Question: What is the viewpoint of the western occultism concerning the creation of the world in seven days? (Vol. I, #79)
Answer: There are two creation stories in the Bible. One commences with the first verse of the opening chapter and ends with the third verse of the second chapter of Genesis. Another account commences with the fourth verse.
These two creation stories seem to be greatly at variance in several particulars. The first account states that in the beginning the Earth was covered with water; the second avers that it was dry. The first informs us that man was created last; the second version says he was the first creature, etc. These discrepancies seem to be irreconcilable, and afford the skeptic great satisfaction when he recounts them with a smile of supercilious pity for the poor ignorant fools who believe such silly nonsense. Yet the two accounts are not really incongruous, they are complementary and in harmony with scientific facts. The first account deals with the genesis of form, the second chapter with the evolution of consciousness. The human form as at present constituted is the chef-d'oeuvre of evolution, built upon the basis of all lower forms which have gone before. The Life which is man, the thinker, is without beginning or end, eternal as God Himself, and that Life was here before all forms, as told by the second creation story.
Regarding the time in which this creation of form is said to have taken place, western occultism does not teach or believe that it was accomplished in seven days of twenty-four hours each, but in our scheme of manifestation seven great transformations of the Earth are necessary to facilitate the full evolution of self-consciousness and soul power by the evolving spirits. Three and one-half of these periods have been spent in obtaining vehicles; the remainder will be required for the evolution of consciousness.
The opening verse of the Bible states that in the beginning the Earth was dark and without definite form. That was in the Saturn Period, when the incipient firemist was forming from the root substance of space.
The third verse informs us that God said "Let there be Light," a passage which has been jeered at as showing the ignorance of the authors and the inconsistency of the account with scientific facts; for, says the scoffer, "When the sun and moon were not created till the fourth day, how could there be light previous to that time? We are not dealing with the world as it is today, a solid mass. That, of course, would be dark without an outside source of light, but at that time the Earth was a world in the making, and according to the nebular theory there must first be the stage of dark heat to which we have given the name Saturn Period. Later the mist is ignited and luminous; the light is within and is not dependent upon an exterior sun and moon. This second stage in the development of our planet is called the Sun Period.
Next we are told that God said, "Let there be 'an expansion' in the waters to divide the water from the water." The word here rendered "expansion" is translated "firmament" in the authorized version, but we use the Masoretic text, which was translated by translators of knowledge, who were unrestricted by a royal edict such as that which hampered King James' translators. The use of the term "expansion" harmonizes the Bible with the nebular theory, for, when a firemist appears in space moisture is generated by the contact of this heated mass with the surrounding space, which is cold. This moisture becomes heated and expands into steam which rushes outward from the fiery core, is there cooled, and condensed, and gravitates back to the source of heat. Thus the expansion in the waters divided the water from the water, the dense moisture remaining nearest the fiery core and the steam outside. This stage in the consolidation of the Earth is called the Moon Period.
The continual boiling of the water surrounding the fiery core finally caused an incrustation and dry land appeared. We are told that "God called the dry land Earth."
During the first part of the present Period the Earth was as dark as in the Saturn Period. Only mineral substances existed then. This stage is called the Polarian Epoch.
The fiery Sun Period finds its replica in the Hyperborean Epoch, which is described in verses 11-19 as the time when plants were generated, and the Earth became a planet lighted from without by sun and moon. This ends the work described as having been performed on the fourth great day in the development of our Earth.
In the Lemurian Epoch we have a recapitulation of conditions during the Moon Period, a fiery core and an atmosphere of fire fog, also the genesis of the lower grades of animals, described in the Bible story as the work of the fifth day.
In the Atlantean Epoch the vertebrate mammals and man were formed, as described under the heading of the sixth day, and when man became a reasoning being in the present Aryan Epoch, the Gods rested to let him work out his own salvation under the twin laws of Rebirth and Causation.
Question: What was the sin or fall in Eden?
Answer: When the Earth came out of chaos, it was at first in the dark red stage known as the Polarian Epoch. There humanity first evolved a dense body, not at all like our present vehicle, of course. When the condition of the Earth became fiery, as in the Hyperborean Epoch, the vital body was added and man became plant-like, that is to say, he had the same vehicles as our plants have today, and also a similar consciousness, or, rather, unconsciousness, to that which we have in dreamless sleep when the dense and vital bodies are left upon the bed.
At that time, in the Hyperborean Epoch, the body of man was as an enormous gas bag, floating outside the fiery Earth, and it threw off plant-like spores, which then grew and were used by other incoming entities. At that time man was double sexed, a hermaphrodite.
In the Lemurian Epoch, when the Earth had somewhat cooled and islands of crust had begun to form amid boiling seas, then also man's body had somewhat solidified and had become more like the body we see today. It was ape-like, a short trunk with enormous arms and limbs, the heels projecting backward and almost no head--at least the upper part of the head was nearly entirely wanting. Man lived in the atmosphere of steam which occultists call fire-fog, and had no lungs, but breathed by means of tubes. He had a bladder-like organ inside, which he inflated with heated air to help him leap enormous chasms when volcanic eruptions destroyed the land upon which he was living. From the back of his head there projected an organ which has now been drawn into the head and is called by anatomists the pineal gland, or the third eye, although it was never an eye, but a localized organ of feeling. The body was then devoid o feeling but when man came too close to a volcanic crater, the heat was registered by this organ to warn him away before his body was destroyed.
At that time the body had already so far solidified that it was impossible for man to continue to propogate by spores, and it was necessary that he should evolve an organ of thought, a brain. The creative force which we now use to build railways, steamships, etc., in the outer world, was then used inwardly for the building of organs. Like all forces it was positive and negative. One pole was turned upward to build the brain, leaving the other pole available for the creation of another body. Thus man was no longer a complete creative unit. Each possessed only half the creative force, and it was therefore necessary for him to seek his complement outside himself.
