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The Rosicrucian Mysteries by Max Heindel


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Our chapter head, β€œthe constitution of man,” may surprise a reader who has not previously studied the Mystery teachings, or he may imagine that we intend to give an anatomical dissertation, but such is not our intention. We have spoken of the earth upon which we live as being composed of several invisible realms in addition to the world we perceive by means of our senses. We have also spoken of man as being correlated to these various divisions in nature, and a little thought upon the subject will quickly convince us that in order to function upon the various planes of existence described, it is necessary that a man should have a body composed of their substance, or at least have specialized for his own use, some of the material of each of these worlds.

We have said that finer matter, called desire stuff and mind stuff, permeates our atmosphere and the solid earth, even as blood percolates through all parts of our flesh. But that is not a sufficient explanation to account for all facts of life. If that were all, then minerals, which are interpenetrated by the world of thought and the world of desire, would have thoughts and desires as well as man. This is not the case, so something more than mere interpenetration must be requisite to acquire the faculties of thought and feeling.

We know that in order to function in this world, to live as a physical being among other like beings, we must have a physical body all our own, built of the chemical constituents of this visible world. When we lose it at death, it profits us nothing that the world is full of just the very chemicals needed to build such a body. We cannot then specialize them, and therefore we are invisible to all others. Similarly, if we did not possess a special body made of ether, we should be unable to grow and to propagate. That is the case with the mineral. Had we no separate individual desire body, we should be unable to feel desires and emotions, there would be no incentive to move from one place to another. We should then be stationary as plants, and did we not possess a mind, we should be incapable of thought, and act upon impulse and instinct as animals.

Some one may of course object to this last statement, and contend that animals do think. So far as our domesticated animals are concerned that is partially true, but it is not quite in the same way that we think and reason. The difference may perhaps best be understood if we take an illustration from the electrical field. When an electric current _of high voltage_ is passed through a coiled copper wire, and another wire is placed in the center of the coils, that wire will become charged with electricity _of a lower voltage_. So also the animal, when brought within the sphere of human thoughts, evolves a mental activity of a lower order.

Paul, in his writings, also mentions _the natural body_ and the _spiritual body_ while the man himself is a spirit inhabiting those vehicles. We will briefly note the constitution of the various bodies of man invisible to the physical sight but as objective to spiritual sight as the dense body to ordinary vision.

_The Vital Body._

That body of ours which is composed of ether is called the β€œ_vital body_” in Western Mystery Schools, for, as we have already seen, ether is the avenue of ingress for vital force from the sun and the field of agencies in nature which promote such vital activities as assimilation, growth and propagation.