Visible and Invisible Worlds
[The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, pages 24-29]
Q. What is the student's first step in occultism?
A. The study of the invisible worlds.
Q. Why do we call them invisible worlds?
A. Because they are invisible to the majority of people, on account of the dormancy of the finer and higher senses whereby they may be perceived the same as the physical world about us.
Q. Can you give an illustration of this condition?
A. To the man who is born blind, most things that we see in the physical world are non existent, because he lacks the sense of sight. For instance, light and color are beyond his ken. So it is with the greater part of humanity; they feel and hear matters pertaining to the physical world, but the conditions in the invisible worlds are as foreign to them as light and color are to the blind man.
Q. Because the blind man cannot see light and color or the deaf man hear sounds, does it constitute a valid argument that they do not exist?
A. It does not.
Q. Then, it is a logical argument to say that because most people cannot see the super physical worlds, they do not exist, and if not why?
A. It is not, because if the blind man obtains his sight he will see light and color. In like manner, if the higher senses of the super-physical blind are awakened, they also will be able to behold the things that are now hidden from them.
Q. When one has developed the sense of clairvoyance and is able to "see" in the super physical realms, is it reasonable to assert that he "knows all about" these higher worlds?
A. It is not, because such a condition is impossible in every day life. The blind man having had his sight restored would not at once "know all about" the physical worlds, and in all probability never would.
Q. What is the Hermetic aphorism?
A. "As above, so below."
Q. Are the facilities for acquiring knowledge in the
super-physical worlds greater or less than in the physical
A. They are much greater, But much more care is needed there than here, as has been observed by those qualified to know.
Q. Why are the observations of trained clairvoyants of more value than the untrained?
A. Because they realize how little the single investigator can grasp of the multitudinous details, and are, therefore, more modest in telling about them, and are ever ready to defer to the versions of others.
Q. What general argument do superficial people use against the existence of higher worlds?
A. They contend that if these worlds exist, investigators must necessarily bring back identical descriptions.
Q. What illustration from everyday life proves the fallacy of this contention?
A. Suppose a newspaper should send out twenty trained reporters and observers to report on a certain city, rebuilt after a fire, it is quite certain that, out of the twenty reporters, no two would be exactly alike. They might treat the leading features with some similarity, but there would be a wide difference at to detail, quantity, and quality of the matter submitted.
Q. Would you consider it an argument against the existence of the city that the reports differed in various essentials?
A. No. Because each saw the city from his own particular point of view, and a perusal of all reports would give a fuller and better understanding of the city. Each report would round out and complete the others, and the same is true regarding accounts made by investigators of the higher worlds.
Q. Why investigate these super-physical worlds? The Bible says "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof;" then why should we go beyond this world?
A. The time comes to everyone, sooner or latter, when he or she must leave this world and be placed in new and strange conditions beyond, and would it not be to our advantage to know something about these new conditions and environments just the same as if we were planning a journey to some foreign country. Such knowledge would have a very satisfying and composing effect, for we would know what to expect.
Q. At what time would such knowledge likely be of the most benefit?
A. At the time of death, when we are about to pass into the beyond and new conditions.
Q. What other name is sometimes given to the super-physical world?
A. The world of causes.
Q. And what name is sometimes given to the physical world?
A. The world of effects.
Q. Is it necessary to understand the cause before we can comprehend the effect?
A. It is. And it is also necessary to understand the super-physical world before we can thoroughly know the physical world.
Q. Can you give an illustration of this law of cause and effect?
A. We see street cars in motion and hear telegraph instruments clicking. These are effects, but the mysterious force which causes the phenomena remains invisible to us. To thoroughly understand the effects, it is necessary to know something about the causes.
Q. What can you say as to the reality of the higher worlds as compared to the physical world?
A. Strange as it may seem, the higher worlds, are much more real and indestructible than the objects in the physical world.
Q. Can you give an illustration of this condition?
A. An architect "thinks the house out" before procuring the material and starting to build. It first takes form in his mind.
Q. Is the thought-form of the house visible to anyone but the architect?
A. Not until he makes it objective on paper. Then the workmen may construct the house to correspond to the thought-form.
Q. Which then is the more substantial and lasting, the house or the image in the architects mind, and why?
A. The image. Because it will exist as long as the architect lives, but the house may be destroyed in many ways, by fire, hurricane or decay.
