evolution there, so each being upon Earth: mineral, plant, animal, and man, can absorb and thrive only upon a certain quantity of the various rays projected upon the Earth. The remainder do not affect it or produce sensation, any more than the blind are conscious of the light and color which exist everywhere around them.
The white light of the Sun contains the seven colors of the spectrum. The occultist sees even twelve colors, there being five between red and violet--going one way around the circle--in addition to the red, orange, yellow, green, etc., of the visible spectrum. Four of these colors are quite indescribable, but the fifth--the middle one of the five--is similar to the tint of a new-blown peach blossom. It is in fact the color of the vital body. Trained clairvoyants who describe it as "bluish-gray," or "reddish-gray," etc., are trying to describe a color that has no equivalent in the Physical World: and they are therefore compelled to use the nearest descriptive terms afforded by our language.
When the three primary colors are interblended, there appear four additional colors, the three secondary colors: orange, green, purple, each due to the blending of two primary colors, and one color (indigo) which contains the entire gamut of colors, making in all the seven colors of the spectrum. (Red plus yellow gives orange; blue plus yellow gives green; blue plus red gives purple.)
The color of Mars is red; of Venus, yellow; of mercury, violet; of the Moon, green; of the Sun, orange; of Jupiter, blue; of Saturn, indigo; of uranus, yellow. We may blend these colors in order to obtain help from them. As a matter of fact, it is the complementary color which is seen in the Desire World that produces the effect of the physical colors. If it is desired to restrain one whose Mars is too prominent, the gems, colors, and metals of Saturn will help, but if we want to help someone who is moody and taciturn, we may use the gems, colors, and metals of Mars to advantage.
In the Physical World red has the tendency to excite and energize, whereas green has a cooling and a soothing effect, but the opposite is true when we look at the matter from the viewpoint of the Desire World. There the complementary color is active, and has the effect upon our desires and emotions which we ascribe to the physical color. We speak of jealousy, which is engendered by impure love, as the green-eyed monster.
Upon observing the auras of people, the trained clairvoyant notices the scarlet of anger, the gray and steel blue of fear, the darkish blue of worry, the red cloud of hate, the black veil of despair, etc. A tinge of soft sky-blue indicates hope, optimism, and a dawning religious feeling. Blue shows the highest type of spirituality, but the blue color does not appear outside the dense body save in the very greatest of saints--only yellow is usually observable there.
.... the ground color of the aura is a dull red like the color of a slow burning fire, indicating their passionate, emotional nature. When we examine people upon a somewhat higher rung of the ladder of evolution, the basic color or vibration radiated by them is seen to be of an orange hue, the yellow of intellect mixed with the red of passion. The natural golden color is the Christ ray finding its chemical expression in the oxygen, a solar element, and as we advance upon the path of evolution those who are not professedly religious acquire a tinge of gold in their auras due to the higher altruistic impulses common to the West.
There is an intimate connection between color and tone; when a certain note is struck, a certain color appears simultaneously. In the heaven world color and sound are both present, but the tone is the originator of the color. Pythagoras spoke of the harmony of the spheres, and he did not use that expression simply as a poetical allusion. There is such a harmony. We are told by John that in the beginning was the Word...and without it was nothing made that was made. That was the creative fiat which first started the world into being. We hear of celestial music, for from the point of the heaven world, everything is first created in terms of sound which then molds concrete matter into the multitudinous forms which we see around us. Orderly rhythmic sound is the builder of all that is--the creator and sustainer of all form.
In the occultist's sphere of vision, the whole solar system is one vast musical instrument, spoken of in the Greek mythology as the "seven-stringed lyre of Apollo, the radiant sun god." As there are twelve semitones in the chromatic scale, so we have in the heavens, twelve signs of the zodiac, and as we have the seven keys or whole tones on the keyboard of the piano, we have seven planets. The signs of the zodiac may be said to be the sounding-board of the cosmic harp and the seven planets are the strings; they emit different sounds as they pass through the various signs, and therefore they influence mankind in diverse manner. Should the harmony fail for one single moment, should there be the slightest discord in that heavenly band, this whole universe as such must crumble. For music can destroy as well as build. This has been well proven by great musicians. For instance, the grandson of the immortal Felix Mendelssohn has for several years been experimenting with the power of sound in that direction. He has come to the conclusion that once we find the keynote of a building, bridge, or other structure, we may raze that structure to the ground by sounding that note sufficiently loud and long.
