THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION
Chapter 10: The Earth Period
The Globes of the Earth Period are located in the four densest states of matter -- the Region of Concrete Thought, the Desire World, the Etheric, and the Chemical Regions (See Diagram 8). The densest Globe (Globe D) is our present Earth.
When we speak of "the densest Worlds" or "the densest states of matter," the term must be taken in a relative sense. Otherwise it would imply a limitation in the absolute, and that is absurd. Dense and attenuated, up and down, east and west, are applicable only relatively to our own status and position. As there are higher, finer Worlds than those touched by our life wave, so there are also denser states of matter which are the field of evolution for other classes of beings. Nor must it be thought that these denser worlds are elsewhere in space; they are interpenetrated by our worlds in a manner similar to that in which the higher Worlds interpenetrate this Earth. The fancied solidity of the Earth and the forms we see are no bar to the passage of a denser body any more than our solid dense walls bar the passage of a human being clothed in his desire body. Neither is solidity synonymous with density, as may be illustrated by aluminum, a solid which is less dense than the fluidic mercury; nevertheless the latter, in spite of its density, will evaporate or exude through many solids.
This being the fourth Period, we have at present four elements. In the Saturn Period there was but one element, Fire -- i.e., there was warmth, or heat, which is incipient fire. In the second, or Sun Period, there were two elements, Fire and Air. In the third, or Moon Period, there were three elements, Water being added; and in the fourth, or Earth Period, was added the fourth element, Earth. Thus it will be seen that a new element was added for each Period.
In the Jupiter Period an element of a spiritual nature will be added, which will unite with the speech so that words will invariable carry with them understanding -- not misunderstanding, as is frequently the case now. For instance, when one says "house," he may mean a cottage, while the hearer may get the idea of a tenement flat building.
To this environment of the four elements, as specified above, the different classes mentioned in diagram 10 were brought over by the Hierarchies in charge of them. We remember that in the Moon Period these classes formed three kingdoms -- animal, animal-plant and plant-mineral. Here on Earth, however, the conditions are such that there can be no large half-way classes. There must be four distinctly different kingdoms. In this crystallized phase of existence the lines between them must be more sharply drawn than was the case in former Periods, where one kingdom gradually merged into the next. Therefore some of the classes mentioned in diagram 10 advanced one-half step, while others went back a half a step.
Some of the mineral-plants advanced completely into the plant kingdom and became the verdure of the fields. Others went down and became the purely mineral soil in which the plants grew. Of the plant-animals some advanced into the animal kingdom, ahead of time, and those species have yet the colorless plant-blood and some, like star-fishes, have even the five points like the petals of flowers.
All of class 2 whose desire bodies could be divided into two parts (as was the case with all of class 1) were fitted to become human vehicles and were therefore advanced into the human group.
We must carefully remember that in the above paragraphs we are dealing with Form, not with the Life which dwells in the Form. The instrument is graded to suit the life that is to dwell in it. Those of class 2, in whose vehicles the above mentioned division could be made were raised to the human kingdom, but were given the indwelling spirit at a point in time later than class 1. Hence, they are not now so far evolved as class 1, and are therefore the lower races of mankind.
Those whose desire bodies were incapable of division were put into the same division as classes 3a and 3b. They are our present anthropoids. They may yet overtake our evolution if they reach a sufficient degree of advancement before the critical point already mentioned, which will come in the middle of the fifth Revolution. If they do not overtake us by that time, they will have lost touch with our evolution.
It was said that man had built his threefold body by the help of others higher than he, but in the previous Period there was no coordinating power; the threefold spirit, the Ego, was separate and apart from its vehicles. Now the time had come to unite the spirit and the body.
Where the desire body separated, the higher part became somewhat master over the lower part and over the dense and vital bodies. It formed a sort of animal-soul with which the spirit could unite by means of the link of mind. Where there was no division of the desire body, the vehicle was given over to desires and passions without any check, and could therefore not be used as a vehicle within which the spirit could dwell. So it was put under the control of a group-spirit which ruled if from without. It became an animal body, and that kind has now degenerated into the body of the anthropoid.
