Three worlds surround, penetrate and bear up this physical world, which is the lowest, and the sediment of the three.
|Vol. 6||JANUARY, 1908.||No. 4|
|Copyright, 1908, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
CONSCIOUSNESS THROUGH KNOWLEDGE.
(Continued from page 8.)
IT will be seen from the foregoing, as shown in Figure 30, that the evolutionary signs from libra (♎︎) to capricorn (♑︎) are complementary to the involutionary signs from cancer (♋︎) to libra (♎︎). That whereas the highest descended to, and acted through, the lowest by involution, the lowest now unfolds and ascends again to the highest; that each sign is equal to the other on its own plane; that the involutionary signs do not comprehend themselves by involution; that each requires the complementary sign to comprehend it. As, for instance, form cannot of itself act on form (♍︎), it requires the desire (♏︎), which is on the plane of evolution, what it, on the same plane is, when involuting, and, therefore, form cannot act without desire, but desire acts through form; so that virgo (♍︎), form, is complete and functioning when scorpio (♏︎), desire, is active. Again, sagittary (♐︎), thought, is the complement to leo (♌︎), life; sagittary (♐︎), thought, is, on the ascending evolutionary plane, what leo (♌︎), life, is in involution, on the same plane; but leo (♌︎), life, cannot perceive itself or direct itself by itself. It requires the universal thought, sagittary (♐︎), acting through the individualty (♑︎) of the spiritual man to consciously breathe out the thought into the life of the absolute zodiac and to guide and direct life according to the thought. It will be seen that the scientist cannot speculate about the primeval fire world of breath because he restricts himself to the thought world, and therefore shuts out all light from the spiritual man of the spiritual zodiac. Only for him who has reached in development any one sign on the evolutionary arc is it possible to understand the plane on which he is and make known to himself all that is below that plane, but he cannot understand that which is above the plane of his action.
The physical man is made up of the seven constituents of skin, flesh, blood, fat, bone, marrow, seminal fluid, all of which are perceptible to the physical senses. The first six are drawn and extracted from the foods of the earth and the elements. The last is the precipitation of the principle by which bodies are generated and through which the ego contacts the body and projects that spark which unites the two germs, and is the plan according to which is built up the new body, into which it incarnates in the course of time.
The physical body is represented by the sign libra (♎︎), sex, through which it is born into the physical world, but the form body is symbolized by the sign virgo (♍︎), womb, where the form has, previous to birth, been built up and elaborated as a physical body. The sign leo (♌︎), life, is that through which the material is precipitated into the form body, which gradually develops and increases in size. It is through the blood of the mother that the physical body of the foetus is built; by the constant precipitations of the life blood the body continues to grow and develop until it reaches the limit of development in its physical zodiac, the womb, then the life (♌︎) continues to surge and finally forces it from its physical matrix (♍︎) into the physical outside world as the body of sex, libra (♎︎). But none of these processes could be carried on were it not for the inclusive world of breath symbolized by the sign cancer (♋︎), breath, through which and by means of which the blood is oxygenated and kept in constant circulation. After birth the form of the child continues its growth and development, but it is still due to the four signs and principles already enumerated that its form is built up.
The physical body was the thing to be produced up to the time of birth. The next principle to be developed and to which all the others lend their aid is desire. The breath continues to stimulate the blood which circulates through its entire physical body within the astral form body of the physical. The physical proceeds with its organic development and as it does so calls into action the principle of desire. Desire in the child marks the stage in the evolution of humanity which was that of the typical animal man who was guided only by his instincts and desires.
At this period in development the power of thought becomes manifest, and, aside from physical hereditary tendencies, it depends on the nature of the thought as to its limitations and activities. If the thought is turned to the gratification of the physical senses only, the activity of man is limited to the psychic zodiac through the physical man in his physical world and zodiac, but if there is also an intellectual desire and pursuits of an intellectual nature then the activities of man extend also to the mental zodiac in his mental world. If this mental development should be applied to the physical world then the mental would act through the psychic and both through the physical. But not without knowledge can the spiritual man, from his spiritual zodiac and world, act through the mental man and the spiritual man and all through the physical body.