Our supercilious smiles of bygone days when listening to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho are no longer in place. The sound of the ram's horn undoubtedly struck the keynote of those walls which had been sensitized by the rhythmic tramp of his army in preparation for this final climax. The rhythmic tramp of many feet will destroy any bridge, and therefore soldiers are instructed to break step when crossing a bridge.
Thus we may say that every planet gives out a keynote which is the sum total of all the noises upon it, blended and harmonized by the indwelling Planetary Spirit. That sound can be heard by the Spirit ear. As Goethe says:
The invisible sound-vibrations have great power over concrete matter. They both build and destroy. If a small quantity of very fine powder is placed upon a brass or glass plate, and a violin bow drawn across the edge, the vibrations will cause the powder to assume beautiful geometrical figures. The human voice is also capable of producing these figures; always the same figure for the same tone.
If one note or chord after another be sounded upon a musical instrument--a piano, or preferably a violin, for from it more gradations of tone can be obtained--a tone will finally be reached which will cause the hearer to feel a distinct vibration in the back of the lower part of the head. Each time that note is struck, the vibration will be felt. That note is the keynote of the person whom it so affects. If it be sounded in a dominant way, loud and long enough, it will kill as surely as a bullet from a pistol. If, on the other hand, it is struck slowly and soothingly it will build and rest the body, tone the nerves and restore health.
During the daytime the vital body specializes the colorless solar fluid which is all about us, through the organ we call the spleen. This vitality permeates the whole body and is seen by the clairvoyant as a fluid of a pale rose color, having been transmuted upon entering the physical body. It flows along every nerve, and when it is sent out by the brain centers in particularly large quantities it moves the muscles to which the nerves lead.
The vital body may be said to be built of points which stick out in all directions, inward, outward, upward, and downward, all through the body, and each little point goes through the center of one of the chemical atoms, causing it to vibrate at a higher rate than its natural speed. This vital body interpenetrates the dense body from birth till death under all conditions except when, for instance, the blood circulation stops in a certain part, as when we rest a hand upon the edge of a table for some time and it "goes to sleep," as we say. Then, if clairvoyant, we may see the etheric hand as a glove, and the chemical atoms of the hand relapse into their natural slow rate of vibration. When we slap the hand to cause it to "wake up," as we say, the peculiar prickling sensation we feel is caused by the points of the vital body which then re-enter the sleeping atoms of the hand and start them into renewed vibration.
The vital body leaves the dense body in a similar manner when a person is dying. Drowning persons who have been resuscitated experience an intense agony caused by the entrance of these points, which they feel as a prickling sensation.
During the daytime, when the solar fluid is being absorbed by the man in great quantities, these points of the vital body are blown out or distended, as it were, by the vital fluid, but as the day advances and poisons of decay clog the physical body more and more, the vital fluid flows less rapidly; in the evening there comes a time when the points in the vital body do not get a full supply of the life-giving fluid; they shrivel up and the atoms of the body move more sluggishly in consequence. Thus the Ego feels the body to be heavy, dull, and tired. At last there comes a time when, as it were, the vital body collapses and the vibrations of the dense atoms become so slow that the Ego can no longer move the body. It is forced to withdrawn in order that its vehicles may recuperate. Then we say the body has gone to sleep.
Sleep is not an inactive state, however; if it were, there would be no difference in feeling in the morning and no restorative power in sleep. The vey word restoration implies activity.
When a building has become dilapidated from constant wear and tear and it is necessary to renovate and restore it, the tenants move out to give the workmen full play. For similar reasons the Ego moves out of its tenement at night. As the workmen work upon the building, to make it fit for reoccupancy, so the Ego must work upon its building before it will be fit to re-enter. And such a work is done by us during the night time, although we are not conscious of it in our waking state. It is this activity which removes the poisons from the system, and as a result the body is fresh and vigorous in the morning when the Ego enters at the time of waking.
It has been asked if a person can be influenced in natural sleep as he can in hypnotic sleep, or if there is a difference. Yes, there is a difference. In the natural sleep, the Ego, clothed in the mind and desire body, draws outside the physical body and usually hovers over the body, or at any rate remains close to it, connected by the silver cord, while the vital body and the dense body are resting upon the bed.
