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The World of Thought
When we have attained the spiritual development necessary consciously to
enter the World of Thought and leave the Desire World, which is the realm of
light and color, we pass through a condition which the occult investigator
calls The Great Silence.
As previously stated, the higher regions of the Desire World exhibit the
marked peculiarity of blending form and sound, but when one passes through the
Great Silence, all the world seems to disappear and the Spirit has the feeling
of floating in an ocean of intense light, utterly alone, yet absolutely
fearless, because imbued with a sense of its impregnable security, no longer
subject to form or sound, past or future; all is one eternal NOW. There seems
to be neither pleasure nor pain and yet there is no absense of feeling but it
all seems to center in the one idea: "I am!" The human Ego, stands face to
face with itself, as it were, and for the time being all else is shut out.
This is the experience of anyone who passes that breach between the Desire
World and the World of Thought, whether involuntarily, in the course of an
ordinary cyclic pilgrimage of the Spirit, which we shall later elucidate when
speaking of the post-mortem existence, or by an act of the will, as in the
case of the trained occult investigator; all have the same experience in
There are two main divisions in the Physical World: the Chemical Region and
the Etheric Region. The World of Thought also has two great subdivisions: The
Region of Concrete Thought and the Region of Abstract Thought.
As we specialize the material of the Physical World and shape it into a
dense body, and as we form the force-matter of the Desire World into a desire
body, so also do we appropriate a certain amount of mind-stuff from the Region
of Concrete Thought; but we, as Spirits, clothe ourselves in spirit-substance
from the Region of Abstract Thought and thereby we become individual, separate
THE REGION OF CONCRETE THOUGHT
The Region of Concrete Thought is neither shadowy nor illusory. It is the
acme of reality, and this world which we mistakenly regard as the only verity,
is but an evanescent replica of that region.
A little reflection will show the reasonableness of this statement and prove
our contention that all we see here is really crystallized thought. Our
houses, our machinery, our chairs and tables, all that has been made by the
hand of man is the embodiment of a thought. As the juices in the soft body of
the snail gradually crystallize into the hard and flinty shell which it
carries upon its back and which hides it, so everything used in our
civilization is a concretion of invisible, intangible mind-stuff. The thought
of James Watt in time congealed into a steam engine and revolutionized the
world. Edison's thought was condensed into an electric generator which has
turned night to day, and had it not been for the thought of Morse and Marconi,
the telegraph would not have annihilated distances as it does today. An
earthquake may wreck a city and demolish the lighting plant and telegraph
station, but the thoughts of Watt, Edison, and Morse remain, and upon the
basis of their indestructible ideas new machinery may be constructed and
operations resumed. Thus thoughts are more permanent than things.
The sensitive ear of the musician detects a certain musical note in every
city which is different from that of another city. He hears in each little
brook a new melody, and to him the sough of wind in the treetops of different
forests gives a varying sound. In the Desire World we noted the existence of
forms similar to the shapes of things gere, also that seemingly sound proceeds
from form. But in the Region of Concrete Thought it is different, for while
each form occupies and obscures a certain space here, form is nonexistent when
viewed from the standpoint of the Region of Concrete Thought. Where the form
was, a transparent vacuous space is observable. From that empty void comes a
sound which is the "keynote" that creates and maintains the form whence it
appears to come, as the almost invisible core of a gas-flame is the source of
the light we perceive.
Sound from a vacuum cannot be heard in the Physical World, but the harmony
which proceeds from the vacuous cavity of a celestial archetype is "the Voice
of the Silence," and it becomes audible when all earthly sounds have ceased.
Elijah heard it not while the storm was raging; nor was it in evidence during
the turbulence of the earthquake, nor in the crackling and roaring fire, but
when the destructive and inharmonious sounds of this world had melted into
silence, "the still small voice" issued its commands to save Elijah's life.
That "keynote" is a direct manifestation of the Higher Self which uses it to
impress and govern the personality it has created. But, alas, part of its life
has been infused into the material side of its being, which has thus obtained
a certain will of its own and only too often are the two sides of our nature
At last there comes a time when the Spirit is too weary to strive with the
recalcitrant flesh; when "the Voice of the Silence" ceases. No matter how much
earthly nourishment we may seek to give, it will not avail to sustain a form
when this harmonious sound, this "word from heaven" no longer reverberates
through the empty void of the celestial archetype. "Man lives not by bread
alone," but by the WORD, and the last sound-vibration of the "keynote" is the
death-knell of the physical body.
