Question: Was not the Star of Bethlehem a comet? (Vol. I, #94)
Answer: No; the Star of Bethlehem shines at midnight of every night as it shone upon the night which is recorded in the Bible, and may be seen by anyone among the wise men of today, though hidden from all others.
The key to the mystery is this:
The Gospels are no simply stories of the life of an individual; they depict dramatically and in symbol the incidents in the path of attainment; they are formulae of initiation.
In the summertime, when the whole Earth is exerting itself to bring forth the bread of life for all who live upon it, the Sun is high in the heavens, sending forth its life giving rays toward our planet. Then all the physical activities are to the fore and man is engrossed in material occupations necessary to his existence. But when in winter the Sun is below the equator and nature slumbers, spiritual influences sent forth from the Sun are most potent. When the physical darkness increases the spiritual light burns more brightly and culminates in the birth of saviors on the darkest night in the year, between the 24th and the 25th of December, at the time the Sun starts on its journey northward to save humanity from the cold and famine which would result if it remained in the southern latitudes.
On that particular night of the year the spiritual vibrations are strongest. It is the Holy Night of the year par excellence. On that night it is easiest for the neophyte to come into conscious touch with spiritual vibrations. Therefore it was customary to take neophytes into the temples on yon Holy Night. There they were entranced under the guidance of wise men and taught to leave their bodies consciously by an act of will. The Earth then became transparent to their gaze and they saw behind it the "Sun at midnight--the blazing star." Not, of course, the physical Sun, but the spiritual Sun which is the true Christ-star, for the cosmic Christ is the highest Initiate among the luminous Sun spirits, the Archangels.
Question: What is the difference between a trance medium, a materializing medium, the trained clairvoyant and the ordinary person? (Vol. I, #129)
Answer: Roughly speaking, we may say that humanity today is divided into two classes--those in whom the connection between the vital body and the dense body is very close, and another class where the connection is more loose. The former class is the ordinary person who is engaged in material pursuits and is altoge- ther out of touch with the Spiritual Worlds. The latter class is the so-called sensitives, and is again divided into two classes. One class is actuated by the will from within and is positive. From this class comes the trained clairvoyant and the Invisible Helper. The other class is negative and is amenable to the will of others. From this class mediums are recruited.
When the connection between the vital body and the dense body of a man is somewhat lax, he will be sensitive to spiritual vibrations, and if positive he will by his own will develop his spiritual faculties, live a spiritual life and in time receive the teaching necessary to become a trained clairvoyant and a master of his faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he pleases.
If a person has this slight laxity between the vital and dense bodies, and is of a negative temperament, he or she is liable to become prey of discarnate spirits, as a medium.
Where the connection between the vital and dense body is very lax, so that it may be withdrawn, and the man or woman is positive, he or she may become an Invisible Helper, capable of taking the two higher ethers away from his or her dense body at will and using them as a vehicle for sense perception and memory. He can then function consciously in the Spiritual World and bring back a recollection of everything he has done there, so that, for instance, when he leaves his body at night he takes up the life in the Invisible World in a fully conscious manner, as we do here when we wake up in the morning after sleep and perform our various duties in the visible world.
When a person has this lax connection between the vital body and the dense body and is of a negative temperament, the spirits which are earth bound and seek to manifest here may withdraw his vital body by way of the spleen and temporarily use the ether of which it is composed to materialize spirit forms, returning the ether to the medium after the seance is over.
Question: What is the difference between a Clairvoyant, an Initiate and an Adept? (Vol. I, #131)
Answer: What a man sees depends upon the sensitiveness of his eye. Some people an distinguish objects at a distance which makes them invisible to other people. Artists perceive shades of color which ordinary people cannot distinguish and some people are color blind; there are even those who cannot see at all--they are blind.
The people who can see the farthest or distinguish the most delicate shades of color are more clairvoyant, or clearsighted, than the rest.
The majority among us are able to see most things in our environment, but we know very little about the things we see just because we see them. We had to be initiated into the use of the telephone, the bicycle, automobile, piano, etc.
But, though we may know how to use these instruments under ordinary circumstances, we are not so thoroughly familiar with their construction that we are able to build or repair them when they have become disabled. Before we become qualified for that work we must take a course of special training, and if we apply ourselves with our whole heart, we may become adepts in our special line.
