Question: The Western Wisdom Teachings tell us that the Desire World is fluid, and composed of everchanging light and color. Is it not correct to picture the darkest colors at the lowest regions gradually blending into the lighter colors and in the region of soul power finding pure white light? (Vol. II, #61)
Answer: Yes, in one sense you are right. Color depends upon vibration, the rapidity of the rate and wavelength. For instance, in the colors of the spectrum red has a much longer wavelength and a slower rate of vibration than violet, which is at the other end of the solar spectrum, but the colors in the Desire World are not at all the same colors that we see here. Here color is caused by the reflection of the Sun's rays in the atmosphere. There light is a property of matter. One might almost say that from the viewpoint of that world desire stuff is light and light is desire stuff. That is not quite correct, but almost so.
Furthermore, the colors which we would call dark there are brighter than the brightest sunlight here. That is why we do not see them. Our eyes cannot respond to that rate of vibration. You should not consider the Desire World being above and higher than the Physical World in the sense of space being involved. The desire matter is here. It interpenetrates every physical atom. Even the ether is pervaded by it, and the dark, to the spiritual sight almost black, chemical ether, seems almost inseparable from the lowest grade of desire stuff. They are so dense that they seem nearly gaseous, and it has often been a wonder to the writer (Max Heindel) that people cannot see them and the beings moving therein.
Question: Is there any foundation for the belief in mermaids? If so what is their origin? What purpose do they serve? (Vol. II, #63)
Answer: Undines, mermaids, and mermen are not figments of the fancy. They are real. We are so fond of looking upon this world as a great big perpetual motion machine, and we try to explain everything on one scientific theory or another. People will say that the Sun heats up the ocean, that the water evaporates, rises into colder strata, and there condenses into clouds, which are moved over the lands by wind, and when condensed sufficiently, the seawater falls as rain. Then it runs back to the sea as rivers, and that is all there is to it.
Yes, but how could all this happen without somebody being at the head of it and somebody working at it? We know very well a building is made of bricks. One brick is laid on top of another, and it is built to whatever height is desired. But the bricks do not get up there themselves. They have to be carried, and it is the same in the economy of nature. The workmen, the nature spirits, are found everywhere. They have their work and evolution just as we have and everything in nature is an orderly process. These undines, mermaids, and mermen are concerned with the condensation of the water and with the work of keeping the things in the water in order, building up plants and such like things, just the same as the gnomes build the flowers on land. We say that a plant grows, but just as bricks have to be put together in a house, so the atoms have to be put together in plants.
In the case of human beings, those who are in the Second Heaven are preparing to build new bodies, and they learn to build better bodies by working on us to build these bodies. Later they come back to Earth with added experience and that helps them to build a better body next time. Similarly, the little nature spirits we call gnomes help to build the plants and flowers, and the sylphs are the agents in carrying up the water that has been broken up by the undines, into the skies where it condenses into clouds. Then the sylphs are the cause of the winds and move the clouds about and bring about the storms and the rain. Thus one department in nature works with the others. The salamanders are the fire spirits and perhaps the least known, but they also have their work to do in breaking up Earth conditions, etc. You remember Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream." That is an actual fact. It is this way: at the winter solstice when everything is dead, when the Earth is asleep under its winter blanket, the new impulse to life, the Christ Life, is poured into the Earth and begins to work out towards the periphery, bringing life to seeds in the ground and giving them the vitality they need to sprout. It also infuses vitality in all beings that live upon the Earth. This Christ Life takes birth at the winter solstice when the Sun is at its lowest point of declination. Thus in the winter we have more spirituality, for that divine life impulse come to us anew every year and the Savior is thus born to save his people from the cold and famine that would result if the Sun were always in that southern point of declination.
The impulse is spiritual for there is no physical activity going on in nature at that time. On the other hand, in summer all is activity in world. The summer solstice is the apex of the physical impulse, and it is at that time that the nature spirits have their festival. They do enjoy themselves, and glory and feel thankful that they have brought forth and that the have helped to work this miracle of fecundation and expression of all physical things that have come to birth. At that time the fructification begins, the fruit begins to ripen, and then we go down towards the harvest, which is at the fall equinox. So these nature spirits have a great work to do. It is not only true that they are, but they play a very, very important part in the world's work.
This article was adapted from "The Roscicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Vol. II," by Max Heindel.