Teachings of an Initiate
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This volume of the writings of Max Heindel is a series of messages he sent out through monthly lessons to his students. Chapters include: The Days Of Noah And Of Christ; The Sign Of The Master; What Is Spiritual Work?; The Way Of Wisdom; The Secret Of Success; The Death Of The Soul; The New Sense Of The New Age; God's Chosen People; Secret Springs; Its Promotion Of Spiritual Sight; Peace On Earth; The Gospel Of Gladness; The Esoteric Significance Of Easter And The Inception Of The Rosicrucian Philosophy; The Lesson Of Easter; The Heavens Declare The Glory Of God; Religion And Healing, and more.
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When Nicodemus came to Christ and was told about the necessity of rebirth, he asked, "How can these things be?" And we also with out inquiring minds are often anxious for more light upon the various teachings concerning our future. It helps us if we can feel that these teachings fit into physical facts as we know them. Then we seem to have firmer ground for our faith in other things which we have not yet proved.
It has been the writer's work to investigate spiritual facts and correlate them with the physical in such a manner as would appeal to the reason and thus pave the way for belief. In this way it has been his privilege to give light to seeking souls on many of the mysteries of life. Recently a new discovery was made which, though it seemed as remote from connection with the coming of Christ as east is from west, throws considerable light on that event, especially on the manner of our meeting with the Lord "in the twinkling of an eye" as the Bible has it. Our students well know how distasteful it is to the writer to relate personal experiences, but sometimes, as in the present case, it seems necessary, and we shall crave indulgence for using the personal pronoun while relating to the incident.
One night some time ago while in transit to a place in a far country where I had a mission to perform, I heard a cry. Though the human voice can be heard only in air, there are overtones which are heard in the spiritual realms at distances exceeding those traversed by wireless messages. The cry was close by, however, and I was on the scene in an instant, but not soon enough to give the needed help. I found a man sliding down a slanting embankment, bare of vegetation, perhaps a dozen feet in width, and as it proved on subsequent examination, almost smooth, and without a fissure which would have afforded a hold for his fingers. To have saved him would have involved materialization of both arms and shoulders, but there was no time. In a moment he had slid over the overhanging precipice and was falling to the floor of the canyon below, probably several thousand feet, though I am not certain, being a poor judge of distance.
Prompted by a natural spirit of fellow feeling I followed and on the way observed the phenomenon which is the basis of this article, namely, that when the body had attained a considerable velocity, the ethers composing the vital body commenced to ooze out, and when the body crashed into the rocks below, a mangled mass, there was very little of any ether left in it. Gradually, however, the ethers drifted together, took form, and hovered with the finer vehicles above the mangled corpse; but the man was in a stupor unable to sense or realize the fact of his altered condition.
As soon as I saw that he was beyond present help I went on; but on thinking the matter over it dawned on me that something unusual had happened and that it was my duty to find out if the ethers left that way in every one who feel, and if so, why. Under old-time conditions this would have been difficult, but the advent of the flying machine claims many victims, especially in these unfortunate war times. It was therefore easy to ascertain the fact that when a falling body has attained a certain velocity, the higher ethers leave the dense body, and the falling man becomes insensible. As the body reaches the ground, it is mangled, but the poor man may regain consciousness when the ether has reorganized itself. He will then begin to suffer from the physical consequences of the fall. If the fall continues after the higher ethers have left, the increased velocity dislodges the lower ethers, and the Silver Cord is all that remains attached to the body. This is ruptured at the moment of impact with the ground, and the seed atom passes on to the breaking point, where it is held in the usual way.
From these facts we came to the conclusion that it is the normal air pressure which holds the vital body within the dense. When we move with an abnormal velocity, the pressure is removed from some parts of the body and a partial vacuum formed, with the further result that the ethers leave the body and flow into this vacuum. The two higher ethers, which are most loosely bound, are the first to disappear and leave the man senseless after they have produced the panorama of life in a flash. Then if the fall continues to increase the air pressure in front of the body and the vacuum behind, the more closely bound lower ethers are also forced out, and the body is dead before it reaches the ground. It was found by examining a number of people in normal health that each of the prismatic atoms composing the lower ethers radiated from itself the lines of force which set spinning the physical atoms in which it is inserted, enduing the hole body with life. The united trend of all these units of force is toward the periphery of the body, where they constitute what has been called the "Odic Fluid," also designated by other names. When the air pressure from without is lowered by residence in a high altitude, a tendency to nervousness becomes manifest because the etheric force from within ruses outward unchecked; and were the man not able to shut off the outflow of solar energy in part by an effort of will to overcome the difficulty, no one could live in such places.
We had heard of "shell shock" and we were aware that numbers of people who had not even the slightest wound were found dead on the battle field. In fact, we had seen and spoken with people who had passed out in this manner but were at a loss to know why death has resulted. They all disclaimed fear and were unanimously in their assertion that they had suddenly become unconscious and a moment later they had found themselves in that they had not a single scratch on their bodies. Our preconceived idea that it must have been a momentary fear at a particularly close call which though unrealized, had caused their demise, prevented a full investigation; but the ascertained results of the consequences of a fall led us to believe that something similar might take place in this connection, and this surmise proved to be correct.
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