Q. But supposing the architect is destroyed or dies, will this not also destroy the thought-form, the image in the architect's mind?
A. Not even the architect or anything that may happen to him can destroy it, because it can be recovered by those who are able to read the memory of nature. This will be dealt with later on.
Q. In how many worlds is the universe divided in the Rosicrucian Teachings, and what are they?
A. Into seven worlds. The World of God, the World of Virgin Spirits, the World of Divine Spirit, the World of Life Spirit, the World of Thought, the Desire World and the Physical World.
Q. Why is this division necessary?
A. Because the substance of each of these worlds is amenable to laws which are practically inoperative in others.
Q. Can you give an explanation of this condition?
A. In the physical world matter is subject to gravity, contraction and expansion, while in the desire world there is neither heat nor cold and forms levitate as easily as they gravitate.
Q. What do we learn about distance and time in these worlds?
A. In the physical world distance and time are governing factors of existence, but in the desire world they are almost non-existent.
Q. What is said about the density of the worlds?
A. They vary in density, the physical world being the densest of the seven.
Q. how is each of these worlds subdivided?
A. Solids, liquids and gases form the three denser subdivisions, the remaining four being ethers of varying densities.
Q. By what general term are the three dense subdivisions of the physical world known?
A. The chemical region, composed of solids, liquids and gases.
Q. What name is given to the four upper and finer regions of the physical world?
A. The etheric region, comprising the chemical ether, life ether and reflecting ether.
Q. Into how many classes does the materialist divide matter and what are they?
A. Into three classes, solids, liquids and gases.
Q. Why does the occultist class solids, liquids, and gases as chemical matter?
A. Because they are derived from the chemical constituents of the earth.
Q. What has been built from this chemical matter?
A. All the forms of mineral, plant, animal and man, the mountain or the cloud, the juice of the plant or the blood of the animal, the air we breathe or the water we drink -- all are composed of the same chemical substance.
Q. What is it that molds this basic substance into the multiplex forms we see about us?
A. The One Universal Spirit expressing itself in the visible worlds as four great streams of life-the four kingdoms-mineral, plant, animal and man.
Q. What happens to a form when it has served its purpose for the three higher streams of life -- plant, animal and man?
A. The chemical forces disintegrate that form so that the matter may be returned to its primordial state and made available for the building of new forms.
Q. What is the relation between the spirit and the form it occupies?
A. The spirit which molds the form into an expression of itself is as extraneous to the matter it uses as a carpenter is apart and personally independent of the house he builds for his own occupancy.
Q. As all the forms of mineral, plant, animal and man are chemical, is it a logical deduction to assert that they are as dead and devoid of feeling as chemical matter in it primitive state?
A. Yes, and it is so held by the Rosicrucians.
Q. Is this deduction disputed?
A. Some scientists contend that there is feeling in all tissue, living or dead, even in minerals.
Q. What contention is advanced by other investigators along this line?
A. Other investigators teach that there is no feeling in the human body except in the brain, which is the seat of all feeling.
Q. Why are both positions taken partly right, and how can you illustrate them?
A. It depends upon what we mean by "feeling." If we mean response to impact, of course it is correct to attribute feeling to mineral, plant and animal tissue; but if we mean pleasure and pain, it would be absurd to attribute them to the lower forms of life.
Q. By whom and for what purpose were we placed in this physical environment?
A. By the great and wise beings who carry out the will and design of god, for the purpose of teaching us great and important lessons which could not be learned under other conditions.
Q. What is our duty in this connection?
A. to use our knowledge in the higher worlds in learning the lessons which this material world has to teach us.
Q. To what is the physical world compared?
A. To a model school or experiment station where we are taught lessons that help us to work correctly in other worlds.
Q. Are these lessons imparted to us if we do not know of the other worlds?
A. They are imparted to us, and it proves the great wisdom of the originators of the plan.
Q. Why was the plan adopted?
A. Because, if we had knowledge of none but the higher worlds, we would make many mistakes when only physical conditions were encountered.