Where there was a division of the desire body, the dense body gradually assumed a vertical position, thus taking the spine out of the horizontal currents of the Desire World in which the group-spirit acts upon the animal through the horizontal spine. The Ego could then enter, work in and express itself through the vertical spine and build the vertical larynx and brain for its adequate expression in the dense body. A horizontal larynx is also under the domination of the group-spirit. While it is true that some animals, as the starling, raven, parrot, etc., previously mentioned, are able, because of the possession of a vertical larynx, to utter words, they cannot use them understandingly. The use of words to express thought is the highest human privilege and can be exercised only by a reasoning, thinking entity like man. If the student will keep this in mind, it will be easier to follow the different steps which lead up to this result.
This is the Revolution during which, in each Period, the dense body is reconstructed. This time it was given the ability to form a brain and become a vehicle for the germ of mind which was to be added later. This addition constituted the final reconstruction of the dense body, rendering it capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency possible to such a vehicle.
Unspeakable Wisdom has been employed in its construction. It is a marvel. It can never be sufficiently impressed upon the mind of the student what immeasurable facilities for the gaining of knowledge are contained in this instrument, and what a great boon it is to man; how much he should prize it and how thankful he should be to have it.
Some examples of the perfection of construction and intelligent adaptability displayed in this instrument have previously been given, but in order to further impress this great truth upon the mind of the student, it might not be out of place to illustrate more fully this Wisdom, also the work of the Ego in the blood.
It is generally know, in a vague kind of way, that the gastric juice acts upon the food to promote assimilation; but only a very few people, outside of the medical profession, are aware that there are many different gastric juices, each appropriate to the treatment of a certain kind of food. The researches of Pavlov, however, have established the fact beyond doubt, that there is one kind of juice for the digestion of meat, another for milk, another for acid fruit, etc. That fact, by the way, is the reason why all foods do not mix well. Milk, for instance, requires a gastric juice that is widely different from almost any other kind except that required for the digestion of starchy foods, and is not readily digested with any food other than cereals. This alone would show marvelous wisdom; that the Ego working subconsciously is able to select the different juices which are appropriate to the different kinds of food taken into the stomach, making each of just the right strength and quantity to digest the food. What makes the matter still more wonderful, however, is the fact that the gastric juice is poured into the stomach in advance of the food.
We do not consciously direct the process of mixing this fluid. The great majority of people know nothing of metabolism or any other phase of chemistry. So it is not enough to say that, as we taste what is coming, we direct the process by means of signals through the nervous system.
When this fact of the selection of juices was first proven, scientists were sorely puzzled trying to learn how the right kind of juice was selected and caused to enter the stomach before the food. They thought the signal was given along the nervous system. But it was demonstrated beyond doubt that the proper juice was poured into to the stomach even though the nervous system was blocked.
At last Starling and Bayliss, in a series of experiments of brilliant ingenuity, proved that infinitesimal parts of the food are taken up by the blood as soon as the food enters the mouth, go in advance to the digestive glands and cause a flow of the proper juice.
This again, is only the physical side of the phenomena. To understand the whole wonderful connection, we must turn to occult science. That alone explains why the signal is carried by the blood.
The blood is one of the highest expressions of the vital body. The Ego guides and controls its dense instrument by means of the blood, therefore the blood is also the means used to act on the nervous system. During some of the time that digestion is going on, it acts partially through the nervous system, but (especially at the commencement of the digestive process) it acts directly upon the stomach. When, during scientific experiments, the nerves were blocked, the direct way through the blood was still open and the Ego derived the necessary information in that way.
It will also be seen that the blood is driven to wherever the Ego unfolds the greatest activity at any time. If a situation requires sudden thought and action, the blood is promptly driven to the head. If a heavy meal is to be digested, the greater portion of the blood leaves the head, centering around the digestive organs. The Ego concentrates its efforts on ridding the body of the useless food. Therefore a man cannot think well after a heavy meal. He is sleepy, because so much blood has left the brain that the residue is insufficient to carry on the functions necessary to full waking consciousness, besides, nearly all the vital fluid or solar energy specialized by the spleen is absorbed by the blood rushing through that organ after a meal, in greater volume than between meals. Thus the rest of the system is also deprived of the vital fluid in a large measure during digestion. It is the Ego that drives the blood into the brain. Whenever the body goes to sleep, the table will invariably tip towards the feet, raising the head. During coition the blood is centered in the sex organs, etc. All these examples tend to prove that during the waking hours, the Ego works in and controls the dense body by means of the blood. The larger portion of the total amount goes to that part of the body where at any given time, the Ego unfolds any particular activity.
