Question: How may we pray to or address Saturn when he is the ruling star causing us trouble and sorrow? (Vol. I, #162)
Answer: To understand what prayer is, let us use the illustration of an electric power house with wires to the different houses in the city. In each house there is a switch and when we turn that, the power which was hitherto outside in the wires and in the power house, enters our dwelling, illuminates it or runs motors, according to the laws of its manifestation. We may say that God primarily and the Seven Planetary Spirits secondarily correspond to the power house which is wired to everyone of us, and prayer may be said to be the switch whereby we put ourselves in touch with the divine light and life, allowing it to flow into us and illuminate us for our spiritual uplifting.
It is a law that electricity will flow readily along copper or other metals, but is barred by glass, and before we can get the electricity into our houses we must have a switch made in conformity with this law, a copper switch. If we used a glass switch we would obtain no electricity; the glass switch would be a most effective way of altogether barring the electric fluid from our dwelling. In similar manner, if our prayers (which correspond to the switch) are in conformity with the laws of God, the divine purpose can manifest through us and our prayers are answered, but if we pray contrary to the will of God, naturally, such a prayer would operate in a similar manner to a glass switch in an electric circuit.
As a great nation sends its ambassador and plenipotentiaries to other nations, so there are also ambassadors from each one of the great Star Angels present upon our Earth. Their names are as follows: Ithuriel is the amabssador from Uranus. Cassiel is the ambassador from Saturn. Zachariel is the ambassador from Jupiter. Samael is the ambassador from Mars. Anael is the ambassador from Venus. Raphael is the ambassador from Mercury. Michael is the ambassador from the Sun. Gabriel is the ambassador from the Moon.
The Moon is our satellite and is not in the same position as those of the other planets. The ambassadors from those planets are Archangels, while Gabriel is an Angel.
Ordinarily humanity prays to God. These prayers are at the present time mostly selfish and ignorant. The prayers of such people cannot receive attention from the ambassadors who have charge over the different departments of life, but are generally attended to, as far as may be, by the Invisible Helpers who work for the upliftment of their brethren. The occult astrologer, however, who knows what he wants and is able to work in harmony with the stellar forces, addresses the ambassadors of the Star Angels directly and obtains his desire more easily in that way. He studies the planetary hours when those stars have rule and at that time proffers his request which is usually for someone else, or for spiritual illumination concerning certain matters to be used for the common good.
Question: Why do animals, which are a lower evolution, have an instinct which seems so much more reliable than the reason of human beings? (Vol. I, #163)
Answer: The answer to that question has to do with the descent of the Ego into matter, but in the first place, we must differentiate between the separate animal spirits and the group spirit, which is their guardian. The separate animal spirits are as yet not self-conscious, hence they act without question according to the suggestions of the group spirit. The latter is an entity belonging to a different evolution, and it functions in the Invisible Worlds where things are much more apparent than they are here. It follows, therefore, that what we call instinct is really the suggestions of the group spirit in the Invisible World which guides the animals.
The human spirits, on the other hand, have descended directly into the Physical World and are, consequently, blinded to a certain extent by the denser matter of this plane of existence. An illustration may perhaps serve to elucidate the reason of the fact that although the spirit is exceedingly wise in the higher worlds, the increased materiality which it attains on account of its descent necessarily obscures that wisdom.
The hand is the most valuable instrument of man and its dexterity is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the case of a musician. A master musician may produce from his beloved instrument the most soul stirring melody by the caressing touch of his well trained and sensitive fingers, but let him put on a pair of gloves and at once the delicate touch has vanished; if he adds a second pair of gloves over the first pair and these are thicker and of heavier material, he will probably be unable to produce even a melody, and should he finally put a pair of mitts over the gloves, he would be unable to play at all, but would produce discord should he make the attempt. The various gloves on the hand of a musician find their counterpart in the different vehicles which the spirit puts on in its descent into matter. The mitt corresponds to the physical body.
Anyone seeing the musician atempt to play with the mitt on his hand, and who had not heard him play before he put on gloves, might suppose him incapable of playing, but the inference would be wrong. The human Ego is in a similar position, its spiritual powers have been obscured by the vehicles in which it is at present incased, but there will come a time when it has learned how to use these vehicles properly and then its spiritual power will shine forth in a splendor at present unimaginable.
Question: Can you throw some light on what our attitude toward the lower forms of life should be? Have we the right to kill anything harmless, since every living thing is in a sense our brother? How about the venomous insects and reptiles? (Vol. I, #164)
Answer: There is only One Life in the Universe, which is God's life. "In Him we live, and move and have our being." And not only we, but all that lives is thus a manifestation of God. We are in time to become creators, as He is a Creator. But so long as we brutally destroy the forms of other beings we are hindering ourselves. The inquirer is right when he says that the lower animals are our brothers, but, sad to say, instead of caring for them and inspiring them with confidence and love, we have managed to make ourselves feared by every animal upon the face of the Earth by the ruthless destruction we have spread among them, and it seems but a just retribution that we, ourselves, should be in constant fear of microscopic life in the form of bacilli, which cannot be killed by gun or knife.
As for the destructive insects and reptiles, they may in many cases be said to be an embodiment of our own evil thoughts and produced by our own unclean habits. Science has shown us how by proper sanitation we may get rid of them, at least in a very great measure, without the necessity of killing them. The larger reptiles, such as snakes, are not as dangerous as they are often thought to be. In the temples in India, where certain classes of people have cultivated an attitude of absolute harmlessness by refusing to kill even the smallest thing, one may see as a daily occurrence venomous snakes crawling among the people congregated there, never doing them the slightest harm, and if we would cultivate a harmless attitude toward the lower creatures they would soon learn to trust us as they now fear us. Stories are on record of sailors who went to desert islands where man's foot had never before trodden, and found the birds there perfectly devoid of fear until a number had been killed by the invading ruffians. Then the birds learned to fly away at the approach of man.
We have also made human beings into beasts of prey--thieves and robbers we call them--who waylay their fellowmen, deprive them of their goods and often harm them bodily, even to committing murder, and all as a result of our harsh treatment which is dictated by fear. If we had love we should have no fear, "for perfect love casteth out all fear"; and if we had no fear, nothing could harm us, for the fearless and trusting attitude is a safer protection than pistol and lock. Therefore, we should cultivate that attitude of love for everything that lives and breathes; we should cease killing the lower animals by the million for food, and for sport, which is the worst form of cruelty. An attitude of love toward our fellow men would generate in them similar emotions and locksmiths and gunmakers would very soon be useless. We complain of the enormous taxes necessary to support a strong police force, the machinery of the courts, great jails and penitentiaries, but all of these institutions would disappear as if by magic if we would replace fear by love. The Bible pictures to us a time when the lion and the ox, the little child and the venomous reptile shall all play together in peace. That may indeed become a fact, for the beasts of prey have not always been carnivorous. In the far past man had his share in their development, and in the future it will be his task to change these conditions.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. I," by Max Heindel.