But at that time, "their eyes had not been opened," and the human beings of that age were unconscious of each other in the Physical World, though well aware and awake in the Spiritual World. Therefore, under the guidance of the Angels, who were particularly fitted to help them in respect to propogation, they were herded together in great temples at certain times of the year when the lines of force running between the planets were propitious, and there the creative act was performed as a religious sacrifice. And when this primal man Adam came into the intimate sexual contact with the woman, the spirit for the moment pierced the flesh and "Adam knew (or became aware of) his wife;" he sensed her physically. It is this which the Bible has recorded, using that chaste expression all through its leaves, for we are told that "Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and she bore Samuel." Even in the New Testament where the angel comes to Mary telling her that she is to be the mother of the Savior, she answers, "How shall that be possible seeing I know not a man?"
Sin is action contrary to law, and while humanity propagated under the guidance of the Angels, who understood the cosmic lines of force, parturition was painless, as it is now among wild animals, which propagate only at the proper time of the year under the guidance of the group spirit. But when man, acting on the advice of certain spirits half-way between humanity and the Angels, undertook to create at any and all times of the year, regardless of cosmic lines of force, that sin, or "eating of the tree of knowledge," caused the painful parturition which the Angel proclaimed to Eve. He did not curse her, but simply stated what would be the result of the ignorant and indiscriminate use of the creative function.
Question: Is the Tree of Life spoken of in the Bible the same as the philosopher's stone of the alchemists? (Vol. I, #86)
Answer: Yes and no. To understand the matter it is necessary to go back in the history of mankind. There was a time when humanity was double sexed and capable of generating a body without the help of another. But when it became necessary to build the brain in order that the spirit might be able to create by thought as well as in the Physical World, one-half the sex force was retained to build an organ of thought. Then it became necessary for each to seek the cooperation of another who expressed the opposite pole of the creative force which he had available himself for sex purposes. Having no brain, and as "their eyes had not been opened," they were of course unconscious in the Physical World and unable to guide themselves. Therefore, the Angels herded them together at certain times of the year when the planetary forces were propitious to perform the generative act as a religious sacrifice, whereby they gave up part of their bodies for the generation of a vehicle for another spirit. In that close embrace, the spirit first pierced the veil of the flesh and Adam "knew" his wife. Later on, when the consciousness of humanity had become focused a little more upon the Physical World and a few among them had begun dimly to perceive the bodies of which we now are so thoroughly conscious, these pioneers began to preach the gospel of the body, telling the others that they possessed a physical body, for the majority were then unconscious of that instrument as we now are of having a stomach when in good health.
Then it was noticed that those bodies died, and the question arose among the pioneers as to how such a body could be replaced. The solution was given to man by a certain class of spirits who were stragglers from the evolution of the Angels, demi-gods, as we might say. These Lucifer Spirits, or light givers, enlightened nascent humanity regarding their powers of generating a body at any time. But these bodies were not perfect then--they are not perfect today--and of course generation without reference to the planetary conditions has produced even inferior bodies to what would have been otherwise generated, in addition to the painful parturition prophesied by the Angel.
Since then the generative function has been exercised unrestrictedly by the ignorant human race. But by the fact of death it has been possible for the Angels to teach humanity between death and a new birth how to build a gradually improving body. Had man learned in that far past how to renew his vital body, as he was taught to generate a dense vehicle at his own pleasure, then death would indeed have been an impossibility and man would have become immortal as the Gods. But he would then have immortalized his imperfections and made progress an impossibility. It is the renewal of this vital body which is expressed in the Bible as "eating of the Tree of Life." At the time of his enlightenment concerning generation man was a spiritual being whose eyes were not yet blinded by the material world, and he might have learned the secret of vitalizing his body at will, thus frustrating evolution. Thus we see that death, when it comes naturally, is not a curse but our greatest and best friend, for it frees us from an instrument from which we can learn no more; it takes us out of an environment which we have outgrown, that we may learn to build a better body in an environment of wider scope in which we can make more progress toward the goal of perfection.
In this pilgrimage there comes at last a time when man is fitted to have the powers of life. The body which he has made for himself becomes pure and is of service for a much longer time than heretofore. Then he begins to seek after the philosopher's stone, the elixir vitae, or whatever name he may choose to employ. The alchemists aimed to manufacture this pure and holy vehicle, but not by a chemical process in a laboratory, as supposed by the ignorant multitude. Nomenclature which gave color to that idea was made necessary because they lived in an age when a dominant and apostate church would have brought them to death had the truth been known. When they spoke of transmuting base metal to gold, they spoke the truth not only from the material standpoint but also from the spiritual, for gold has ever been the symbol of spirit and these alchemists aimed to spiritualize their bodies, which are of baser texture.
Everywhere the pure and beautiful symbol of transparency has been given to designate the power of purity. In the Old Testament we hear of the Temple of Solomon that was "built without sound of hammer." The most beautiful ornament there was the molten sea. Hiram Abiff, the master-workman, as his final achievement, succeeded in smelting all the metals of the Earth into an alloy as transparent as glass. In the New Testament we are told the last about a beautiful city having in its midst a sea of glass. In the East, the intitiate aims to become the diamond-soul, pure and transparent. In the West the Philosopher's Stone is the symbol of the purified soul extracted from the bodies which have been transmuted and spiritualized. The soul that sinneth, it shall die, but the pure soul is immortalized by the elixir vitae, the "Tree of Life," into a vital body that will last milleniums as a vehicle for the spirit.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. I," by Max Heindel.