An Elementary Treatise Upon
Man's Past Evolution, Present
and Future Development
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graphics book cover.
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photograph of Max Heindel.
Its Message and Mission:A SANE MIND
A SOFT HEART
THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP
Oceanside, California, U.S.A.
Creed or Christ
No man loves God who hates his kind,
Who tramples on his
brother's heart and soul;
Who seeks to shackle, cloud, or fog the
By fears of hell has not perceived our goal.
God-sent are all religions blest;
And Christ, the Way, the Truth,
To give the heavy laden rest
And peace from sorrow, sin,
Behold the Universal Spirit came
To all the churches, not
to one alone;
On Pentecostal morn a tongue of flame
each apostle as a halo shone.
Since then, as vultures ravenous with greed,
We oft have battled
for an empty name,
And sought by dogma, edict, cult, or creed,
send each other to the quenchless flame.
Is Christ then twain? Was Cephas, Paul,
To save the world, nailed
to the tree?
Then why divisions here at all?
Christ's love enfolds
both you and me.
His pure sweet love is not confined
By creed which segregate and
raise a wall.
His love enfolds, embraces human kind,
what ourselves or Him we call.
Then why not take Him at His word?
Why hold to creeds which tear
But one thing matters, be it heard
That brother love fill
There's but one thing the world has need to know.
There's but one
balm for all our human woe:
There's but one way that leads to heaven
That way is human sympathy and love.
A Word to the WiseThe founder of the Christian Religion stated an occult
maxim when He said: "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a
little child shall not enter therein" (Mark X:15). All occultists
recognize the far-reaching importance of this teaching of Christ, and
endeavor to "live" it day by day.
When a new philosophy is presented to the
world it is met in different ways by different people.
One person will grasp with avidity any
new philosophical effort in an endeavor to ascertain how far it
supports his own ideas. To such a one the philosophy itself is of
minor importance. Its prime value will be its vindication of his
ideas. If the work comes up to expectation in that respect, he will
enthusiastically adopt it and cling to it with a most unreasoning
partisanship; if not, he will probably lay the book down in disgust and
disappointment, feeling as if the author had done him an injury.
Another adopts an attitude of skepticism
as soon as he discovers that it contains something which he has not
previously read, heard, or originated in his own thought. He would
probably resent as extremely unjustified the accusation that his mental
attitude is the acme of self-satisfaction and intolerance; such is
nevertheless the case; and thus he shuts his mind to any truth which may
possibly be hidden in that which he off-hand rejects.
Both these classes stand in their own
light. "Set" ideas render them impervious to rays of truth. "A little
child" is the very opposite of its elders in that respect. It is not
imbued with an overwhelming sense of superior knowledge, nor does it feel
compelled to look wise or to hide its nescience of any subject by a smile
or a sneer. It is frankly ignorant, unfettered by preconceived opinions
and therefore eminently teachable. It takes everything with that
beautiful attitude of trust which we have designated "child-like faith,"
wherein there is not the shadow of a doubt. There the child holds the
teaching it receives until proven or disproven.
In all occult schools the pupil is first
taught to forget all else when a new teaching is being given, to allow
neither preference nor prejudice to govern, but to keep the mind in a
state of calm, dignified waiting. As skepticism will blind us to truth in
the most effective manner, so this calm, trustful attitude of the mind
will allow the intuition, or "teaching from within," to become aware of
the truth contained in the proposition. That is the only way to cultivate
an absolutely certain perception of truth.
The pupil is not required to believe
off-hand that a given object which he has observed to be white, is really
black, when such a statement is made to him; but he must cultivate an
attitude of mind which "believeth all things" as possible. That
will allow him to put by for the time being even what are generally
considered "established facts," and investigate if perchance there be
another viewpoint hitherto unobserved by him whence the object referred to
would appear black. Indeed, he would not allow himself to look upon
anything as "an established fact," for he realizes thoroughly the
importance of keeping his mind in the fluidal state of adaptability
which characterizes the little child. He realizes in every fiber of his
being that "now we see through a glass, darkly," and Ajax-like he is ever
on the alert, yearning for "Light, more Light."
The enormous advantage of such an
attitude of mind when investigating any given subject, object or idea must
be apparent. Statements which appear positively and unequivocally
contradictory, which have caused an immense amount of feeling among the
advocates of opposite sides, may nevertheless be capable of perfect
reconciliation, as shown in one such instance mentioned in the present
work. The bond of concord is only discovered by the open mind,
however, and though the present work may be found to differ from others,
the writer would bespeak an impartial hearing as the basis of
subsequent judgment. If the book is "weighed and found wanting,"
the writer will have no complaint. He only fears a hasty judgment based
upon lack of knowledge of the system he advocates--a hearing wherein the
judgment is "wanting" in consequence of having been denied an impartial
"weighing." He would further submit, that the only opinion worthy of the
one who expresses it must be based upon knowledge.