It is then possible to influence the person by instilling into his brain the thoughts and ideas we wish to communicate. Nevertheless, we cannot then get him to do anything or to entertain any idea except that which is in line with his natural proclivities. It is impossible to command him to do anything and to enforce obedience, the same as it is when he has been driven out by the passes of the hypnotist, for it is the brain which moves the muscles, and during the natural sleep his brain is interpenetrated by his own vital body and he is in perfect control himself, while during the hypnotic sleep the passes of the hypnotist have driven the ether of which his vital body is composed out of the brain, down to the shoulders of the victim, where it lies around his neck and resembles the collar of a sweater. The dense brain is then open to the ether from the hypnotist's vital body, which displaces that of the proper owner. Thus, in the hypnotic sleep the victim has no choice whatever as to the ideas he entertains or the movements he makes with his body, but in the ordinary sleep he is still a free agent. In fact, this method of suggestion during sleep is something which mothers will find extremely beneficial in treating refractory children, for if the mother will sit by the bed of the sleeping child, hold its hand, speak to it as she would speak when it is awake, instill into its brain ideas of such a nature as she would wish it to entertain, she will find that in the waking state many of these ideas will have taken root. Also in dealing with a person who is sick or is addicted to drink, if the mother, nurse, or others use this method, they will find it possible to instill hope and healing, materially furthering recovery or aiding self-mastery.
From the occult viewpoint it is obviously wrong to try to cure a bad habit, such as drunkenness, by hypnotism. Looked at from the standpoint of one life, such methods as those employed by the healers of the Immanuel Movement, etc., are undoubtedly productive of an immense amount of good. The patient is seated in a chair, put into sleep and there he is given certain so-called "suggestions." He rises and is cured of his bad habit; from being a drunkard he becomes a respectable citizen who cares for his wife and family, and upon the face of it the good seems to be undeniable.
But looking at it from the deeper standpoint of the occultist, who views this life as only one in many, and looking at it from the effect is has upon the invisible vehicles of man, the case is vastly different. When a man is put into a hypnotic sleep, the hypnotist makes passes over him which have the effect of expelling the ether from the head of his dense body and substituting the ether of the hypnotist. The man is then under the perfect domination of another; he has no free will, and, therefore, the so- called "suggestions" are in reality commands which the victim has no choice but to obey. Besides, when the hypnotist withdraws his ether and wakens the victim he is unable to remove all the ether he put into him. To use a simile, as a small part of the magnetism infused into an electric dynamo before it can be started for the first time is left behind and remains as residual magnetism to excite the fields of the dynamo every time it is started up, so also there remains a small part of the ether of the hypnotist's vital body in the medulla oblongata of the victim, which is a club the hypnotist holds over him all his life, and it is due to this fact that suggestions to be carried out at a period subsequent to the awakening of the victim are invariably followed.
Thus the victim of a hypnotic healer does not overcome the bad habit by his own strength, but is as much chained in that respect as if he were in solitary confinement, and although in this life he may seem to be a better citizen, when he returns to Earth in another embodiment he will have the same weakness and have to struggle until at last he overcomes it himself.
There are methods of protecting oneself from inimical influences, and it is better to be enlightened concerning things that threaten so that we may take whatever precautions are necessary to meet the emergency.
When we live lives of purity, when our days are filled with service to God and to our fellow men, and with thoughts and actions of the highest nobility, then we create for ourselves the Golden Wedding Garment, which is a radiant force for good. No evil is able to penetrate this armor, for the evil acts as a boomerang and recoils on the one who sent it, bringing to him the evil he wished others.
It is a fact than an auric atmosphere surrounds every human being. We know that often we feel the presence of a person whom we do not see, and we feel it because there is this atmosphere outside of our dense bodies. This is gradually changing; gradually it is becoming more and more golden in the West. The farther we go with the Sun, the more this golden color increases--the color of the Christ and of the Christ-like, the saints whom painters have depicted with a halo. Gradually we are becoming more like Him, and this soma psuchicon or soul body is taking shape, is being made ready as our "Wedding Garment."
But, alas, none of us are altogether good. We know only too well the war between the flesh and the Spirit. We cannot hide from ourselves the fact that like Paul, "the good that we would do, we do not, and the evil that we would shun, that we do." Far too often our good resolutions come to naught and we do wrong because it is easier. Therefore, we all have the nucleus of evil within ourselves, which affords the open sesame for evil forces to work upon. For that reason it is best for us not to expose ourselves unnecessarily at places where seances are held with Spirits invisible to us, no matter how fine their teachings may sound to the unsophisticated. Neither should we take part even as spectators at hypnotic demonstrations, for there also a negative attitude lays one liable to the danger of obsession. We should at all times follow the advice of Paul and put on the whole armor of God. We should be positive in our fight for the good against the evil and never let an occasion slip to aid the Elder Brothers by word or deed in the Great War for spiritual supremacy.