Q. How can you illustrate this point?
A. An inventor builds a machine in thought and it appears to perform the work it was intended to do. He next makes a drawing of the design and finds that modifications are necessary. Then further modifications are required before the machine will perform its work. He may have to remodel it entirely, or perhaps, evolve a new plan. so, if there had been no material machine constructed, making evident the faults of the first idea, a second thought would not have been formed.
Q. To what other condition of life does this plan apply?
A. To social, mercantile and philanthropic. Many plans appear excellent and look well on paper, but when brought to the actual test, they fail.
Q. Why should we not be discouraged with such reverses?
A. Because "we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes."
Q. Then what is the proper light in which to regard this physical world?
A. As a school of valuable experience in which we learn lessons of the utmost importance.
Q. Which part of the physical world is practically unexplored by material science?
A. The etheric region, which is the invisible intangible world.
Q. Which of the invisible substances is known to science and what can you relate in reward to it?
A. The invisible substance known as air. Science knows that it exists its velocity as wind can be measured, and it can be made visible as liquid by compression.
Q. What conditions exist in relation to ether?
A. Science admits that there is a finer substance than it knows about and it calls this substance "ether." It does not really know that it exists or what it is, as it is altogether too elusive for "the wizard of the laboratory." he cannot measure, weigh nor analyze it in any way.
Q. What is the best way to learn the secrets of nature?
A. By improving the investigator and not by inventing instruments.
Q. What means of investigations are used by occultists?
A. They use senses and faculties which eliminate distance, compensate for lack of size and enables them to hear sounds that are inaudible to the outer ear.
Q. What comparison can you make in regard to this spiritual perception?
A. It is an much greater than the power of a telescope or microscope as these instruments exceed the power of the human eye.
Q. Is ether a tangible substance to the trained clairvoyant?
A. It is a tangible as are the solids, liquids and gases of the chemical region to ordinary beings.
Q. How many classes or states of ether are there and what are their names?
A. Four, known as chemical ether, life ether, light ether and reflecting ether.
Q. How does the chemical ether manifest itself?
A. This ether is both positive and negative.
Q. What forces work through this ether?
A. The forces which cause assimilation and excretion.
Q. What is assimilation?
A. The process whereby the nutritive elements of food are incorporated into the body of plant, animal and man.
Q. How do these forces work?
A. They work along the positive pole of the chemical ether and attract the needed elements, building them into the forms concerned.
Q. Do these forms act blindly or mechanically?
A. No, they act in a selective way thereby accomplishing their purpose, which is the growth and maintenance of the body.
Q. How is excretion carried off?
A. It is carried on by the same forces, working along the negative pole of the chemical ether.
Q. What is accomplished by this pole?
A. It expels from the body the materials in the food which are unfit for use, or those which have outlived their usefulness.
Q. Do we have control over theses processes?
A. We do not. They are independent of man's volition.
Q. Which forces operate through the life ether?
A. The forces which have for their object the maintenance of the species, propagation.
Q. How many poles has the life ether?
A. Two, the positive and the negative.
Q. Which forces work along the positive pole?
A. Those which work in the female during gestation.
Q. Which forces work along the negative pole of the life ether?
A. The forces which enable the male to produce semen.
Q. How are these forces differentiated?
A. The forces which work along the positive pole of the life ether produce male plants, animals and men, and the forces which express themselves through the negative pole generate females.
Q. What is said of the light ether?
A. it is also both positive and negative.
Q. What is accomplished by the forces which play along the positive pole of the light ether?
A. They generate blood heat in the higher species of animal and in man, which makes them individual sources of heat.
Q. And what work is accomplished by the forces which play along the negative pole?
A. They operate through the senses as the passive functions of sight, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. They also build and nourish the eye.
Q. how does the light ether operate as regards the cold-blooded animals.
A. The positive pole is the avenue of the forces which circulate the blood, and the negative forces have the same functions in regard to the eye as in the case of the higher animals and man.
Q. What are these forces doing where eyes are lacking?
A. The forces working in the negative pole of the light ether are perhaps building on nourishing other sense organs, as they do in all that have sense organs.
Q. What do these forces accomplish in the plant kingdom?
A. The forces which work along the positive pole of the light ether cause the circulation of the juices of the plants.
Q. Why does the sap in trees and plants cease to flow in the winter season?
A. In the winter the light ether is not charged with the rays of the sun, as in the summer, and the sap ceases to flow until the sun again invests the light ether with its force.
