Question: Will you please explain the Western Wisdom Teachings' viewpoint toward birth control? (Vol. II, #37)
Answer: In the first place we should remember that there are about sixty billion Spirits in our life wave, going through the cycle of life and death, living part of the time in the visible and part in the invisible worlds. At the present time (1916) there are only 1.5 billion people in physical existence. This is about the lowest ebb, and that usually happens at the end of an age. During the million years or more since we came out of Atlantis the average has been been fifty to sixty million people.
Woman has been the arbiter of the world's destiny in past civilizations, while man has had his way in others as is now the case. We are now upon the eve of a transition to a new Age where woman will again wield the scepter of power and man will have to submit to her dictates, but before that comes to pass an era of equality will come. This is called the Aquarian Age by occultists, and we are beginning to feel its effects since the middle of the last century when the Sun by precession came within orb of the cusp of Aquarius. It is, however, at the present time, still in ten degrees of Pisces. At the slow rate of travel of the equinox the Sun will not reach the last degree of Aquarius until about six hundred years have passed. But during that time there will of course be so many wonderful changes in our physical, moral, and mental status, that we are unable at the present time to conceive what we shall be like then.
We who are now in the body will be followed by groups of Spirits still more evolved than we, who will bring about great reforms, and by the time the people on Earth at the present time are reborn about four hundred years of the Aquarian Age will be passed, so that the world will be well started on the line of development peculiar to that time. The backward Spirits who are born into that atmosphere gain an immense uplift on the same principle that an electric conductor which is brought into close proximity to a highly charged wire will automatically receive a charge of a lower voltage. Thus each class or group which rises helps also to raise those who are below it in the scale of evolution. The matter of population, then, is not entirely governed by individuals, or by man-made laws. The divine hierarchs who guide our evolution arrange the matter as required for the highest good for all concerned, and the number of the populatiion is in their hands rather than in our own.
This does not mean that we cannot or should not exercise birth control in some degree as suggested by those who are responsible for that movement. It is also true that one must help people where they are and not where they ought to be. The Higher Philosophy emphasizes the fact that like attracts like, and therefore it is a duty upon the part of those who are well developed physically, morally, and mentally to provide an environment for as many incoming Spirits as their physical and financial circumstances will permit. This duty is still more binding upon those who are also spiritually developed, for a high spiritual entity cannot enter into physical existence through a vile parentage. But when a couple has reached the point where it is deemed either dangerous to the health of the mother to bear more children, or where the financial burden would be above their means, then they should live a life of continence, not indulging the passional nature and seeking by artificial means to bar the way for incoming Egos to take advantage of the opportunity for rebirth offered them by the sexual indulgence of such a couple.
This naturally requires considerable spiritual advancement and self-control. There are few who are capable of living such a life, and one might as well preach continence to a stone wall as to the average specimen of humanity. He cannot understand that it is necessary. He even believes that it would interfere with his health, for false statements about the necessity of exercising the natural function has led to many deplorable results. Even if he could be persuaded that he ought to deny himself for the good of his mate and the children he has already brought into the world, he would probably be utterly unable to restrain himself, particularly because people in such moderate circumstances can usually not afford to have separate sleeping quarters. Therefore it may be necessary to teach these people birth control by scientific means. However, we submit that though they are unable to understand the reason why continence should be practiced and unable to practice it because of lack of self-control, the spiritual teachings should be given repeatedly so that as the steady drop wears the stone, in time the coming generations will learn to depend upon their own will power to accomplish the object of keeping their lower nature in check. Without this educational feature looking towards a spiritual emancipation, information concerning physical methods of limiting the birth rate in families that are overburdened is dangerous in the extreme.
There is another phase of the matter which deserves elucidation. It has been said that, "the attitude of the mother's mind just prior to the reception of the seed atom is all-important in determining what sort of child she will bring into the world. A fit of temper or violent passion at this sacred mo- ment leaves the gateway unguarded and invites the wrong sort of entity to enter." Besides the people in the world we see, the whole atmosphere about us teems with different entities who are attracted to beings of a like nature. Just as musicians congregate in music halls, sportsmen in yacht clubs and on race tracks, etc., so do these entities gather around our physical saloons, as immoral men and women meet in so-called redlight districts, so also immoral spirits gather around a home where the passions of the lower nature are indulged perhaps many times during the night or day.
There is a certain class of beings, male and female demons living in the ether, who were called by the ancient alchemists incubi and succubi, which feed upon the passions of others. What chance has a mother in such an environment of attracting a desirable Spirit to take rebirth through her? And although conception is almost never synchronous with the union of the parents, but may take place at any moment within two weeks or more of that event, a mother surrounded by such influences in the home is never free from them. Some of the religions of some of the people we call savages require to this day that the generative act be performed in the temple, and that is as it should be. There is no more important act in life, and instead of being condemned as a shame it ought to be exalted to the dignity of a sacrament and performed under the holiest and most inspiring circumstances possible. Were this done today as in the so-called Golden Age, we should find an upliftment and an improvement in the conditions of the world as we would not deem possible to accomplish in centuries.
Question: Do you think it advisable for treatment in such cases as tuberculosis, cancer, sclerosis and the like, or should we accept these diseases as incurable, the result of some cause in the past, and wait for a more efficient body in another life? (Vol. II, #38)
Answer: Cancer and tuberculosis are often seemingly incurable, yet there is always a possibility that they may yield, and they certainly will yield if the force directed against them is sufficient. Like all other physical manifestations they are the result of a spiritual cause, and if we can get at that, offset it with something of an opposite nature, there is a chance of recovery; whereas the attitude of resignation and nonassistance will certainly never bring the patient out of his condition. Life in a salubrious climate, a strong desire for health, a hope that neither knows nor permits of discouragement, and a simple nutritious diet will cure even the worst case of tuberculosis.
As for cancer, no one can ever tell when the debt of destiny which has caused the trouble has been paid. There are many cases on record where cancer has been cured; that is to say, in its milder forms. But even in an advanced stage there is no reason for giving up hope as long as there is life. In the case of sclerosis there are several methods of curing it, and the patient may become as well as ever particularly if he can be brought to recognize the breach of the laws of nature which caused the disease in his particular case.
It is to this end that we should always labor, for whether any disease be cured or not, if the patient can be taught what laws have been transgressed and how, if he can be led to see what is the spiritual cause of the disease, and learn to walk in the way of virtue according to the laws of God, then in the future there will be no disease for him. It is that which we are laboring for, that we may hasten the day of Liberation, and bring all mankind toward the full realization of health.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.