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Lesson 1: The Visible and Invisible Worlds
Lesson 2: The Desire World
Lesson 3: The World of Thought
Lesson 4: The Four Kingdoms
Lesson 5: The Four Kingdoms [continued]
Lesson 6: Man and His Bodies
Lesson 7: Man and His Bodies [continued]
Lesson 8: The Method of Evolution
Lesson 9: The Method of Evolution [continued]
Lesson 10: The Method of Evolution [continued]
Lesson 11: Rebirth and Consequence
Lesson 12: Acquiring First Hand Knowledge

The Western Wisdom Teachings:
Preliminary Philosophy Course

Lesson No. 12:
Acquiring First-Hand Knowledge

1] Instruments of the Ego:

   It is the hallmark of a good artisan that he is very fastidious as to the quality and condition of the tools he uses, because he knows that the work depends as much upon their excellence as upon his skill. The Ego has several instruments which are its tools, and upon their quality and condition depends how much or how little it can accomplish in its work of gathering experience in each life.

Question 1:

  You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include your e-mail address, full name, course name and lesson number in your e-mail to us.

What are the Ego's instruments for acquiring first-hand knowledge? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 430-432)

2] Methods of Spiritual Endeavor:

   The object of spiritual endeavor is the conquering of the lower nature--union with the Higher Self--but to be efficacious the method of seeking that union must be appropriate to the stage in evolution of the aspirant. Eastern methods are unsuitable and dangerous for Western people.

   The Rosicrucian method of attainment differs from other systems in one special particular. It aims, even at the very start, to emancipate the pupil from dependence upon others, to make him self-reliant in the very highest degree, so that he may be able to stand alone under all circumstances and cope with all conditions. Only one who is thus strongly poised can help the weak.

   The Rosicrucian Order was started particularly for those who must satisfy the reason before heeding the voice of the heart. Intellect imperiously demands a logical explanation of everything - the world mystery, the questions of life and death. Therefore, the Western Wisdom Teaching intends, first of all, to satisfy the aspirant for knowledge that everything in the universe is reasonable, thus winning over the rebellious intellect. When he can believe in his heart that which his head has sanctioned, he can start to live the life of purity and service which will unfold his latent spiritual faculties. His rate of unfoldment will depend upon his own efforts, and his ability to maintain poise and self-control under trying circumstances will indicate the degree of his spiritual attainment.

Question 2:

How does the Rosicrucian method of attainment differ particularly from others? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 437-441, page 531.)

3] The Value of Prayer:

   The Leaders of humanity instituted prayer as a means of bringing pure and lofty thought to work on the vital body, and enjoined us to "pray without ceasing." The spiritual aspirant who is following the intellectual path particularly needs to cultivate the spirit of worship and adoration which is necessary for true prayer, and when upon the wings of love and aspiration, propelled by the intensity of his earnestness, he has soared to the Throne of the Father, there may come a time of sweet but silent communion more delightful than any other state or stage.

Question 3:

Give a brief analysis of the Lord's Prayer, pointing out the correlation of its parts to the different vehicles. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, page 435, pages 462-466.)

4] Clairvoyance:

   What a man sees depends upon the sensitiveness of his eye. Some people can distinguish objects at a distance which are invisible to other people. Artists perceive shades of color which ordinary people cannot distinguish and some people are color blind; and there are those who cannot see at all - they are blind. The people who can see farthest or distinguish the most delicate shades of color are more clairvoyant, or clearsighted, than the rest.

   Thus, we may understand that a clairvoyant is a person whose sense of sight has become so extended that he perceives another world, which is invisible to most of us, and that he is able to see everything there. There are two kinds of clairvoyance, or spiritual vision, however: the positive and the negative. Positive spiritual vision is a definite faculty as real as physical sight and as necessary to perception of the spiritual worlds and to true insight into superphysical conditions as physical sight is indispensable to a comprehensive insight into material things. It is accomplished by living a life of purity and "loving, self-forgetting service to others," paying special attention to the eating of pure food, and to the exercising of the faculties of observation, discrimination, and devotion to high ideals. Thus the seven currents in the desire body are developed into powerful vortices, the creative force is raised to the head where the gap between the pituitary body and pineal gland is bridged, and the aspirant becomes positively clairvoyant, able to see into the spiritual worlds at will.