As a further reason for care in judgment
we suggest that to many it is exceedingly difficult to retract a hastily
expressed opinion. Therefore it is urged that the reader withhold all
expressions of either praise or blame until study of the work has
reasonably satisfied him of its merit or demerit.
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception
is not dogmatic, neither does it appeal to any other authority than the
reason of the student. It is not controversial, but is sent forth in the
hope that is may help to clear some of the difficulties which have beset
the minds of students of the deeper philosophies in the past. In order to
avoid serious misunderstanding, it should be firmly impressed upon the
mind of the student, however, that there is no infallible revelation of
this complicated subject, which includes everything under the sun and
above it also.
An infallible exposition would predicate
omniscience upon the part of the writer, and even the Elder Brothers tell
us that they are sometimes at fault in their judgment, so a book which
shall say the last word on the World-Mystery is out of the question, and
the writer of the present work does not pretend to give aught but the most
elementary teachings of the Rosicrucians.
The Rosicrucian Brotherhood has the most
far-reaching, the most logical conception of the World-Mystery of which
the writer has gained any knowledge during the many years he has devoted
exclusively to the study of this subject. So far as he has been able to
investigate, their teachings have been found in accordance with facts as
he knows them. Yet he is convinced that The Rosicrucian
Cosmo-Conception is far from being the last word on the subject; that
as we advance greater vistas of truth will open to us and make clear many
things which we now "see through a glass, darkly." At the same time he
firmly believes that all other philosophies of the future will follow the
same main lines, for they appear to be absolutely true.
In view of the foregoing it will be
plain that this book is not considered by the writer as the Alpha and
Omega, the ultimate of occult knowledge, and even though is entitled
"The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception," the writer desires to strongly
emphasize that is not to be understood as a "faith once for all delivered"
to the Rosicrucians by a founder of the Order or by any other individual.
It is emphatically stated that this work embodies only the writer's
understanding of the Rosicrucian teachings concerning the
World-Mystery, strengthened by his personal investigations of the inner
Worlds, the ante-natal and post-mortem states of man, etc. The
responsibility upon one who wittingly or unwittingly leads others astray
is clearly realized by the writer, and he wishes to guard as far as
possible against that contingency, and also to guard others against going
What is said in this work is to be
accepted or rejected by the reader according to his own discretion. All
care has been used in trying to make plain the teaching; great pains have
been taken to put it into words that shall be easily understood. For that
reason only one term has been used throughout to convey each idea. The
same word will have the same meaning wherever used. When any word
descriptive of an idea is first used, the clearest definition possible to
the writer is given. None but English terms and the simplest language have
been used. The writer has tried to give as exact and definite descriptions
of the subject under consideration as possible; to eliminate all ambiguity
and to make everything clear. How far he has succeeded must be left to the
student to judge; but having used every possible means to convey the
teaching, he feels obliged to guard also against the possibility of this
work being taken as a verbatim statement of the Rosicrucian teachings.
Neglect of this precaution might give undue weight to this work in the
minds of some students. That would not be fair to the Brotherhood nor to
the reader. It would tend to throw the responsibility upon the Brotherhood
for the mistakes which must occur in this as in all other human works.
Hence the above warning.
During the four years which have elapsed
since the foregoing paragraphs were written, the writer has continued his
investigations of the invisible worlds, and experienced the expansion of
consciousness relative to these realms of nature which comes by practice
of the precepts taught in the Western Mystery School. Others also who have
followed the method of soul-unfoldment herein described as particularly
suited to the Western peoples, have likewise been enabled to verify for
themselves many things here taught. Thus the writer's understanding of
what was given by the Elder Brothers has received some corroboration and
seems to have been substantially correct, therefore he feels it a duty to
state this for the encouragement of those who are still unable to see for
If we said that the vital body is built
of prisms instead of points, it would have been better, for it is
by refraction through these minute prisms that the colorless solar fluid
changes to a rosy hue as observed by other writers beside the author.
Other new and important discoveries have
also been made; for instance, we know now that the Silver Cord is grown
anew in each life, that one part sprouts from the seed atom of the desire
body in the great vortex of the liver, that the other part grows out of
the seed atom of the dense body in the heart, that both parts meet in the
seed atom of the vital body in the solar plexus, and that this union of
the higher and lower vehicles causes the quickening. Further development
of the cord between the heart and solar plexus during the first seven
years has an important bearing on the mystery of child life, likewise its
fuller growth from the liver to the solar plexus, which takes place during
the second septenary period, is a contributory cause of adolescence.