Q. Which of these forces produces the colors in flowers and plants?
A. The forces which work along the negative pole of the light ether deposit the chlorophyll, the green substance in the plant, and the color of the flowers.
Q. Why do animals have the darkest color on their backs and flowers deepest color on the side of the light?
A. Because the forces which work along the negative pole of the light ether are charged with sunlight.
Q. What is the effect in the polar regions where the rays of the sun are weak?
A. All color is lighter and in some cases so sparingly deposited that it is withdrawn altogether and the animals become white.
Q. What does the reflecting ether contain?
A. The reflection of the memory of nature. Everything that ever happened has left behind it an ineffaceable picture.
Q. What examples can you give of these ineffaceable records?
A. The idea, or picture, of the house in the mind of the architect even after his death. The giant ferns pictured in the coal beds. The progress of the glacier of a bygone day.
Q. Are the thoughts and acts of men recorded in this reflecting ether?
A. They are, and they may be read there by the trained seer.
Q. Where is the real memory of nature found?
A. In a much higher realm.
Q. Why do trained clairvoyants not care to read in the ordinary reflecting ether?
A. Because the pictures are blurred and vague compared to those found in the higher realm.
Q. Where do ordinary psychometrists and mediums obtain their knowledge?
A. Through the reflecting ether.
Q. How does the student in the occult school obtain his knowledge?
A. To some slight extent, the pupil in the first stages of his training also reads in the reflecting ether.
Q. What warning is given him by his teacher?
A. He is warned of the insufficiencies of this ether as a means of acquiring reliable information.
Q. Through what medium does thought make an impression on the human mind?
A. Through the reflecting ether.
Q. Where is the home world of the human mind?
A. In the region of concrete thought. There a much clearer version of the memory of nature is found than in the reflecting ether.
Q. In what respect does the Desire World correspond to all the other realms of nature?
A. It has seven subdivisions called "regions."
Q. What is accomplished by the forces in the seven regions of the Desire World?
A. They impel the quickened dense body to move in this or that direction.
Q. If only the forces of the Physical World existed, what would be the result?
A. There would be forms having life and able to move, but with no incentive for so doing.
Q. How is this incentive supplied?
A. By the cosmic forces active in the Desire World.
Q. What would result without the activity of the Desire World?
A. There would be no experience or moral growth. The different ethers would take care of the growth of form, but moral growth would be lacking.
Q. Of what great importance is this realm of nature?
A. Without the Desire World, evolution would be an impossibility, both as to form and life, for it is only in response to the acquirement of spiritual growth that forms evolve to higher states.
Q. What is expressed in the matter of the different regions of the Desire World?
A. Desires, wishes, passions, and feelings.
Q. Is the distinction between the forces and the matter in the Desire World as definite and apparent as in the Physical World?
A. It is not. here the ideas of force and matter are almost identical or inter-changeable. To a certain extent, we may say that the Desire World consists of force-matter.
Q. In speaking of the matter of the Desire World, we say that it is one degree less dense than the matter of the Physical World, but is it finer physical matter?
A. It is not, although so held by many who have studied occult philosophies.
Q. How is this wrong impression caused?
A. by the difficulty of giving a full and accurate description of necessary for a thorough understanding of the higher worlds.
Q. Why should the descriptions we hear of these realms be taken tentatively, as similes?
A. Because our language is descriptive of material things and, therefore, entirely inadequate to describe the conditions in the super-physical realms.
Q. Is it possible to explain in words the change or difference in physical matter when it is broken up into desire-stuff?
A. It is not. We do not say that the rose is a finer form of iron because both are composed of one ultimate atomic substance.
Q. What comparison can you make between the law of matter in the Chemical Region and matter in the Desire World?
A. In the Chemical Region the law of matter is inertia, inactivity, while in the Desire World matter is in unceasing motion, fluidics and seen in a thousand ever-changing shades of color.
Q. Then what is the Desire World?
A. A world of ever-changing light and color, in which the forces of animal and man intermingle with the forces of innumerable spiritual beings which do not appear in our Physical world, and which are as active in the Desire World as we are here. (Some of these will be dealt with later.)