   The student should understand, however, that the evolving of voluntary clairvoyance is an arduous task, and this faculty, consequently, is possessed by few, while negative clairvoyance, unfortunately, has been developed by many who had no high ideals to prevent prostitution of their faculty for gold. The trained clairvoyant must have given proof of his utter unselfishness, and he never exercises his faculty for personal gain or to satisfy mere curiosity.

Question 4:

How is positive clairvoyance attained? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 473-485.)

5] Spiritual Exercises:

   Two specific exercises, retrospection and concentration, are given by the Rosicrucian School to the aspirant on the path of preparation. Both lead to the unfoldment of spiritual sight and power, the former being especially important.

Question 5:

Give a brief description of the morning and evening exercises designed especially to aid in developing the latent spiritual powers inherent in each individual. (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 111, 486-489, 697-720; in paper covered edition, pages 599, 603.)

6] Spiritual Teachers:

   The Bible teaches us very clearly that we should try all spirits and judge them accordingly. If we do this, we shall never be deceived by self-styled teachers. The true Teachers, the Elder Brothers, who are now preparing the conditions of evolution which are to prevail during the Jupiter Period, have the consciousness pertaining to that Period. Thus, they naturally and without effort use the external picture speech by which they, when speaking, project pictures upon the consciousness of those whom they are addressing, and thereby at once give evidence of their identity.

   The student should realize that no highly evolved teacher could afford to give his time and energy to the instruction of a single pupil, when he might just as easily teach a large number. Therefore, anyone who thinks he is being visited habitually by an Elder Brother as an "individual teacher" is being deceived. Self-reliance is the cardinal virtue which aspirants are required to cultivate in the Western Mystery School. No one is allowed to lean on Masters, nor blindly to follow Leaders. The Brothers of the Rose Cross aim to emancipate the aspirants who come to them; to educate, to strengthen, and to make them co-workers. At most, they only advise and suggest when asked for assistance. The student will save himself from many pitfalls if he will bear these facts clearly in mind.

Question 6:

How may we recognize a true spiritual teacher? (The preceding paragraph contains all information required to answer this question but more on this subject can be found in Letters to Students, by Max Heindel, page 96.)

7] Initiation:

   The general idea of Initiation is that it is merely a ceremony which makes one a member of a secret society; that it may be conferred upon anyone willing to pay a certain price, a sum of money in most cases.

   While this is true of the so-called initiation of fraternal orders and also in most pseudo-occult orders, it is altogether an erroneous idea when applied to Initiation into various degrees of truly occult Brotherhoods, such as the Rosicrucian Order.

   Initiation is an inward experience, entirely separate and apart from any ceremonial whatever, and therefore, it is an absolute impossibility for anyone to sell it to anyone else. There is no golden key to spiritual attainment; merit alone counts. Initiation can positively never take place until the requisite inner development has made the aspirant ready to be shown how to use his accumulated power. Initiation changes a person's whole life. It gives them a confidence that they never possessed before. It clothes them with a mantle of authority that can never be taken from them. No matter what the circumstances in life, it sheds a light upon his or her whole being that is simply wonderful. You must have the soul power requisite for Initiation or no one can initiate you.

Question 7:

What is true initiation? (The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 524-530.)

Course Study Resources Study Quiz #1 E-mail your answers to us.

Answers to Lesson No. 11

1] (a) The Materialistic Theory holds that life is a journey from the womb to the tomb; that mind is the result of certain correlations of matter; that man is the highest intelligence in the cosmos; and that his intelligence perishes when the body disintegrates at death.

  (b) The Theory of Theology asserts that at each birth a newly-created soul enters the arena of life fresh from the hand of God, passing from an invisible state through the gate of birth into visible existence; that at the end of one short span of life in the material world it passes out through the gate of death into the invisible beyond, whence it returns no more; that its happiness or misery there is determined for all eternity by its actions during the infinitesimal period intervening between birth and death.