Completion of the Silver Cord marks the end of child life, and from that
time the solar energy which enters through the spleen and is tinted by
refraction through the prismatic seed atom of the vital body located in
the solar plexus, commences to give a distinctive and individual coloring
to the aura which we observe in adults.
LIST OF CONTENTS
MAN'S PRESENT CONSTITUTION AND METHOD OF DEVELOPMENT
COSMOGENESIS AND ANTHROPOGENESIS.
MAN'S FUTURE DEVELOPMENT AND INITIATION
Man's Present Constitution and Method of Development
The Western world is undoubtedly
the vanguard of the human race, and, for reasons given in the following
pages, it is held by the Rosicrucian that neither Judaism nor "popular
Christianity," but true Esoteric Christianity is to be its world-religion.
Buddha, great, grand and sublime, may be
the "light of Asia," but Christ will yet be acknowledged the "Light of the
World." As the sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels
every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a
not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and
obliterate all other religions, to the eternal benefit of mankind.
In our civilization the chasm that
stretches between mind and heart yawns deep and wide and, as the mind
flies on from discovery to discovery in the realms of science, the gulf
becomes ever deeper and wider and the heart is left further and further
behind. The mind loudly demands and will be satisfied with nothing less
than a materially demonstrable explanation of man and his fellow-creatures
that make up the phenomenal world. The heart feels instinctively that
there is something greater, and it yearns for that which it feels is a
higher truth than can be grasped by the mind alone. The human soul would
fain soar upon ethereal pinions of intuition; would fain lave in the
eternal fount of spiritual light and love; but modern scientific views
have shorn its wings and it sits fettered and mute, unsatisfied longings
gnawing at its tendrils as the vulture of Prometheus' liver.
Is this necessary? Is there no common
ground upon which head and heart may meet, each assisting the other, each
by the help of the other becoming more effective in the search for
universal truth, and each receiving equal satisfaction?
As surely as the pre-existing light
created the eye whereby the light is seen; as surely as the primordial
desire for growth created the digestive and assimilative system for the
attainment of that end; as surely as thought existed before the brain and
built and still is building the brain for its expression; as surely as the
mind is now forging ahead and wringing her secrets from nature by the very
force of its audacity, just so surely will the heart find a way to burst
its bonds and gratify its longings. At present it is shackled by the
dominant brain. Some day it will gather strength to burst its prison bars
and become a power greater than the mind.
It is equally certain that there can be
no contradiction in nature, therefore the heart and the mind must be
capable of uniting. To indicate this common ground is precisely the
purpose of this book. To show where and how the mind, helped by the
intuition of the heart, can probe more deeply into the mysteries of being
than either could do alone; where the heart, by union with the mind, can
be kept from going astray; where each can have full scope for action,
neither doing violence to the other and where both mind and heart can be
Only when that co-operation is attained
and perfected will man attain the higher, truer understanding of himself
and of the world of which he is a part; only that can give him a broad
mind and a great heart.
At every birth what appears to be a new
life comes among us. We see the little form as it lives and grows,
becoming a factor in our lives for days, months or years. At last there
comes a day when the form dies and goes to decay. The life that came,
whence we know not, has passed to the invisible beyond, and in sorrow we
ask ourselves, Whence came it? What was it here? and Whither has it gone?
Across every threshold the skeleton form
of Death throws his fearsome shadow. Old or young, well or ill, rich or
poor, all, all alike must pass out into that shadow and throughout the
ages has sounded the piteous cry for a solution of the riddle of life--the
riddle of death.
So far as the vast majority of people
are concerned the three great questions, Whence have we come? Why are we
here? Whither are we going? remain unanswered to this day. It has
unfortunately come to be the popularly accepted opinion that nothing can
be definitely known about these matters of deepest interest to humanity.
Nothing could be more erroneous than such an idea. Each and every one,
without exception, may become capable of obtaining first-hand, definite
information upon this subject; may personally investigate the state of the
human spirit, both before birth and after death. There is no favoritism,
nor are special gifts required. Each of us has inherently the faculty for
knowing all of these matters; but! -- Yes, there is a "but," and a
"but" that must be written large. These faculties are present in
all, though latent in most people. It requires persistent effort to awaken
them and that seems to be a powerful deterrent. If these faculties, "awake
and aware," could be had for a monetary consideration, even if the price
were high, many people would pay it to gain such immense advantage over
their fellow-men, but few indeed are those willing to live the life that
is required to awaken them. That awakening comes only by patient,
persistent effort. It cannot be bought; there is no royal road to it.
It is conceded that practice is
necessary to learn to play the piano, and that it is useless to think of
being a watchmaker without being willing to serve an apprenticeship. Yet
when the matter of the soul, of death and the beyond, of the great causes
of being, are the questions at issue, many think they know as much as
anyone and have an equal right to express an opinion, though they may
never have given the subject an hour's study.
