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The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception

The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception

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The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception or Mystic Christianity is a Rosicrucian text, written by Max Heindel
Max Heindel
Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

 (ISBN 0-911274-34-0)

Western Wisdom Teachings


The first edition was printed in November 1909. The order of publication was placed by Max Heindel on the New Moon
New moon
In astronomical terminology, the new moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon, in its monthly orbital motion around Earth, lies between Earth and the Sun, and is therefore in conjunction with the Sun as seen from Earth...

 of November 1909 and the book was published a couple of weeks later by the Full Moon
Full Moon
Full moon is a lunar phase.Full Moon may also refer to:- Literature :* Full Moon , a novel by P. G. Wodehouse* Full Moon o Sagashite or Full Moon, a manga* Full Moon Press, an American small-press publisher...

, some 5 short weeks before the end of the first decade of the 20th century. It has little changed since then and it is considered to be Max Heindel's magnum opus
Masterpiece
Masterpiece in modern usage refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship....

. It is a reference work in the Christian mysticism
Christian mysticism
Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity. It has often been connected to mystical theology, especially in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions...

 practice and in the Occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

 study literature, containing the fundamentals of Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity
Esoteric Christianity is a term which refers to an ensemble of spiritual currents which regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",...

 from a Rosicrucian perspective. The Cosmo contains a comprehensive outline of the evolutionary process of man
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 and the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

, correlating science with religion. It is, till current days, the basic book for the philosophy courses of the school, the Rosicrucian Fellowship
Rosicrucian Fellowship
The Rosicrucian Fellowship – "An International Association of Christian Mystics" – was founded in 1909 by Max Heindel as herald of the Aquarian Age and with the aim of publicly promulgating "the true Philosophy" of the Rosicrucians....

, founded by the author on August 8, 1909.

The first dedicatory


The first edition of this work, containing more than 700 pages of in depth teachings into the major themes of the occult science, was dedicated to a knowledgeable lecturer of the occult field called Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

, to whom Max Heindel felt greatly indebted. It had the subtitle "Occult Science" instead of "Mystic Christianity" and just above the message and mission ("A Sane Mind, a Soft Heart and a Sound Body", "Service") there was a quotation from Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

: "PROVE ALL THINGS".
In the subsequent edition, Heindel removed the initial dedication and changed the mentioned elements. The first dedication became a controversial issue among some students of both teachers down to the present. However, as both Heindel and Steiner appear to have been influenced by the same Elder Brother of the Rose Cross, to some extent and at some stage of their lives, it becomes an accessory issue that may only be unveiled through the discernment of the student along her/his path of spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 unfoldment.

Contents overview


The author talks about the true man and his journey through involution, spiritual evolution
Spiritual evolution
Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve, extending from the established cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-established potentials...

 and epigenesis, presenting practical methods to help the development of latent potentials in each one of us and how to transmute our latency into dynamic powers in order to achieve, according to the author, direct knowledge and conscientious work in the inner planes.

It deals with many esoteric topics and also metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

 (the visible and invisible worlds, human evolution, death and rebirth
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

, nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

, esoteric training, …). It contains a history of the evolution of the human spirit and related bodies (from before awareness, through various incarnations of our planet on various planes, and into the future development) and of animal, vegetable and mineral life waves (each, of the myriad of life forms and types of consciousness on this physical plane, experiencing their own points in evolution). It also presents an esoteric interpretation about the mission of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 and an occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

 analysis of Biblical
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 texts which include the fall of man, the Law of Cause and Consequence
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

 and Bible and rebirth, and many other themes which were further developed in the subsequent books, lectures and lessons given by the author at the time (1910s) in the United States.

Main themes


The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is divided in three parts:

Part I: the Visible and the Invisible Worlds, Man and the Method of Evolution, Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect;

Part II: the scheme of Evolution in general and the Evolution of the Solar System and the Earth in particular;

Part III: Christ and His Mission, Future Development of Man and Initiation, Esoteric Training and a Safe Method of Acquiring Firsthand Knowledge.

The Rosicrucian conception of God and the scheme of evolution


According to the Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings
Western Wisdom Teachings may refer to:*The Western mystery tradition*The Esoteric Christian philosophy of the Rosicrucians as expounded by Max Heindel in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception and subsequent books, lectures and lessons....

, in the beginning of a Day of Manifestation a certain collective Great Being, God, limits Himself to a certain portion of space, in which He elects to create a Solar System
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

 for the evolution of added self
Self (philosophy)
The philosophy of self defines the essential qualities that make one person distinct from all others. There have been numerous approaches to defining these qualities. The self is the idea of a unified being which is the source of consciousness. Moreover, this self is the agent responsible for the...

-consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

.
In God there are contained hosts of glorious Hierarchies and lesser beings of every grade of intelligence and stage of consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

, from omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

 to an unconsciousness
Unconsciousness
Unconsciousness is the condition of being not conscious—in a mental state that involves complete or near-complete lack of responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli. Being in a comatose state or coma is a type of unconsciousness. Fainting due to a drop in blood pressure and a...

 deeper than that of the deepest trance condition
Altered state of consciousness
An altered state of consciousness , also named altered state of mind, is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state. The expression was used as early as 1966 by Arnold M. Ludwig and brought into common usage from 1969 by Charles Tart: it describes induced...

.
During the current period of manifestation these various grades of beings are working to acquire more experience than they possessed at the beginning of this period of existence. Those who, in previous manifestations, have attained the highest degree of development work on those who have not yet evolved any consciousness.

The period of time devoted to the attainment of self-consciousness and to the building of the vehicles
Subtle body
A subtle body is one of a series of psycho-spiritual constituents of living beings, according to various esoteric, occult, and mystical teachings...

 through which the spirit in man manifests, is called "Involution". The succeeding period of existence, during which the individual human being develops self-consciousness
Self-consciousness
Self-consciousness is an acute sense of self-awareness. It is a preoccupation with oneself, as opposed to the philosophical state of self-awareness, which is the awareness that one exists as an individual being; although some writers use both terms interchangeably or synonymously...

 into divine
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

 omniscience
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

, is called "Evolution
Spiritual evolution
Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve, extending from the established cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-established potentials...

". Every evolving being has within him a "force" which makes evolution not to be a mere enfoldment of latent germinal possibilities but a process where each individual differ from that of every other. This force, called "Epigenesis", provides the element of originality
Originality
Originality is the aspect of created or invented works by as being new or novel, and thus can be distinguished from reproductions, clones, forgeries, or derivative works....

 and gives scope to the creative ability which the evolving being is to cultivate that he may become a God.

The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception describes that in the Solar system
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

, God's Habitation, there are seven Worlds differentiated by God, within Himself, one after another. These Worlds have each a different "measure" and rate of vibration
Oscillation
Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states. Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum and AC power. The term vibration is sometimes used more narrowly to mean a mechanical oscillation but sometimes...

 and are not separated by space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

 or distance
Distance
Distance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are. In physics or everyday discussion, distance may refer to a physical length, or an estimation based on other criteria . In mathematics, a distance function or metric is a generalization of the concept of physical distance...

, as is the earth from the other planets. They are states of matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

, of varying density
Density
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

 and vibration
Vibration
Vibration refers to mechanical oscillations about an equilibrium point. The oscillations may be periodic such as the motion of a pendulum or random such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road.Vibration is occasionally "desirable"...

 (as are the solids, liquids and gases of the physical Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

). These Worlds are not instantaneously created at the beginning of a day of Manifestation, nor do they last until the end. The evolutionary scheme is carried through five of these Worlds in seven great Periods of manifestation, during which the evolving virgin spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

 becomes first human and then a God.
The highest Worlds are created first, and as involution is to slowly carry the life into denser and denser matter for the building of forms, the finer Worlds gradually condense and new Worlds are differentiated within God to furnish the necessary links between Himself and the Worlds which have consolidated. In due time the point of greatest density, the nadir
Nadir
The nadir is the direction pointing directly below a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at a specified location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous...

 of materiality, is reached. From that point the life begins to ascend into higher Worlds, as evolution
Spiritual evolution
Spiritual evolution is the philosophical, theological, esoteric or spiritual idea that nature and human beings and/or human culture evolve, extending from the established cosmological pattern or ascent, or in accordance with certain pre-established potentials...

 proceeds. That leaves the denser Worlds depopulated, one by one. When the purpose has been served for which a particular World was created, God ends its existence, which has become superfluous, by ceasing within Himself the particular activity which brought into being and sustained that World.

The Rosicrucians teach that the above referred seven Worlds belong to the lowest of the seven "Cosmic Planes". The Worlds and Cosmic Planes are not one above another in space, but the seven Cosmic Planes inter-penetrate each other and all the seven Worlds. They are states of spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

-matter
Matter
Matter is a general term for the substance of which all physical objects consist. Typically, matter includes atoms and other particles which have mass. A common way of defining matter is as anything that has mass and occupies volume...

