Question:Is a soul that is born as a woman always a woman in its after lives, and can it never become a man? And what is the time between incarnations? (Vol. I, #14)
Answer: No, the spirit is double-sexed and usually expresses itself in its successive lives alternately as man and woman. There are, however, sometimes cases where, according to the Law of Consequences, it is preferable that a spirit should appear for several successive lives in a certain sex.
The law is this:
As the Sun moves backward among the twelve constellations by the movement which we call the precession of the equinoxes, the climate of the Earth, the flora and fauna are slowly changed, thus making a different environment for the human race in each successive age. It takes the Sun about two thousand years to go through one of the signs by precession, and in that time the spirit is usually born twice, once as a man and once as a woman. The changes which take place in the thousand years between incarnations are not so great but that the spirit will be able to extract the experiences of that environment from the standpoint of both man and woman.
However, there may sometimes be cases where the time is also changed. None of these laws are inflexible as the laws of the Medes and the Persians, but are administered by Great Intelligences for the benefit of mankind, so that conditions may be changed in order to fit the exigencies of individual cases. For instance, in the case of a musician. He cannot find the material wherewith to build his body everywhere. He needs particular help to build the three semi-circular canals of his ear in such a manner that they will point as nearly as possible in the three directions of space; he also needs special help to build the delicate fibres of Corti, for his ability to distinguish shades of tone depends upon these features.
In such a case, when a family of musicians with whom he has connection is in a position to give birth to a child, he may be brought there, though his stay in the Heaven World should not ordinarily terminate for another hundred years, for perhaps another opportunity might not offer for two or three hundred years after he should be born if the law were adhered to. Then, of course, such a man or woman is ahead of his or her time, and not appreciated by the generation among which he or she lives. He is misunderstood, but even that is better than if he had been born later than he should have, for then he would have been behind the times.
Thus it is that we so often see geniuses unappreciated by their contemporaries, though highly valued by succeeding generations who can understand their viewpoint.
Question: Why has woman been cursed by inequality, assumed inferiority and injustice since the beginning of human existence upon this plane?(Vol.I, #9)
Answer: In the first place, we must remember that the spirit is neither male nor female, but manifests in that way alternately, as a rule. We have all been men and we have all been women. Therefore there can be no question of inequality if we look at life from the larger point of view. Certain lessons must be learned by the spirit in each age which can only be learned from the standpoint of a woman, and there are other lessons only to be learned by incarnation in a male body. Therefore, of a necessity, there must be the change in sex. It sometimes happens, of course, that for certain reasons a person must appear as a male for several incarnations and then, of course, when he takes upon himself the female garb, it may jar considerably. In that case we have a very masculine woman, perhaps a suffragette of a militant nature. On the other hand, a spirit may sometimes have been embodied for several incarnations in a female garb and then may appear as a man of a very effiminate nature. But even upon the hypothesis of alternating incarnations, many of us probably were incarnated in Rome in the opposite sex, and taking the law of causation into consideration, the treatment of women by the men of that time was not such as to cause these Roman women when incarnated now as men to give any great concessions to their former masters.
Question:What is the use of knowing about the after-death state, what happens in the invisible world, and all these things? Is it not far better to take one world at a time? Sufficient unto the day is the trouble thereof. Why borrow more? (Vol.I,#46)
Answer: If we knew beyond a doubt that at some time we should be forced to leave our country and go to another place to live for a great many years before we would be allowed to return, would it not be a good policy for us to acquaint ourselves with the language, the customs, and the laws of that country? Thus equipped we would not feel so strange, and we would be able to take advantage of whatever opportunities for growth and study we should find there; we would not be apt to run contrary to its laws and get into trouble in consequence of our ignorance, and in many similar ways it would be to our advantage to know about that country.
The foregoing illustrates aptly our position with regard to the Invisible Worlds. After death we shall find ourselves there, it will surely benefit us greatly. In the first place, there is the advantage that knowledge will take away from us the fear of death, because we never fear that which we know. In the second place, by knowing about Purgatory and the First Heaven, and by knowing about the evening exercise where we review the happeinings of the day in reverse order, we may live our Purgatory here and now in small doses, obtaining the forgiveness of sins instead of waiting to expiate our evil deeds; and if we take advantage of our knowledge we shall be living in an attitude such as we would not attain before entering the future lives, by assimilating daily the good that we have done and expurgating the evil. Thus we shall be able to go soaring through Purgatory and the First Heaven immediately after death.
By knowing what we are expected to accomplish in the Second Heaven, we can more intelligently apply ourselves to the work there; we gain greater consciousness of that realm by familiarizing ourselves with it daily. Thus in various ways we shall be fitting ourselves to become invisible helpers, to live consciously all the time and shorten our evolution by millions of years.
--Max Heindel (circa 1912)
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. I," by Max Heindel.