Question: What is it we bring back after our evolutionary journey? If Spirit is perfect in the beginning, what can we add? (Vol. II, #32)
Answer: We are taught that in the beginning of manifestation God, the Great Spirit, differentiates within Himself (not from Himself) a number of Spirits which are as sparks from a flame, partakers of the divine nature, yet no one will contend that a spark is as good and as illuminative as the flame, though of the same substance. Before the differentiation these Spirits possessed and partook of the divine all-consciousness, omniscience, and other attributes. These divine faculties are latent in them, and the pilgrimage through matter, the evolutionary journey, is designed for the purpose of fanning these sparks into flames and unfolding the attributes which are in latency to potency, so that they may become dynamic powers, ready for use by each individual Spirit.
However, there is something more gained. When the wind blows over a new-mown hay field it absorbs and carries with itself the fragrance of the myriad of flowers. It is laden with the incense peculiar to that field. In another place, where the wind blows through a graden of roses or of orange blossoms, it gathers a different scent. Similarly with the evolving Spirits. Each one, during the fanning process in the evolutionary field, gathers the aroma of its individual experience, and at the end of evolution when, as Prodigal Sons, we return to the bosom of the Father, each one of us will carry with him or her the aroma of his particular and individual experience upon the evolutionary journey. This composite essence, then, will be amalgamated with the great Divine Spirit of the Father; we shall then all be partakers of one another's experience, and the Father will be partaker of all of our experience. Thus there will be a distinct gain to all concerned, for besides having evolved our own individuality we shall learn and partake of the knowledge and experience gathered by all the other Spirits in our life wave.
Question: Does the Higher Philosophy approve of capital punishment, and if so, please state the reasons why. When a man has been executed, does he come under the law of infant mortality in his next life and die as a child the same as victims of accidents? (Vol. II, #33)
Answer: The Western Wisdom Teachings are never in conflict with the Christian religion, and we know that according to the doctrine of Christ the principle of retaliation, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," is absolutely wrong. Besides, from the occult standpoint there are other good and sufficient reasons why capital punishment is emphatically the worst possible manner of dealing with a dangerous man. So long as such a man is in the physical body it is easy to restrain him and put him in a place where he cannot do society any harm, but when we hang or electrocute him we actually set him at liberty in the Desire World where it is possible for him to influence others to a much greater extent than here.
Such people who are a menace to society are not slow in finding out their possibilities and taking advantage of them. They incite others who have a grievance against the community to do their work by encouraging them to wreck buildings, commit murder or rape, or perhaps gratify a personal grievance against some enemy by taking his life. Thus one murder will result in a number of other crimes by the practice of capital punishment. On the other hand, if the murderer were imprisoned for the safety of the community it is possible that during the years of his life in such an institution he would change his views. A great many of them do repent of their crimes, and then when released from the body and sent out into the Desire World at death they are no longer a menace to society and will not have an evil influence upon others.
For these reasons capital punishment is really subversive of the purpose for which it is meted out. It does not act as a deterrent to others, but actually fosters crime. Thus, even apart from the facts that the practice of retaliation is absolutely wrong, that we have no right to take a life which we cannot give, and that at times the wrong man is found guilty and executed for a crime he never committed while the real murderer goes free, capital punishment should be abolished to lessen crime.
Referring to your question as to whether a murderer who has been executed will have to die as a child in the next life, we may answer, yes. According to the law of infant mortality, anyone who dies under horrible circumstances so that he does not attend to the panorama of his life, which is reviewed just after death, does not reap the fruits of his past life. When a person is executed, the shock, the anger, and the resentment he feels--the horrors of the whole proceeding--deprive him of the peace and quiet necessary to the post-mortem work so that he will not obtain a record of the life just ended. Therefore, this lack will have to be supplied by educational work done after he has died as a child in the next life exactly on the lines we have shown in other places in the Western Wisdom Teachings where the law of infant mortality is explained.
