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Serial Lesson 209

From Course XIX, Organic Alchemy, Chapter 1

Original Copyright 1944, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2012, The Church of Light

To purchase the print book Organic Alchemy click here

Subheadings:   Abundance of Life Forms    The Influx of Life to The Earth    How Higher Intelligences Move In    Competition for A Physical Form    Life Also Develops on the Astral Plane    Assimilation and Reorganization    How an Organism Operates    The Evolution of the Soul is Through Long Physical Steps

Birth Charts:  Laurence Leopold Weitz Chart    Douglas Montero Chart

Chapter 1

The Ceaseless Surge of Life

THE tide of life surges ceaselessly upon the shore of our tiny planet. And the line between the organic and the inorganic is so thin that even the clairvoyant gaze is often unable to differentiate it clearly. For life abounds on every hand, in forms commonly considered insensate as well as in more complex structures, and in regions where our dull physical senses can perceive only a void. It permeates all existence, throbbing and pulsating; as diffusive and pervading as sunlight on a cloudless day. And this abounding life, of which we each constitute a single moving spark, has a meaning which is well worth our effort trying to discern.

But the endeavor to encompass the significance of life by considering man as some special creation, as do the orthodox, or even by considering him as differing in kind from the other struggling entities, visible and invisible, by which he is surrounded, is like attempting to perceive the meaning of a tadpole while ignoring the egg from which it came and the frog which it later will become. And because the physical is but one velocity realm on which life exists, we cannot comprehend it by considering one plane of existence alone. No more so than we can perceive the meaning of the tadpole if we consider solely the water in which he now swims and ignore the land over which the frog will hop.

The expanse of life is so illimitable, and the forms it assumes are so infinitely diverse, that the puny human brain can at best perceive only a minute section of it. What can come directly under our observation is but a drop in the ocean of life. Yet, even from a drop of ocean water, by careful analysis, we can get a very good idea of the nature of the substance which covers three-quarters of the surface of the earth. Let us, therefore, bring under observation of both the physical senses and the psychic senses the drop of the ocean of life by which we are intimately surrounded.

The first impression one gets when thus viewing life, is of the infinite number of separate life entities. We know, for instance, that our sun and billions of other luminous bodies in the firmament, radiate light. Each tiny photon of light has its own individuality. How many such photons are sent out from our sun each second? Too many for human comprehension. Yet in so far as science has been able to determine, a photon of light thus sent out from our sun, unless it meets with some obstacle, travels on and on, without ceasing; and has the same energy and velocity a million years after it started that it had at first.

The giant telescope on Mt. Wilson receives light from distant nebulae that started on its journey at the time the Trinal Ape Man hunted through the jungle of Java, while elephants and sabre-toothed tigers roamed the plains about Los Angeles, and before the age of ice came down on Europe and North America with its grip of rigid cold.

Life has its parallels with light. The number of its individual entities is beyond calculation or comprehension. But once a little photon of it is radiated from the Infinite Mind, it travels on and on, without loss of momentum, in the direction it is sent; nor time nor space diminishes its energy. On and on it travels, and never reaches the end of its glorious journey.

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Abundance of Life Forms

The abundance of life, like the number of photons of sunshine, staggers the imagination. How quickly a slice of bread or a piece of cheese, left in a moist place, accumulates a coating of mold! This mold, like rust on wheat and smut on corn, is vegetable life. It is a fungi, the spores of which, too small to be visible to the naked eye, float about in the air. The moisture assists millions of such minute plants to grow. Food isolated from such spores is not thus affected.

A still lower form of life is responsible for the decomposition of both animal and vegetable forms that have died. This is a valuable function, too; for if a leaf never decayed, a tree remained just as it fell, and flesh retained its form except when devoured by other animals, the food elements of earth would soon all be stored in the carcasses of the dead, and none left to support succeeding generations. But the bacteria attend to this. And how numerous they must be that so soon animal and vegetable matter, from which the dominant entities have departed, should undergo decay!

A small sample of air, from almost anywhere, when placed under a microscope, reveals a host of minute living forms. And a drop of water likewise examined may reveal a swarm of animacules.

Think of the extent of the ocean, and that on and near its surface, live an infinite number of minute entities. These free-floating organisms of the sea are called plankton. I shall here speak of but two types of them. One embraces the diatoms, which are microscopic vegetables having a glass shell. It is to these diatoms, chiefly, each in life secreting its minute quantity of oil, that geologists attribute the formation of the oil deposits of the Pacific Coast. The oil manufactured a few million of years ago by these tiny plants floating about on the water, so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, now drives a car along the streets of the city, over the very spot where, when their physical span of life was over, they sank to rest.