The spiritual zodiac is the world of knowledge and the man acting in that zodiac consciously, must also be a man of knowledge. The mental zodiac is the world of thought. Only a man of thought can act consciously in that world. The psychic man represents the psychic or astral world and anyone who is psychic may operate in that world. The physical body is the physical man in its physical world or zodiac. A physical body is needed to act in the physical world.
There is but one road to orderly and consecutive development; that is, that man should develop all his faculties and powers evenly. One-sided development causes failure. All sides of the character should be well rounded out and developed evenly. The first requirement therefore for one who desires to enter into the world of real knowledge must be the development of a whole and healthy body. This is a duty which he owes to the physical world. The food which is taken into the physical body partakes of the nature of the physical body. The physical body of man impresses the matter that is taken into it, and when this matter is thrown off again it carries the impress and nature of that body with it. If it is impressed with disease, it carries the impress of that disease off with it and contaminates the matter of the world. If it carries the impress of health, it improves the matter of the world.
Another duty to the world is the education of the body. The education of the physical body consists in the exercises necessary to maintain health, by constant and conscious activities and functions of the body and to train the body to respond willingly to the dictates of the governing principle. For the ordinary man, in the course of his evolutionary cycle, there is another and a very important duty to perform. It relates to his marriage and family life. This duty consists in the furnishing of two bodies by himself and wife, for reincarnating egos, even as he and his wife have been furnished with the bodies which they occupy. Family life is a very important feature in the life of the physical world and should not be neglected by the man who for the first time seeks to know and enter into the world of knowledge.
Business must be engaged in, else the mind lacks that keenness and appreciation for values, and the ability to provide for one’s family and dependents which business experience brings.
The arts must be appreciated and developed, for it is by the acquiring of the arts that the senses reach their highest state of perfection and development; it is through the arts, such as sculpure, painting and music, that the physical world is seen in its most beautiful forms, delightful colors and harmonious movements.
The dangers of the arts are that they throw a glamour over the mind and lead it captive into the enchanted realms of nature, for through the arts the mind often falls a prey to the forms and colors and sounds of the world’s great chorus. But they benefit that mind who is able by their beauty to soar above the enchanted garden of the senses through which the arts beguile, and to wind its way into the ideals of which the arts are but imitations. The benefit of art to the mind so freed from ensnarements is that it loves the world and the things of the world, not for the sake of their enjoyment, but for the possibility of raising the world to a higher plane and by a diviner art than that of the senses.
The politics of the world cannot be ignored and should not be neglected, for it is by law and order in communities that the rights of each and all are preserved; the duty to the country requires that the benefits of the best experiences of a man shall be given to his country.
The sciences should be comprehended that the physical world of matter might be analyzed into its component parts and these seen in their relationships to each other, and that the laws governing the physical phenomena should be known.
The religion or the religions of one’s country should be known, that the devotional life and aspiration of one’s fellows be appreciated.
Philosophy is necessary in order that the mind may be so trained as to be able to look for truth in all things, through all forms of belief irrespective of their source, and that truth, when perceived, should be followed wherever it may lead.
These are most of the necessary drillings and qualifications of one who would seek the world of real knowledge and consciously enter therein. But there are many dangers attached to qualifying in these branches of learning, for they are merely learning, they are not knowledge.
The danger of physical health is that it is liable to run riot. When the body is strong and healthy the desires are usually fierce, and it requires a strong hand to hold the body in check and prevent its being hurled into dissipation and debauchery. If the body is controlled, the benefits derived from physical health are that it furnishes the material which by a process of alchemy may be used in the preparation of that body with which one may enter safely into the psychic world.
In performing the duties of family life there are many attendant dangers. First there is the danger of prostitution. The purpose of marriage is not a license for unholy indulgence. The conjugal relation should be one of duty to the world, not of submission to passion. Where one so submits he leaves the path to the world of knowledge and is preparing for himself terrible conditions and circumstances which he must experience and work out in the wilds of the world. Then there are the dangers of irritability, anger, impatience, carelessness, imprudence, unkindness to one’s wife or husband or children; these are fetters around one which lead and keep him in the jungle of the world. The benefits to be derived from household life are: a love of one’s kind, patience, forbearance, equanimity of temper, strength of purpose, firmness of character, the understanding of the duties and cares of the life of humanity, and to be able to see in one’s mate the reflection or reverse side of one’s self.