In this world we are compelled to investigate and to study a thing before we
know about it, and although the facilities for gaining information are in some
respects much greater in the Desire World, a certain amount of investigation
is necessary, nevertheless, to acquire knowledge. In the World of Thought, on
the contrary, it is different. When we wish to know about any certain thing
there, and we turn our attention thereto, then that thing speaks to us, as it
were. The sound it emits at once gives us a most luminous comprehension of
every phase of its nature. We attain to a realization of its past history; the
whole story of its unfoldment is laid bare and we seem to have lived through
all of those experiences together with the thing we are investigating.
Were it not for one enormous difficulty, the story thus obtained would be
exceedingly valuable; but all this information, this life-picture, flows in
upon us with an enormous rapidity, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, so
that it has neither beginning nor end, for, as said, in the World of Thought,
all is one great NOW; time does not exist.
Therefore, when we want to use the archetypal information in the Physical
World, we must disentangle and arrange it in chronological order with
beginning and ending before it becomes intelligible to beings living in a
realm where time is a prime factor. That rearrangement is a most difficult
task as all words are coined with relation to the three dimensions of space
and the evanescent unit of time, the fleeting moment, hence much of that
information remains unavailable.
Among the denizens of this Region of Concrete Thought we may note
particularly two classes. One is called the Powers of Darkness by Paul, and
the mystic investigator of the Western World knows them as Lords of Mind. They
were human at the time when the Earth was in a condition of darkness such as
worlds-in-the-making go through before they become luminous and reach the
firemist-stage. At that time we were in our mineral evolution. That is to say:
the human Spirit which has now awakened was encrusted in the ball of mind-
stuff, which was then the Earth. At that time the present human Spirits were
as much asleep as is the life which ensouls our minerals of today, and as we
are working with the mineral chemical constituents of the earth, molding them
into houses, railways, steamboats, chairs, etc., etc., so those Beings, who
are now Lords of Mind, worked with us when we were mineral-like. They have
since advanced three steps, through stages similar to that of the Angels and
Archangels, before they attained their present position and became creative
Intelligences. They are expert builders of mind-stuff, as we are builders of
the present mineral substances, and therefore they have given us necessary
help to acquire a mind which is the highest development of the human being.
According to the foregoing explanation it seems to be an anomaly when Paul
speaks of them as evil and exhorts us to withstand them. The difficulty
disappears, however, when we understand that good and evil are but relative
qualities. An illustration will make the point clear: Let us suppose that an
expert organ builder has constructed a wonderful organ, a masterpiece. Then he
has followed his vocation in the proper manner, and is therefore to be
commended for the good which he has done. But if he is not satisfied to leave
well enough alone, if he refuses to give up his product to the musician who
understands how to play upon the instrument, if he intrudes his presence into
the concert hall, he is out of place and to be censured as evil. Similarly the
Lords of Mind did the greatest possible service to humanity when they helped
us to acquire our mind, but many subtle thought influences come from them, and
are to be resisted, as Paul very properly emphasizes.
The other class of beings which must be mentioned are called Archetypal
Forces by the Western School of occultism. They direct the energies of the
creative archetypes native to this realm. They are a composite class of beings
of many different grades of intelligence, and there is one stage in the cyclic
journey of the human Spirit when that also labors in, and is part of, that
great host of beings. For the human Spirit is also destined to become a great
creative Intelligence at some future time, and if there were no school wherein
it could gradually learn to create, it would not be able to advance, for
nothing in nature is done suddenly. An acorn planted in the soil does not
become a majestic oak overnight, but many years of slow, persistent growth are
required before it attains to the stature of a giant of the forest. A man does
not become an Angel by the mere fact of dying and entering a new world any
more than an animal advances to be a man by the same process. But in time all
that lives, mounts the ladder of Being from the clod to the God. There is no
limitation possible to the Spirit, and so at various stages in its unfoldment
the human Spirit works with the other nature forces, according to the stage of
intelligence which it has attained. It creates, changes, and remodels the
Earth upon which it is to live. Thus, under the great Law of Cause and Effect,
which we observe in every realm of nature, it reaps upon earth what it has
sown in heaven, and vice versa. It grows slowly but peristently and advances
THE REGION OF ABSTRACT THOUGHT
Various religious systems have been given to humanity at different times,
each suited to meet the spiritual needs of the people among whom it was
promulgated, and, coming from the same divine source: God; all religions
exhibit similar fundamentals of first principles.