, permeating one another, so that God and the other great Beings pervade every part of their own realms and realms of greater density than their own, including our world: "in Him we live and move and have our being". Proceeding from the physical world
Physical plane
The physical plane , physical world, or physical universe, in emanationist metaphysics such as are found in Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, Hinduism and Theosophy, refers to the visible reality of space and time, energy and matter: the physical universe in Occultism and esoteric cosmology is the lowest...

 to the inner worlds, God - the "Architect of the Solar System", the Source and goal of human existence - is found in the highest division of the seventh Cosmic Plane: this is His World. In order to trace the origin of the Architect of the Solar System, one must pass to the highest of the seven Cosmic Planes: the "Realm of the Supreme Being", Who emanated from "The Absolute". The Absolute is beyond comprehension and, as manifestation
Manifestation
Manifestation may refer to any one of the following:* Manifestation of God, the prophets of the Bahá'í Faith* Avatar, manifestation of God in Hinduism...

 implies limitation, He may be best described as "Boundless Being": the "Root of Existence".

From The Absolute proceeds the Supreme Being
Supreme Being
The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as "God", and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Deism. However, the term can also refer to more complex or philosophical interpretations of the...

, at the dawn of manifestation: this is The One, the "Great Architect of the Universe
Great Architect of the Universe
The Great Architect of the Universe is a conception of God discussed by many Christian theologians and apologists. As a designation it is used within Freemasonry to neutrally represent whatever Supreme Being to which each member individually holds in adherence...

". The first aspect of the Supreme Being may be characterized as Power, from this proceeds the second aspect, the Word, and from both of these proceeds the third, aspect, Motion. From the threefold Supreme Being proceed the "seven Great Logoi
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

". They contain within Themselves all the great Hierarchies which differentiate more and more as they diffuse through the various Cosmic Planes. In the Highest World of the seventh Cosmic Plane dwells the God of the Solar Systems
Planetary system
A planetary system consists of the various non-stellar objects orbiting a star such as planets, dwarf planets , asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and cosmic dust...

 in the Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

. These great Beings are also threefold in manifestation, like the Supreme Being. Their three aspects are Will, Wisdom and Activity.

The author's perspective


By Max Heindel in A Word to the Wise:
  • If the book is "weighed and found wanting," the writer will have no complaint. He only fears a hasty judgment based upon lack of knowledge of the system he advocates—a hearing wherein the judgment is "wanting" in consequence of having been denied an impartial "weighing." He would further submit, that the only opinion worthy of the one who expresses it must be based upon knowledge.

  • Yet he is convinced that The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is far from being the last word on the subject.

  • The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is not dogmatic, neither does it appeal to any other authority than the reason of the student.

  • The Rosicrucian Brotherhood has the most far-reaching, the most logical conception of the World-Mystery (...)

  • It is emphatically stated that this work embodies only the writer's understanding of the Rosicrucian teachings concerning the World-Mystery (...)

  • What is said in this work is to be accepted or rejected by the reader according to his own discretion.

---
  • Now, perhaps you will understand my attitude towards the Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception. I admire and marvel at its wonderful teaching more than anyone else, and can do so without violating proper modesty for the book is not mine—it belongs to humanity.

A critical essay


By Charles Weber in The Mystic and Occult in Max Heindel's Writings:
  • The Cosmo’s author has “an unswerving desire, a burning thirst for knowledge,” which is “the first and central requisite the aspirant to occult knowledge must possess,” but with this qualification, that “the supreme motive for seeking this occult knowledge must be an ardent desire to benefit humanity” (22). “Another prerequisite to this first-hand knowledge, however, is the study of occultism second-hand” (23). It is the purpose of the Cosmo to make that second-hand study of occultism possible. Occult science is the science of what occurs occultly insofar as it is not perceived in external nature, but in that region toward which the soul turns when it directs its inner being toward the spirit.
  • Heindel emphasizes the facticity of the Cosmo’s contents and the rigor and objectivity of his sources by using the term occult scientist(s) thirty times and occult science twenty-five times. The occultist (used twenty times) “knows” and “sees” what he is reporting on. “The occult scientist uses concentration in preference to prayer because the former is accomplished by the aid of the mind, which is cold and unfeeling, whereas prayer is usually dictated by emotion” (463). That is, concentration is more impersonal, and therefore more reliable. However, when emotion is replaced by a mystic’s “pure unselfish devotion to high ideals, prayer is much higher than cold concentration” (ibid).

See also

  • Epochs (Anthropogenesis)
    Root race
    Root Races are stages in human evolution in the esoteric cosmology of theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as described in her book The Secret Doctrine . These races were said to have existed on now-lost continents. Blavatsky's model was developed by later theosophists, most notably William...

  • Esoteric cosmology
    Esoteric cosmology
    Esoteric cosmology is cosmology that is an intrinsic part of an esoteric or occult system of thought. It almost always deals with at least some of the following themes: emanation, involution, spiritual evolution, epigenesis, planes of existence or higher worlds , hierarchies of spiritual beings,...

  • Planes of existence
  • Rebirth
    Reincarnation
    Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

  • Subtle bodies

External links