If we apply this illustration to the problem before us, we may understand that a clairvoyant is a man or woman whose sense of sight had become so extended that he or she perceives another world, which is invisible to most of us, and that he or she is able to see everything there.
But he does not "know all about" the things he sees there by the mere fact of perception any more than we know all about the things we see in this world. He must apply himself to gain that knowledge. Then, by degrees, he will become an Initiate, who understands the things he sees, and may be able to manipulate some of them under ordinary circumstances, as we are able to play upon a piano or ride a bicycle when we have learned these arts.
It will require further training to enable the Initiate to exercise power over the things and the forces in the invisible world as an Adept.
Thus the Clairvoyant is one who sees the invisible world; the Initiate both sees the invisible world and understands what he sees, while the Adept sees, knows and has power over the things and forces there.
Question: Is it not the duty of one who is informed on subjects concerned with the higher life to give information and help to the less informe? (Vol. I,#135)
Answer: Certainly, knowledge is the one thing which we may give to others and still retian ourselves. In fact, when we help others by disseminating our knowledge we are helping ourselves and increasing our own store. For no one really knows a thing until he or she has told and explained it to someone else, and we should understand that whatever knowledge we may obtain is not our exclusive property, but is to be used for the universal good. If we selfishly hoard it and refuse to enlighten others, it will act upon us in the same way as if we continued to eat physical food without getting rid of the ashes. There would come a time when we could hold no more and we would become sick. So with people who obtain knowledge concerning things of the higher life. When they hoard it up instead of using it for the benefit of others, they are very apt to become recluses, and may become insane.
Question: What qualifications are necessary to become an Invisible Helper? Must the whole life be given over to spiritual endeavor?
Answer: No, not at all; in fact, no one is justified in giving his whole life to spiritual endeavor unless he has first fulfilled whatever material obligations he may have to others. The duties in the family are means of being visible helpers, and the man or woman who shirks duty here can surely not be depended upon to fulfill the duties of an Invisible Helper on the other side.
Therefore, a patient continuance in the performance of all our earthly duties to the very best of our ability is the first and most essential qualification of the aspirant. As a further qualification, we may mention self-control. While we are living and working in our dense bodies, the desire body is in a measure helf in check by imprisonment in dense, physical matter. If we lose our temper here, the result may be dangerous to ourselves and to those around us, but it is not a circumstance to the peril attendant upon loss of temper in the other world, for our desire body, as we know, can wreck our physical body in a fit of temper so that it may sometimes be sick for weeks as a result of a few minutes' loss of temper. But when outside the dense body, if its force were directed against anyone else, it could instantly kill an army.
Knowledge is also requisite to the aspirant. Unless we have studied conditions after death and are familiar with the scheme of evolution, have a comprehensive idea of the constitution of man and similar subjects, it is impossible for us to instruct those who are less informed, and to set us the tasks of an Invisible Helper and instructor would be analogous to sending an ignorant boor to teach school.
Last, but not least, the Invisible Helper must be imbued with an all embracing love of humanity. We cannot be callous to the sufferings of our fellow creatures here and at the same time be filled with love and a desire to help in the other world, any more than a man who does not know a note in Earth life can become a proficient musician by the mere fact of dying, or acquire such a passion for music that he is anxious to spend eternity tooting in a horn or playing on a harp. Therefore, we reiterate that to become an Invisible Helper there, we must first qualify by helping here.
Question: What purpose has the person in going out of his body? (Vol. I, #137)
Answer: At the present stage of our evolution, the greater part of humanity are tied to their bodies during Earth life. They are placed in a small and narrow environment because certain lessons may be learned there which ca best be mastered by practically shutting out every other place and condition from view. But there comes a time when man has grown sufficiently in knowledge to make it desirable that he should have a wider scope for his activities. Then the body becomes a clog and a fetter which it is expedient to leave at times, and accordingly he is taught by the Elder Brothers to extricate himself at will. They themselves have been helped in the past by more advanced beings from other planets until they have now become capable of teaching the less evolved among humanity.
The purpose in going out is to gain a wider knowledge. But that knowledge in itself is only a means to an end, namely, to help others progress. Therefore, those who are capable of leaving their bodies are known as Invisible Helpers. Their work is to help both living and dead, according to ability.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. I," by Max Heindel.