All systems teach that there was a time when darkness reigned supreme.
Everything which we now perceive was then non-existent. Earth, sky, and the
heavenly bodies were uncreate, so were the multitudinous forms which live and
move upon the various planets. All, all, was yet in a fluidic condition and
the Universal Spirit brooded quiescent in limitless Space as the One
The Greeks called that condition of homogeneity "Chaos," and the state of
orderly segregation which we now see: the marching orbs which illumine the
vaulted canopy of heaven, the stately procession of planets around a central
light, the majestic Sun, the unbroken sequence of the seasons and the
unvarying alternation of tidal ebb and flow--all this aggregate of systematic
order was called "Cosmos," and was supposed to have proceeded from Chaos.
The Christian Mystic obtains a deeper comprehension when he opens his Bible
and ponders the first five verses of that brightest gem of all spiritual ore:
the gospel of St. John.
As he reverently opens his aspiring heart to acquire understanding of those
sublime mystical teachings he transcends the form-side of nature, comprising
various realms of which we have been speaking, and finds himself "in the
spirit," as did the prophets in olden times. He is then in the Region of
Abstract Thought and sees the eternal verities which also Paul beheld in this,
the Third Heaven.
For those among us who are unable to obtain knowledge save by reasoning upon
the matter, however, it will be necessary to examine the fundamental meaning
of words used by St. John to clothe his wonderful teachings. It was originally
given in the Greek language, a much simpler matter than is commonly supposed,
for Greek words have been freely introduced into our modern languages,
particularly in scientific terms, and we shall show how this ancient teaching
is supported by the latest discoveries of modern science.
The opening verse of the Gospel of St. John is as follows: "In the beginning
was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We will examine
the words: "beginning," "Word," and "God." We may also note that in the Greek
version the concluding sentence reads: "and God was the Word," a difference
which makes a great distinction.
It is an axiomatic truth that "out of nothing, nothing comes," and it has
often been asserted by scoffers that the Bible teaches generation "from
nothing." We readily agree that translations into the modern languages
promulgate this erroneous doctrine, but we have shown in "The Rosicrucian
Cosmo-Conception" (chapter on "The Occult Analysis of Genesis"), that the
Hebrew text speaks of an ever-existing essence, as the basis whence all forms,
the Earth and the heavenly lights included, were first created, and John also
gives the same teaching.
The Greek word "arche," in the opening sentence of the Gospel of St. John
has been translated "the beginning," and it may be said to have meaning, but
it also has other valid interpretations, vastly more significant of the idea
John wished to convey. It means: an elementary condition, a chief source, a
first principle, primordial matter.
It is that basic principle which John called "arche:" primordial matter, and
the dictionary defines archeology as: "the science of the origin (arche) of
things." Masons style God the "Grand Architect," for the Greek word tekton
means builder, and God is the Chief Builder (tekton) of arche, the primordial
virgin matter which is also the chief source of all things.
Thus we see that when the opening sentence of St. John's Gospel is pro
perly translated, our Christian religion teaches that once a virgin substance
enfolded the divine Thinker: God.
That is the identical condition which the earlier Greeks called Chaos. A
little thought will make it evident that we are not arbitrary in finding fault
with the translation of the gospel, for it is self-evident that a word cannot
be the beginning, a thought must precede the word, and a thinker must
originate thought before it can be expressed as a word. When properly
translated the teaching of John fully embodies that idea, for the Greek term
"logos" means both the reasonable thought (we also say logic) and the word
which expresses this (logical) thought. 1) In the primordial substance was
thought, and the thought was with God, And God was the word, 2) That (The
Word), also was with God in the primal state.