Q. What do the forces sent out by this vast and varied host of beings accomplish?
A. They mold the ever-changing matter of the Desire World into forms of more or less durability, according to the kinetic energy of the impulse which gave them birth.
Q. Is it easy for a neophyte to find his balance in the Desire World?
A. It is not.
Q. What can you say about the trained clairvoyant in the Desire World?
A. The trained clairvoyant soon ceases to wonder at the impossible descriptions sometimes brought through by mediums.
Q. When the inner organs of perception have been vivified, is it necessary to be trained in the use of the newly acquired faculty, and why?
A. It is necessary. Just as all of us had to learn to see correctly and intelligently in our infancy, and as the blind man, who has gained his sight, will at first close his eyes to walk from one place to another, so the neophyte will at first try to apply his knowledge of the Physical World to the laws of the world into which he is entering. Before he can understand, he must become as a little child and imbibe knowledge, without reference to previous experience.
Q. What else is necessary to arrive at a correct understanding of the Desire World?
A. It is necessary to realize that it is the world of feelings, desires and emotions.
Q. What forces dominate feelings, desires and emotions?
A. Attraction and Repulsion.
Q. Do these forces act in the same way in all the Regions of the Desire World?
A. Their action in the three lower regions differs from that in the three upper regions.
Q. What is the central region called?
A. Neutral ground, or the region of feeling.
Q. What is accomplished in this region?
A. It sways the balance in favor of interest in or indifference to an object, thereby relegating the object or idea to the three higher or the three lower regions of the Desire World, or else they will expel it altogether.
Q. Where does the force of Attraction alone hold sway?
A. In the finest and rarest substance of the three higher regions of the Desire World.
Q. Is it also present in any of the other regions of the Desire World?
A. It is in some degree also present in the denser matter of the three lower regions.
Q. What does it do in these three lower regions?
A. It works against the force of Repulsion, which is dominant there.
Q. What would be the result if this counter balancing force were not present?
A. The force of Repulsion would soon destroy and disintegrate every form coming into these three lower regions.
Q. Where is the force of Repulsion strongest?
A. in the densest or lower region, where it tears and shatters the forms in a way dreadful to see.
Q. Is the force of Repulsion vandalistic?
A. No. nothing is vandalistic in nature. All that appears so is but working towards good.
Q. What can you say of the forms in the lowest region of the Desire World?
A. The forms here are demoniac creations, built by the coarsest passions of man and beast.
Q. What is the tendency of every form in the Desire World?
A. To attract to itself all it can of a like nature and grow thereby.
Q. It Attraction were to predominate in the lowest regions, what would result?
A. Evil would grow like a weed. there would be anarchy instead of order in the cosmos.
Q. How is this tendency prevented?
A. By the preponderating power of the force of Repulsion.
Q. When a coarse desire form is being attracted to another of the same nature, what is the result?
A. There is a disharmony in their vibrations, whereby one has a disintegrating effect upon the other. They act with mutual destructiveness and in that way the evil of the world is kept within bounds.
Q. What is said in relation to a lie in the Desire World?
A. "A lie is both murder and suicide in the Desire World."
Q. Where are all the happenings in the Physical World reflected?
A. They are reflected in all the other realms of nature, and, as we have seen, each builds its own appropriate form in the Desire World.
Q. When a true account of an occurrence is given, what happens?
A. A form different from and antagonistic to the first, or true one, is created. They are drawn together, but as their vibrations are different, they act upon each other with mutual destructiveness.
Q. What is the ultimate result of evil and malicious lies?
A. They can kill anything that is good, if they are strong enough and are repeated often enough. But, conversely, seeking for the good in evil will, in time, transmute the evil into good.
Q. If the form that is built to minimize the evil is weak, what will result?
A. It will have no effect and will be destroyed by the evil form.
Q. Why does the occult scientist practice the principle of looking for good in all things?
A. Because he knows what a power it possesses in keeping down evil.
Q. What saying of Christ to his disciples, as they passed the decaying carcass of a dog, illustrates the above point?
A. He said, "Pearls are not whiter than its teeth." He knew the beneficial effect which would result in the Desire World from giving it expression.