The reconstruction of the dense body in the Saturn Revolution of the Earth Period was for the purpose of rendering it capable of inter-penetration by the mind. It gave the first impulse to the building of the frontal part of the brain; also the incipient division in the nervous system which has since become apparent in its subdivisions -- the voluntary and the sympathetic. The latter was the only one provided for in the Moon Period. The voluntary nervous system (which has transformed the dense body from a mere automaton acting under stimuli from without, to an extraordinarily adaptable instrument capable of being guided and controlled by an Ego from within) was not added until the present Earth Period.
The principal art of the reconstructive work was done by the Lords of Form. They are the Creative Hierarchy which is most active in the Earth Period, as were the Lords of Flame in the Saturn Period, the Lords of Wisdom in the Sun Period, and the Lords of Individuality in the Moon Period.
The Earth Period is pre-eminently the Period of Form, for there the form or matter side of evolution reaches its greatest and most pronounced state. Here spirit is more helpless and suppressed, and Form is the most dominant factor -- hence the prominence of the Lords of Form.
During this Revolution, the vital body was reconstructed to accommodate the germinal mind. The vital body was fashioned more in the likeness of the dense body, so that it could become fitted for use as the densest vehicle during the Jupiter Period, when the dense body will have become spiritualized.
The Angels, the humanity of the Moon Period, were aided by the Lords of Form in reconstruction. The organization of the vital body is now next in efficiency to the dense body. Some writers on this subject call the former a link, and contend that it is simply a mold of the dense body, and not a separate vehicle.
While not desiring to criticize, and admitting that this contention is justified by the fact that man, at his present stage of evolution, cannot ordinarily use the vital body as a separate vehicle -- because it always remains with the dense body and to extract it in toto would cause death of the dense body -- yet there was a time when it was not so firmly incorporated with the latter, as we shall presently see.
During those epochs of our Earth's history which have already been mentioned as the Lemurian and the Atlantean, man was involuntarily clairvoyant, and it was precisely this looseness of connection between the dense and the vital bodies that made him so. (The Initiators of that time helped the candidate to loosen the connection still further, as in the voluntary clairvoyant.)
Since then the vital body has become much more firmly interwoven with the dense body in the majority of people, but in all sensitives it is loose. It is that looseness which constitutes the difference between the psychic and the ordinary person who is unconscious of all but the vibrations contacted by means of the five senses. All human beings have to pass through this period of close connection of the vehicles, and experience the consequent limitation of consciousness. There are, therefore, two classes of sensitives, those who have not become firmly enmeshed in matter, such as the majority of the Hindus, the Indians, etc., who possess a certain low grade of clairvoyance, or are sensitive to the sounds of nature, and those who are in the vanguard of evolution. The latter are emerging from the acme of materiality, and are again divisible into two kinds, one of which develops in a passive, weak-willed manner. By the help of others, they re-awaken the solar plexus or other organs in connection with the involuntary nervous system. These are therefore involuntary clairvoyants, mediums who have no control of their faculty. They have retrograded. The other kind is made up of those who by their own wills unfold the vibratory powers of the organs now connected with the voluntary nervous system and thus become trained occultists, controlling their own bodies and exercising the clairvoyant faculty as they will to do. They are called voluntary or trained clairvoyants.
In the Jupiter Period man will function in his vital body as he now does in his dense body; and as no development in nature is sudden, the process of separating the two bodies has already commenced. The vital body will then attain a much higher degree of efficiency than the dense body of today. As it is a much more pliable vehicle, the spirit will then be able to use it in a manner impossible of realization in the case of the present dense vehicle.
Here the Moon Period was recapitulated, and much the same conditions prevailed (on an advanced scale) as obtained on Globe D of that Period. There was the same kind of fire-fog atmosphere; the same fiery core; the same division of the Globe into two parts, in order to allow the more highly evolved beings a chance to progress at the proper rate and pace, which it would be impossible for beings such as our humanity to equal.