  (c) The Theory of Rebirth teaches that each soul is an integral part of God, enfolding all divine possibilities as the seed enfolds the plant; that by means of repeated existences in an earthly body of gradually improving quality the latent possibilities are slowly developed into dynamic powers; that none are lost by this process but that all mankind will ultimately attain the goal of perfection and reunion with God.

2] The varied phenomena of the universe support the idea that the path of evolution is a spiral. Observation shows that all things move in progressive cycles - the branch, the twig, the leaf, the seasons of the year; even the solar systems.

3] What we are, what we have, all our good qualities are the result of our own actions in the past, rather than the result of the whims of a capricious God. What we lack in physical, moral, or mental excellence may yet be ours in the future, any degree of development being possible to those who put forth sufficient effort.

4] Genius is extraordinary talent beyond that which is possessed by the ordinary individual, and was acquired by close application and hard work in many previous lives.

5] We are reborn into certain families and environments to obtain the necessary experiences to further our evolution.

6] Generally speaking, every Ego is born twice during the time the Sun is passing (by precession of the equinoxes) through one sign of the zodiac, and, in order to obtain all experience, it is reborn alternately in a male and a female body. Each person is born at the time when the position of the bodies in the solar system will give the conditions necessary to his experience and advancement in the school of life.

7] Alcoholic liquor was needed on account of its benumbing effect upon the spiritual principle in man, making it possible for him to know, evalutate and conquer the physical world.

Lesson 1: The Visible and Invisible Worlds:
The Seven Worlds
The Seven Subdivisions
The Two General Classifications
The Chemical Ether
The Life Ether
The Light Ether
The Reflecting Ether
Lesson 2: The Desire World:
Nature of the Desire World
Forces Operative In The Desire World
Manner of Operation of The Twin Forces
The Principle of Emphasizing The Good
The Borderland
The First Heaven
Lesson 3: The World of Thought:
Nature of The Thought World Thought Force
The Archetype
Thought Forms
Matter a Reflection of Spirit
Relation of The Worlds
Correlation of The Earth to Other Planets and Other Solar Systems
Lesson 4: The Four Kingdoms:
Differences In The Kingdoms
The Basis of Growth
The Vital Body
Relation of Dense and Vital Bodies
Separation of Vital and Dense Bodies
The Source of Vital Force
The Vital Body and Health
Lesson 5: The Four Kingdoms [continued]:
Substance of the Desire World
Man's Desire Body
Differences Between Animal and Man
The Nature of Group Spirits
Wisdom of the Group Spirit
Relation of the Kingdoms to the Earth's Life Currents as Symbolized by the Cross
Requisites for the Expression of an Individual Ego
Lesson 6: Man and His Bodies:
The Four Ethers
Building of the Vital Body
Restoration During Sleep
Arrangement of Chemical and Life Ether Atoms
Nature of Light and Reflecting Ether Atoms
The Soul Body
The Invisible Helper
Lesson 7: Man and His Bodies [continued]:
The Purpose of Desire
Composition of the Desire Body
Centers of Perception
Results of Action of Desire Body
The Nature of the Mind
Importance of the Mind
The Dangers of Intellect
Lesson 8: The Method of Evolution:
Relation of Man to the Denser Worlds
Divisions of the Spirit
Formation of Ideas
Action of the Mind
Kinds of Memory
Activities During Sleep
The Work of the Spirit
Lesson 9: The Method of Evolution [continued]:
The Seed Atoms and the Silver Cord
The Panorama
The Borderland
The First Heaven
The Second Heaven
The Third Heaven
Lesson 10: The Method of Evolution [continued]:
Selection of Material for New Bodies
Formation of the New Bodies
Faculties of the Child
Birth of the Higher Vehicles
The Blood the Vehicle of the Ego
The Life Cycle
Lesson 11: Rebirth and Consequence:
Theories Regarding Life and Death
The Spiral Path of Evolution
Justice A Factor In the Laws of Rebirth and Consequence
Heredity and Genius
The Laws of Attraction and Association
Astrological Phase of the Twin Laws
Wine As a Factor in Evolution
Lesson 12: Acquiring First Hand Knowledge:
Instruments of the Ego
Methods of Spiritual Endeavor
The Value of Prayer
Spiritual Exercises
Spiritual Teachers

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