Later the divine WORD, the Creative Fiat, reverberates through space and
segregates the homogeneous virgin substance into spearate forms. 3) Every
thing has come into existence because of that prime fact, (The Word of God),
and no thing exists apart from that fact. 4) In that was Life.
In the alphabet we have a few elementary sounds from which words may be
constructed. They are basic elements of expression, as bricks, iron, and
lumber are raw materials of architecture, music, literature, or poetry, but
the contour of the finished product and the purpose it will serve depends upon
the arrangement of the raw materials, which is subject to the constructor's
design. Building materials may be formed into prison or palace; notes may be
arranged as fanfare or funeral dirge; words may be indicted to inspire passion
or peace, all according to the will of the designer. So also the majestic
rhythm of the Word of God has wrought the primal substance, "arche," into the
multitudinous forms which comprise the phenomenal world, according to His
Did the reader ever stop to consider the wonderful power of the human word?
Coming to us in the sweet accents of love, it may lure us from paths of
rectitude to shameful ignominy and wreck our life with sorrow and remorse, or
it may spur us on in noblest efforts to acquire glory and honor, here or
hereafter. According to the inflection of the voice a word may strike terror
into the bravest heart or lull a timid child to peaceful slumber. The word of
an agitator may rouse the passions of a mob and impel it to awful bloodshed,
as in the French Revolution, where dictatorial mandates of mob-rule killed and
exiled at pleasure, or, the strain of "Home, Sweet Home" may cement the
setting of a family-circle beyond possibility of rupture.
Right words are true and therefore free; they are never bound or fettered by
time or space; they go to farthest corners of earth, and when the lips that
spoke them first have long since mouldered in the grave, other voices take up
with unwearying enthusiasm their message of life and love, as for instance,
the mystical "Come unto me" which has sounded from unnumbered tongues and
brought oceans of balm to troubled hearts.
Words of peace have been victorious where war would have meant defeat, and
no talent is more to be desired than ability always to say the right word at
the auspicious time.
Considering thus the immense power and potency of the human word, we may
perhaps dimly apprehend the potential magnitude of the Word of God, the
Creative Fiat, when, as a mighty dynamic force it first reverberated through
space and commenced to form primordial matter into worlds, as sound from a
violin bow molds sand into geometrical figures. Moreover, the Word of God
still sounds to sustain the marching orbs and impel them onwards in their
circle paths; the Creative Word continues to produce forms of gradually
increasing efficiency, as media expressing life and consciousness. The
harmonious enunciation of consecutive syllables in the Divine Creative Word
mark successive stages in the evolution of the world and man. When the last
syllable has been spoken and the complete word has sounded, we shall have
reached perfection as human beings. Then TIME will be at an end, and with the
last vibration of the Word of God, the worlds will be resolved into their
original elements. Our life will then be "hid with Christ in God," until the
Cosmic Night, Chaos, is over, and we wake to do "greater things" in a "new
heaven and a new earth."
According to the general idea Chaos and Cosmos are superlative antitheses of
each other. Chaos being regarded as a past condition of confusion and disorder
which has long since been entirely superseded by the cosmic order which now
As a matter of fact, Chaos is the seed-ground of Cosmos, the basis of all
progress, for thence come all IDEAS which later materialize as railways,
computers, telephones, etc.
We speak of thoughts as being "conceived by the mind," but as both father
and mother are necessary in the generation of a child, so also there must be
both idea and mind before a thought can be conceived. As semen germinated in
the positive male organ is projected into the negative uterus at conception,
so ideas are generated by a positive human Ego in the spirit-substance of the
Region of Abstract Thought. This idea is projected upon the receptive mind,
and a conception takes place. Then, as the spermatozoic nucleus draws upon the
maternal body for material to shape a body appropriate to its individual
expression, so does each idea clothe itself in a peculiar form of mindstuff.
It is then a thought, as visible to the inner vision of composite man as a
child is to its parent.
Thus we see that ideas are embryonic thoughts, nuclei of spirit-substance
from the Region of Abstract Thought. Improperly conceived in a diseased mind
they become vagaries and delusions, but when gestated in a sound mind and
formed into rational thoughts they are the basis of all the material, moral,
and mental progress. The closer our touch with Chaos, the better will be our
Cosmos, for in that realm of abstract realities truth is not obscured by
matter, it is self-evident.