In that Revolution the Archangels (humanity of the Sun Period) and the Lords of Form took charge of the reconstruction of the desire body, but they were not alone in that work. When the separation of the Globe into two parts occurred, there was a similar division in the desire bodies of some of the evolving beings. We have already noted that where this division took place, the form was ready to become the vehicle of an indwelling spirit, and in order to further this purpose the Lords of Mind (humanity of the Saturn Period) took possession of the higher part of the desire body and implanted in it the separate selfhood, without which the present man with all his glorious possibilities, could never have existed.
Thus in the latter part of the Moon Revolution the first germ of separate personality was implanted in the higher part of the desire body by the Lords of Mind.
The Archangels were active in the lower part of the desire body, giving it the purely animal desires. They also worked in the desire bodies where there was no division. Some of these were to become the vehicles of the animal group-spirits, which work on them from without, but do not enter wholly into the animal forms, as the individual spirit does into the human body.
The desire body was reconstructed to render it capable of being interpenetrated by the germinal mind which, during the Earth Period, will be implanted in all those desire bodies in which it was possible to make the before-mentioned division.
As has been previously explained, the desire body is an unorganized ovoid, holding the dense body as a dark spot within its center, as the white of an egg surrounds the yolk. There are a number of sense centers in the ovoid, which have appeared since the beginning of the Earth Period. In the average human being these centers appear merely as eddies in a current and are not now awake, hence his desire body is of no use to him as a separate vehicle of consciousness; but when the sense centers are awakened, they look like whirling vortices.
Hitherto we have noted only the Cosmic Nights between Periods. We saw that there was an interval of rest and assimilation between the Saturn and the Sun Periods; another Cosmic Night between the Sun and the Moon Periods, etc. But in addition to these, there are also rests between the Revolutions.
We might liken the Periods to the different incarnations of man; the Cosmic Nights between them to the intervals between deaths and new births; and the rest between Revolutions would then be analogous to the rest of sleep between two days.
When a Cosmic Night sets in, all manifested things are resolved into a homogenous mass -- the Cosmos again becomes Chaos.
This periodical return of matter to primordial substance is what makes it possible for the spirit to evolve. Were the crystallizing process of active manifestation to continue indefinitely, it would offer an insurmountable barrier to the progress of Spirit. Every time matter has crystallized to such a degree that it becomes too hard for the spirit to work in, the latter withdraws to recuperate its exhausted energy, on the same principle that a power-drill which has stopped when boring in hard metals, is withdrawn to regain its momentum. It is then able to bore its way further into the metal.
Freed from the crystallizing energy of the evolving spirits, the chemical forces in matter turn Cosmos to Chaos by restoring matter to its primordial state, that a new start may be made by the regenerated virgin spirits at the dawn of a new Day of Manifestation. The experience gained in former Periods and Revolutions enables the Spirit to build up to the point last reached, with comparative celerity, also to facilitate further progress by making such alterations as its cumulative experience dictates.
Thus at the end of the Moon Revolution of the Earth Period, all the Globes and all life returned to Chaos, re-emerging therefrom at the beginning of the fourth Revolution.
In the exceeding complexity of the scheme of evolution, there are always spirals within spirals, ad infinitum. So it will not be surprising to learn that in every Revolution the work of recapitulation and rest is applied to the different Globes. When the life wave reappeared on Globe A in this Revolution, it went though the development of the Saturn Period; then after a rest which, however did not involve the complete destruction of the Globe; but only an alteration, it appeared on Globe B, where the work of the Sun Period was recapitulated. Then after a rest, the life wave passed on to Globe C, and the work of the Moon Period was repeated. Finally, the life wave arrived on Globe D, which is our Earth, and not until then did the proper work of the Earth Period begin.
Even then, the spiral within the spiral precluded its beginning immediately on the arrival of the life wave from Globe C, for the bestowal of the germ of mind did not actually take place until the fourth Epoch, the first three Epochs being still further recapitulations of the Saturn, Sun and Moon Periods, but always on a higher scale.