The dangers of business are: selfishness, the tendency to dishonesty in dealing with and taking advantage of one’s fellow, the desire to gamble, for amusement, or the inordinate desire for the accumulation of money. But the benefits to be had through the business world are: keenness of the mind, the schooling which it gives in dealing with the nature of man, showing as it does, the meannesses, deceptions and cunning of the human mind in its competition with others for the best of the bargain. It enables the mind to deal with the commonplace affairs of life in an active and energetic manner; business should not be engaged in for the purpose of being greater than one’s fellow by the power of money, but rather for the ability to provide that which is needed.
The dangers attending the entrance into politics are: an exultation in the power and influence which go with it, the possibility of exercising political influence to the detriment of others and the consuming desire to be a leader of men and control others. The benefits to be derived from political ability and power are: taking advantage of the opportunities which it offers to provide the best possible conditions for the people of one’s country, to provide them with the opportunities of education, to afford freedom of thought and action and a realization of man’s responsibilities.
The dangers of religion are: to suppose that the religion in which one is born is the only true religion, to regard the religions of others as heretical or heathen, to accept the creed of one’s religion as the final statement of truth concerning the soul of man and the absoluteness of the divinity of one’s religion. The benefits of religion are: that it teaches the particular school and class through which any people are passing, it enables one to feel the aspirations, hopes and yearnings of that people and through it to help them into a fuller conception of their ideals, it enables one to see that any religion is but one of the many-sided facets of the truth to which the soul of a people aspires as to the source of their being.
The dangers of philosophy are: it may be misused to base purposes, such as debating without definite purpose, or argument to support one’s views without regard for right, and by its misuse, to acquire mental power over another. The benefits to be derived from philosophy are: that its love of truth frees the mind from prejudice and enables it to see the truth from every side.
Thus far we have spoken of the breath, life, form, the physical body, desires, of the training of the mind through the various schools of learning; all this to be done while in the physical body. The physical body is the condensation of the worlds about it and all is related to and included in the sign libra (♎︎). But an examination of matter in its physical aspect will not reveal the causes of its appearance and disappearance. That from which the matter of the physical world condenses and appears visible in the physical world comes from the world immediately within and about the physical. This is the astral world in which the forms and desires of the physical are first born and are later expressed through the physical.
The astral or psychic world is the model and form on which the physical world has been built, from which the forms of the physical are drawn; it contains the plan on which and by which the physical world will be changed and the new forms which are to appear in the course of its change. The astral or psychic world is to the physical what the linga sharira or form body is to the physical body of man. Within the astral world are contained the forces which play through the physical. Such forces as light, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, are all active in the astral world and only appear in the physical world when a channel is made which allows the astral force to operate through that channel into the physical world. So electricity can be precipitated in any part of the world. The only requirement is to furnish the medium between the two worlds. This opens the door to the astral world and the force is immediately manifested. The astral world is the storehouse of all forms and the centralization of desires. The earth and all that appears on it is by comparison as a small patch only from an immense canvas of colors and forms. The forces often appear as entities in the astral world because all things in the astral world tend to take form. The astral world is different from the physical in that forms are more beautiful and more horrible, more alluring and terrifying than those in the physical world, and desires rage more fiercely than any storms of the physical. The colors are more full of life and character than any seen in the physical world. All physical colors are but pale shadows as compared with the colors of the astral world. Feelings are more intense and matter is more easily acted on. In the physical world a man when moved by some fierce desire or frenzy of passion will assume and to a degree express through his features the nature and face of a tiger or other animal, but the form of the face is still preserved. In the astral world the form is changed instantly as the desire is changed, so that what appears as a beautiful form may suddenly take on the form of a wild beast or of a devil. When commanded by the human mind to show its true nature, a figure, for instance, which appears to be that of a beautiful human cannot fail to obey even though the entity afterwards wreaks vengeance on the one who commanded it. There is no simulation in the astral world for one who knows his duties in the physical world and performs them.