Of the little animals embraced within the plankton, the Foraminifera are like the diatoms in having a shell-like covering. One genus of them, the Globigerina, are particularly abundant; and these, together with the diatoms, fall in immense numbers to the bottom of the sea and form either diatomaceous ooze or Globigerina ooze. And it is interesting to learn that telegraph cables raised from the depth of two miles show that the bottom of the ocean at that depth is composed almost entirely of the chalky shells of the little animals, Foraminifera.

This ooze, in time, becomes fossilized into rock; and the stone of which the city of Paris is built consists of the fossilized shells of such Foraminifers.

Then again, the pyramids of Egypt are built of nummulties, which is another genus of Foraminifera. As in one ounce of this stone it is estimated there are four million of these once-living animals, the number which is contained in these massive monuments alone is inconceivable.

I might go on to explain how certain limestone mountains have been formed by the secretions of single-celled algae, how certain iron ores of vast extent are the residue of bacteria, mention the extent of coral formation, and otherwise draw your attention to the incomprehensible number of life entities that both in past and present have made the earth their abode. But any further enumeration of examples could not expand the grasp of the mind in its conception of the number of living entities. Like the separate photons of sunlight that beat upon the surface of our planet, the number of surging life forms is beyond computation.

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The Influx of Life to The Earth

Like the photons of solar energy, a new innumerable host of living entities continually arrives.

From an inner-plane viewpoint, they are already adjacent to the earth, awaiting opportunity to manifest in form. But this does not mean that they are in three-dimensional proximity to the earth. Instead, it means that the astral world, which is a high-velocity realm, and consequently has different properties than the physical world, is crowded with these life forms. And they are adjacent to the earth only in the sense that they have a vibratory rate not dissimilar to the vibratory levels of this physical planet.

Things in the astral world which have a similar vibratory rate are in close proximity to each other in much the same way that when you tune your radio to the frequency used by a certain broadcasting station the individual who is then speaking into the microphone is in close proximity to you. Although his physical body is perhaps across the continent, you can plainly hear what he is saying. In the astral world, however, either entity can become the broadcasting station and cause the other to feel its influence.

Thus when I say that untold myriads of life forms are in the proximity of the earth, I do not refer to three-dimensional proximity, but to vibratory proximity. Yet when the vibratory-rate proximity of any two astral things is close, no matter how distant they may be in the three-dimensional sense, it takes but a slight desire, or attractive force, to permit them to influence each other physically.

By reason of its high velocity, the properties of the astral world often seem to contradict all our experiences. And this property by which an individual can transport himself instantly to a distant spot—mdash;as witnessed by an individual on earth who in sleep appears and manifests to others on the other side of the earth, and the next instant is awakened by someone and is again in his physical body—is one which is contrary to more common experience. Yet in the astral world if one thinks intently of a spot, and desires strongly to be there, no matter how distant, if its basic vibratory rate is not too different, he almost instantly finds himself in that spot.

It is something that, due to our experience with low-velocity existence, is a little hard for most of us to realize, but it is nevertheless a fact, that the real distances which separates things are not those of space, but are those of vibratory-rate level. The mind can travel a billion miles almost instantly; but to traverse from a habitually slow vibratory rate to a rate of intensity habitual to the angels may take aeons of time.

When, therefore, I say that seen by clairvoyant sight the proximity of the earth is crowded with an infinite number of life forms, I wish it to be understood that this proximity is in the vibratory-rate sense. These entities have a vibratory-rate level very similar to the dominant vibratory level of the astral bodies that occupy physical bodies on the earth. How far from the earth, or how close, in the three-dimensional sense is unimportant.

I have already spoken of nebulae so distant that it takes light, traveling 186,300 miles a second, a million years to reach the earth. But in thought you can travel to such a nebula almost instantly. And if, while out of your physical body in the astral form, you could tune in on it perfectly, you would almost as instantly find yourself there. As a matter of trial, however, you would find such a journey not so speedy as this. But this would be due to the difficulty of tuning in exactly on the vibration necessary, rather than to the three-dimensional distance to be traversed.