Q. What is the lowest region of the Desire World called?
A. The region of Passion and Sensual Desire.
Q. By what name is the second subdivision known?
A. The Region of Impressionability.
Q. What is the effect of the twin forces of Attraction and Repulsion in the Region of Impressionability?
A. Here they are evenly balanced. This is the neutral region.
Q. In which region and under what conditions do the twin forces come into play?
A. In the fourth region, and then only when the twin feelings are brought to bear.
Q. What relation does the mere impression of anything bear to the feeling it engenders?
A. The impression is entirely separate from the feeling it engenders. The impression is neutral.
Q. What is the force of Attraction?
A. It is the integrating, upbuilding force in the third region of the Desire World.
Q. Which is the dominant force in this third region?
A. The force of Attraction. it has gained the upper hand over the force of Repulsion with its destructive tendency.
Q. What is the mainspring in the force of Repulsion?
A. Self-assertion, a pushing away that it may have more room.
Q. By what other name is the third region of the Desire World known?
A. The Region of Wishes, a desire for other things.
Q. To what may the Region of Coarse Desires be likened?
A. To the solids in the Physical World.
Q. To what may the Region of Impressionability be compared?
A. To the fluids in the Physical World.
Q. And to what may the fluctuating nature of the Region of Wishes be likened?
A. To the gaseous portion of the Physical World.
Q. What substance do these three Regions give?
A. The substance for the forms which make for experience, soul- growth and evolution, purging the destructive forms and retaining the materials which may be used for progress.
Q. What is the fourth Region of the Desire World?
A. The Region of Feeling.
Q. What comes from the forces of this Region?
A. The feeling concerning the forms already described, and upon the feeling engendered by them depends the life which they have for us and also their effect upon us, whether good or bad, whether of Interest or Indifference.
Q. If we meet an impression with a feeling of Interest, what is the effect?
A. It has the same effect upon that impression as sunlight and air have upon a plant. The idea will grow and flourish in our lives.
Q. And what is the effect if we meet an idea with indifference?
A. The impression withers as does a plant when put in a dark cellar.
Q. At the present stage of our development, what do the twin feelings of Interest and Indifference furnish?
A. They furnish the incentives to action and are the springs that move the world.
Q. At a later stage in our development what will be the result?
A. These feelings will cease to have any weight. Then the determining factor will be duty.
Q. Is there any difference between the action of the force of Repulsion and the mere feeling of Indifference, and how can you illustrate it?
A. There is a difference. For instance, three men see a sick dog by the roadside and it is evidently suffering from pain and thirst. This much is evident to all three men. Then the force of feeling takes action. Two of the men take an "interest" in the animal but in the third man there is a feeling of "indifference," and he passes on leaving the dog to its fate. The other two are interested and remain. The interest of one man is sympathetic, helpful. The other man's interest is different. he sees only a loathsome sight and advises killing the animal and burying it. In the first man the force of interest impels him to care for the poor beast and nurse it back to health. In the second man the force of interest generates the idea of destruction.
Q. What is the ultimate result from the battle between the twin forces of Attraction and Repulsion?
A. All the pain and suffering incident to wrong doing or misdirected effort, whether intentional or otherwise.
Q. Is our feeling for anything an important factor, and why?
A. It is, for upon that depends the nature of the atmosphere we create for ourselves. if we love the good, we nourish all that is good about us; if the reverse, we people our path with demons of our own breeding.
Q. What are the names of the three upper Regions of the Desire World?
A. Region of Soul-life, Region of Soul-light and Region of Soul-power.
Q. What activities abide in these Regions?
A. Art, Altruism, Philanthropy, and all the activities of the higher soul-life.
Q. Into what are the qualities of these Regions radiated?
A. Into the three lower Regions, of Passion and Low Desire, Impressionability, and Wishes.
Q. May soul-power be used for evil purposes?
A. It may for a time be used for evil as well as for good, but eventually the force of Repulsion destroys vice and the force of Attraction builds virtue upon its shattered ruins.
Q. To what end, ultimately, do all things work?
A. They work together for good.
Q. Are the Physical and Desire Worlds separated by space?
A. They inter-penetrate each other, just as solids, liquids and gases are all together in our bodies, so are the different Regions of the Desire World within us also. They are invisible but everywhere present and potent.