Pilate asked "What is Truth?" but no answer is recorded. We are incapable of
cognizing truth in the abstract while we live in the phenomenal world, for the
inherent nature of matter is illusion and delusion, and we are constantly
making allowances and corrections whether we are conscious of the fact or not.
The sunbeam which proceeds for 90 millions of miles in a straight line is
refracted or bent as soon as it strikes our dense atmosphere, and according to
the angle of its refraction, it appears to have one color or another. The
straightest stick appears crooked when partly immersed in water, and the
truths which are so self-evident in the higher worlds are likewise obscured,
refracted or twisted out of all semblance under the illusory conditions of
this material world.
"The truth shall set you free," said Christ, and the more we turn our
aspirations from material acquisitiveness and seek to lay up treasure above,
the more we aim to rise, the oftener we "get in the spirit," the more readily
we "shall know truth" and reach liberation from the fetter of flesh which
binds us to a limited environment, and attain to a sphere of greater
Study of philosophy and science has a tendency to further perception of
truth, and as science has progressed it has gradually receded from its
erstwhile crude materialism. The day is not far off when it will be more
reverently religious than the church itself. Mathematics is said to be "dry,"
for it does not stir the emotions. When it is taught that ''the sum of the
angles of a triangle is 180 degrees,'' the dictum is at once accepted, because
its truth is self-evident and no feeling is involved in the matter. But when a
doctrine such as the Immaculate Conception is promulgated and our emotions are
stirred, bloody war, or heated argument, may result, and still leave the
matter in doubt. Pythagoras demanded that his pupils study mathematics,
because he knew the elevating effect of raising their minds above the sphere
of feeling, where it is subject to delusion, and elevating it towards the
Region of Abstract Thought which is the prime reality.
In this place we are dealing with worlds in particular, and will therefore
defer comment upon the remainder of the first five verse of St. John's Gospel:
And Life became Light in man, 5) and Light shines in Darkness.
We have now seen that the Earth is composed of three worlds which
interpenetrate one another so that it is perfectly true when Christ said that
"heaven is within you" or, as the translation should rather have been, "among
you." We have also seen that of these three realms two are subdivided. It has
also been explained that each division serves a great purpose in the
unfoldment of various forms of life which dwell in each of these worlds, and
we may note in conclusion, that the lower regions of the Desire World
constitute what the Catholic religion calls "Purgatory," a place where the
evil of a past life is transmuted to good, usable by the Spirit as conscience
in later lives. The higher regions of the Desire World are the "First Heaven"
where all the good a man has done is assimilated by the Spirit as "soul"
power. The Region of Concrete Thought is the "Second Heaven," where, as
already said, the Spirit prepares its future environment on Earth, and the
Region of Abstract Thought is the "Third Heaven," but as Paul said, it is
scarcely lawful to speak about that. Some will ask: Is there then no hell? No!
The mercy of God tends as greatly towards the principle of GOOD as the
inhumanity of man towards cruelty, so that he would consign his brother men to
flames of hell during eternity for the puerile mistakes committed during a few
years, or perhaps for a slight difference in belief. The writer has heard of a
minister who wished to impress his "flock" with the reality of an eternity of
hell flames, and to demonstrate the fallacy of a heretical notion entertained
by some of his parishioners: that when sinners go to hell they burn to ashes
and that is the end. He took with him an alcohol lamp and some asbestoes into
the pulpit and told his audience that God would turn their souls into a
substance resembling asbestos. He showed them that thought the asbestos were
heated red hot it did not decompose into ashes. Fortunately, the day of the
hell preacher has gone by, and if we believe the Bible which says that "in God
we live and move and have our being," we can readily undestand that a lost
soul would be an impossibility, for were one single soul (Spirit) lost, then
logically a part of God Himself would be lost. No matter what our color, our
race, or our creed, we are all equally the children of God and in our various
ways we shall obtain satisfaction.
This article was adapted from "The Rosicrucian Mysteries," by Max
Heindel, published by The Rosicrucian Fellowship.