As a matter of fact, no one unless
qualified by study of the subject should expect serious consideration for
an opinion. In legal cases, where experts are called to testify, they are
first examined as to their competency. The weight of their testimony will
be nil, unless they are found to be thoroughly proficient in the branch of
knowledge regarding which their testimony is sought.
If, however, they are found to be
qualified--by study and practice-- to express an expert opinion, it is
received with the utmost respect and deference; and if the testimony of
one expert is corroborated by others equally proficient, the testimony of
each additional man adds immensely to the weight of the previous evidence.
The irrefutable testimony of one such
man easily counterbalances that of one or a dozen or a million men who
know nothing of that whereof they speak, for nothing, even though
multiplied by a million, will still remain nothing. This is as true of any
other subject as of mathematics.
As previously said, we recognize these
facts readily enough in material affairs, but when things beyond the world
of sense, when the super-physical world is under discussion; when the
relations of God to man, the inner-most mysteries of the immortal spark of
divinity, loosely termed the soul, are to be probed, then each clamors for
as serious consideration of his opinions and ideas regarding spiritual
matters as is given to the sage, who by a life of patient and toilsome
research has acquired wisdom in these higher things.
Nay, more; many will not even content
themselves with claiming equal consideration for their opinions,
but will even jeer and scoff at the words of the sage, seek to impugn his
testimony as fraud, and, with the supreme confidence of deepest ignorance,
asseverate that as they know nothing of such matters, it is
absolutely impossible that anyone else can.
The man who realizes his ignorance has
taken the first step toward knowledge.
The path to first-hand knowledge is not
easy. Nothing worth having ever comes without persistent effort. It cannot
be too often repeated that there are no such things as special gifts of
"luck." All that anyone is or has, is the result of effort. What one lacks
in comparison with another is latent in himself and capable of development
by proper methods.
If the reader, having grasped this idea
thoroughly, should ask, what he must do to obtain this first-hand
knowledge, the following story may serve to impress the idea, which is the
central one in occultism:
A young man came to a sage one day and
asked, "Sire, what must I do to become wise?" The sage vouchsafed no
answer. The youth after repeating his question a number of times, with a
like result, at last left him, to return the next day with the same
question. Again no answer was given and the youth returned on the third
day, still repeating his question, "Sire what must I do to become wise?"
Finally the sage turned and went down to
a near-by river. He entered the water, bidding the youth follow him. Upon
arriving at a sufficient depth the sage took the young man by the
shoulders and held him under the water, despite his struggles to free
himself. At last, however, he released him and when the youth had regained
his breath the sage questioned him:
"Son, when you were under the water what
did you most desire?"
The youth answered without hesitation,
"Air, air! I wanted air!"
"Would you not rather have had riches,
pleasure, power or love, my son? Did you not think of any of these?"
queried the sage.
"No, sire! I wanted air and thought only
of air," came the instant response.
"Then," said the sage, "To become wise
you must desire wisdom with as great intensity as you just now desired
air. You must struggle for it, to the exclusion of every other aim in
life. It must be your one and only aspiration, by day and by night. If you
seek wisdom with that fervor, my son, you will surely become wise."
That is the first and central requisite
the aspirant to occult knowledge must possess--an unswerving desire, a
burning thirst for knowledge; a zeal that allows no obstacle to conquer
it; but the supreme motive for seeking this occult knowledge must be an
ardent desire to benefit humanity, entirely disregarding self in order to
work for others. Unless prompted by the motive, occult knowledge is
Without possessing these
qualifications--especially the latter--in some measure, any attempt to
tread the arduous path of occultism would be a hazardous undertaking.
Another prerequisite to this first-hand knowledge, however, is the study
of occultism at second-hand. Certain occult powers are necessary for the
first-hand investigation of matters connected with the pre-natal and
post-mortem states of man, but no one need despair of acquiring
information about this conditions because of undeveloped occult powers. As
a man may know about Africa either by going there personally or by reading
descriptions written by travelers who have been there, so may he visit the
superphysical realms if he will but qualify himself therefore, or he may
learn what others who have so qualified themselves report as a result of
Christ said, "The Truth shall make you
free," but Truth is not found once and forever. Truth is eternal, and the
quest for Truth must also be eternal. Occultism knows of no "faith once
for all delivered." There are certain basic truths which remain, but which
may be looked at from many sides, each giving a different view, which
complements the previous ones; therefore, so far as we can see at present,
there is no such achievement possible as arriving at the ultimate truth.
Wherein this work differs from some
philosophical works the variations are caused by difference of viewpoint,
and all respect is paid to the conclusions reached and the ideas set forth
by other investigators. It is the earnest hope of the writer that the
study of the following pages may help to make the student's ideas fuller
and more rounded than they were before.