As the astral body of man is that form which is constituted of molecular matter and which holds the cells of the physical body together, so the astral world is that form which holds the physical particles together and which appears as the physical world. As the physical body of man contacts the physical things of earth, so the astral or form body of man contacts the astral world. As the forces and elements acting through the astral world operate into the physical world, so these forces acting through the astral form body of man move him by instincts and impulses, and by the storms of anger and passion which are induced or appear from time to time. The astral world is a world of learning and the physical world is a world of equilibrium of duties, of the balancing of accounts.
As the astral world is a world of the causes of which the physical world is the effects, so in turn the astral world is a world of the effects of which another world is the cause. This world is the life and thought world. The life world is that atomic spirit-matter which is the distributor of all the forces of the astral world. The astral world serves as a battery in which these forces are held, and through which they are liberated into the physical world. As the astral world is the storage battery of all the forces which are liberated and used into the physical world, so the linga sharira or form body of man is the storage battery of life. Life is not appropriated by the physical body direct from its life principle and the life principle of the world; life is stored up by man in his linga sharira or form body from his life sphere and the life sphere of the world, and is distributed into the physical body according to the use and the demands made on it by the actions of the physical body.
The atomic spirit-matter of life has no form of itself, as it is the primordial element and force which enters into the composition of all things. But it is directed and precipitated by thought, which is used by the mental man described in figure 30. The totality of the thought of the humanity of the world directs the life into form which is precipitated into the astral world and there takes form according to the nature of the thought. The forms, therefore, which appear in the astral world are the precipitated and crystallized thoughts of the individuals and of collective humanity. The cause of the sorrows and miseries, the pestilences and many of the diseases which are known to man are the results of the collective thought of humanity which appear into the physical world as his karma, for karma is thought, as the cause and as the effect. It is owing to the power of thought that man is able by a continued thought to direct the current of life into his psychic form body and thence to the physical and to remove a physical ill, but the cure may be worse than the disease, if the current of life is improperly directed, and especially if the motive behind the thought is not pure. This thought world is the realm which is reflected into the astral world and which there appears in all manner of forms. The thought world is the world in which the man of thought wanders when speculating on abstruse problems or seeks to know or speculate upon the mystery of life and the causes of phenomena.
The reason why he is unable to know is due to his endeavor to locate the subject of his search in the object of his experiment and analysis. His mind is searching for the causes in one realm while attempting to discover them in a shadow. The scientist examines the object of his investigation from its surface and tries to locate its life in its form, but he cannot succeed because the life which supplies the matter of its form is not a visible object; it is within and around it and cannot be found unless better instruments are used than those furnished by the materialist.
But higher than the life and the thought world is that realm symbolized by the signs cancer-capricorn (♋︎–♑︎), the realm of knowledge, which is beyond the conflicting thoughts of the human world. The world of knowledge contains the abstract ideas of all things which have been and which are to become manifested through the lower worlds, or known to man. It is a world of calm. In its primeval state it was and is the universal mind; the parent mind of all the minds of men. The parent mind from which have come and come the minds of men, each appearing to separate from the parent mind as a crystal sphere of breath within the all inclusive sphere.
These breaths are the individual minds of men. These breaths, incarnated a portion of themselves in the forms of animal man and endowed and surrounded those forms with minds. The crystal-like spheres are those who still endow mankind with mind and through the human form attempt to regenerate the world.
The world of knowledge is the world of pure reason, of abstract transcendental mathematics, of the law of harmony, the absolute law by which all manifested worlds are ruled. This is the world man enters when he knows himself as an individuality, a fully self-conscious being. As this physical world is to man, so the world of knowledge is to the self-conscious individuality. But this physical world appears so differently according to the moods of physical man. At one time the world is bright and full of splendor, at another moment the life and light have gone out of the world and left it a dreary waste. The world of knowledge is not subject to such changes to the self-conscious individuality. To him it is a world of permanence, a world on which he may depend, a world which throws no shadows and where all things are as they appear. It is a world where things are known instead of being speculated upon or thought of. It is not a world of passion and pleasure, but it is a world of power and peace for the one who acts therein intelligently. It cannot be described as is a city or a house, because a city or a house is only the concrete form of the abstract plan, whereas knowledge is the cause of both the plan and the structure.