Question: I should like to ask a question regarding a statement made by Mr. Heindel in some of his writings to the effect that when the Ascendant is in Aries it shows that the native is a "young soul," or in other words, as it were, in the beginning of material manifestation. Opposing this, Mr. Heindel also says that whenever the Ascendant occurs in Scorpio, it indicates that dissolution has taken place as a beginning.
Now while the Aries aspect indicates a physcial proposition, the Scorpio aspect leaves one in doubt. Is this Scorpio aspect related to the physical alone and in what manner? Does dissolution follow immediately or is it of a gradual nature, finally culminating in the passing through the sign Pisces?
Mr. Heindel also states that the chart of a seven months child is difficult to handle in that it seems out of line with the native concerned. I am a seven months' example and can vouchsafe for the truth of this statement, but taking the forepart of this letter into consideration, I am at a loss as to just how I can reconcile conditions in my home as regards the Ascendant of each member and the apparent indication and inclination of each as opposed to myself. (Vol. II, #36)
Answer: Even if it were true that we have made the statement you ascribe to us that those who have Aries on the Ascendant at birth are young souls, that would be no guide in your case, because you admit being a seven months' child. Therefore, the general principles could not be applied in your case, but as a matter of fact we have never made such a statement. If you look up the passage to which you have reference, you will find that your memory played you a trick. What we have said, and still say, is that the Spirit is born under all the twelve signs in order that it may gain the experience which comes from each and it may be taken on general principles that those who are born with Aries on the Ascendant have just entered upon a new life cycle, a higher spiral on their path of evolution.
Thus it is evident that others in their immediate family or environment may have any of the other eleven signs rising and still be one or more rungs or spirals below or above the one who has Aries on the Ascendant. When this is understood you will also readily realize that when a person reaches Scorpio, the sign of death and dissolution, the fruits of all the lives under the various preceding signs are beginning to ripen and dissolve, so that when the Spirit progresses through Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, these fruits are gradually assimilated and the seed ripens for the entrance of the soul into Aries and the commencement of a new cycle.
It should also be understood that the number of births under any particular sign varies according to the aaptability of the Spirit and the readiness wherewith it learns the lessons that have been set for it by the divine Hierarchies. There may be only one birth under Aries in a certain life cycle and perhaps five or ten under other signs, and vice versa, so that if two Spirits were to enter birth under the sign Aries on the same spiral of evolution and one were diligent in learning his lessons in the school of life, he might be promoted to the Taurus or even the Gemini class before the other left Aries. Then he having a particular liking for Gemini work might speed on past the other who would be slow in the Cancer path, and so on. There are no definite rules. Everything depends upon the inherent quality of the Ego, and what one does is no criterion whatever for what another may do. Thus you cannot judge the status of any one merely by examining his Ascendant.
There is only one method that gives an approximate solution of the problem and shows what is the intention of the divine Hierarchs concerning a particular life, and that is by comparing the relative progression of the Ascendant and the Midheaven. When you do this you will note that one of them moves faster than the other. Supposing, for instance, that you progress the horoscope of a person for forty years. Let us say that one degree of Aries is on the Midheaven and one degree of Cancer on the Ascendant at birth. Suppose, then, that at the age of forty the Midheaven has progressed to Taurus 5 and the Ascendant to Leo 15. This shows that the Midheaven has traveled 35 degrees while the Ascendant has traveled 45. The Midheaven denotes the spiritual tendencies and opportunities in life, while the Ascendant shows the material side. Thus it is evident that the opportunities placed before that Ego have been mainly material and the tendency of his evolution in the particular life under consideration would be of the earth, earthy.
But, mark this: the horoscope, as we have repeatedly reiterated, shows only tendencies, and it is quite possible for a person with such a horoscope to determine to go his own way and cultivate all the spiritual opportunities he possibly can. If he has sufficient will power to do this he may change his life entirely. Another, whose Midheaven progresses faster than his Ascendant, might find it difficult to attain material success, but would have all the opportunities for soul growth he could wish placed in his path. He also may determine that he will rule his stars and succeed in worldly things, but whether he does or not depends upon the strength of his will pitted against the suasion of the stars.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.