It is true that three-dimensional distances have a meaning in the astral world, just as two-dimensional and one-dimensional terms have a meaning on earth. But due to high-velocity properties of the inner plane, three-dimensional distances entirely lose the importance they have here.

That three-dimensional distances have a meaning, but lose their importance on the inner plane can be illustrated in this way: Mentally you can perceive two objects, each having on the physical plane three dimensions, and mentally you can perceive these objects at a given distance from each other. Or you can visualize some road you have traveled, or even some road which has no physical existence, and mentally see the trees, fence posts, telegraph poles and houses along this road. These are stationed, according to three-dimensional experience, at certain distances from each other. Therefore these dimensions have a meaning. But if you, or some other person in mental sympathy enough with you to perceive what you thus visualize, try to measure the distance between these mental (astral) objects, you will find the distances between them cannot be measured with a three-dimensional instrument. How high, for instance, in three-dimensional space, is a tree which has no physical existence? Or how high is the image in your mind of a tree which has a physical existence?

Because distance on the inner plane is of a different order, when I say that all astral space is literally crowded with life forms in all conceivable states of development, I am placing no three-dimensional limits on the space included. And however distant, in the three-dimensional sense, these life forms may be from the earth, whenever the astral substance associated with a physical form has the same vibratory rate as some astral entity, this vibratory sympathy constitutes a proximity of the two in the real sense. And if the physical form is not already dominated by some entity, and is such that life can express through it, the astral entity, through this rapport, can instantly take control of the physical form. So far as being a hindrance to forming a contact with a physical form, three-dimensional space is negligible.

Camille Flammarion was one of the first great experimenters with psychical phenomena to note that whenever physical conditions were such as to permit the expression of a given type of intelligence, that intelligence was always present to make itself known. Other scientists who have studied psychical phenomena have noted the same thing. The difficulty of producing any of the startling types of supernormal phenomena is not in attracting some entity to manage their production, but always in preparing the suitable physical conditions by which the manifestation can take place. If the conditions on earth are right for a given manifestation, there is always an intelligence present to direct it.

This is because, irrespective of three-dimensional distance, entities of similar vibratory rate are already in close proximity. And when the physical conditions become such that an astral intelligence can manipulate them, there is always an astral entity of similar vibratory rate somewhere in space—but in the vibratory sense in close proximity—which responds to the desire of those seeking the phenomena. Or it may handle the phenomena irrespective of the desires of those on earth, merely because the conditions are such that it can do so, and of its own desire.

I am not here going into the various phases of mediumship; as they are discussed fully in Course I, Laws of Occultism. But I do wish to point out the intimate and vibratory relation between the physical and the astral plane, because without an understanding of this no proper comprehension of the processes of life can be had.

For instance, physical life propagates itself through cell division. When an amoebae divides there are two cells instead of one; and there are two intelligences, one for each cell, instead of one. Where did the second intelligence come from?

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How Higher Intelligences Move In

The materialist would say that the intelligence is merely the manner in which chemical substances are arranged. I have shown in Chapter 1 (Serial Lesson 56), Course 5, Esoteric Psychology, however, that the intelligence resides in the astral substance associated with a living thing. And when a cell divides, the intelligence it originally had remains to dominate one of the resulting cells, and an intelligence of similar vibratory rate moves in from the astral, to take charge of the other cell. Whenever the physical conditions will permit, there is always a life entity from the astral plane eager to take charge of a physical form.

The bodies of living things are composed of cells, and each of these cells is dominated and directed by an evolving soul. The growth of the body of an organism takes place through the multiplication of its cells through cell division. And as fast as new cells are thus formed, through the division of old cells, new souls having a development of intelligence sufficiently advanced to take charge of a single cell move in. For every living cell there is an intelligence directing its functions. And the human body is composed of billions of such cells.

Single-celled plants and single-celled animals perform all the necessary functions of living, such as nutrition, secretion, excretion and reproduction. But the experiences such a life form can have, and the work it can accomplish, are rather simple. Yet a colony of such cells, grouped as a single organism, often has better opportunity of survival, and a wider range of possible experiences.

Such plants and animals as we are more familiar with are colonies of cells, some of which more completely perform one function, and others of which more completely perform another function. That is, there is division of labor. Some cells grow resistant, to form the outer protective covering of the group, other cells become even more plastic, the better to perform the function of assimilation, and still other cells specialize in the function of reproduction. We speak of such a cooperative group of cells as an organism.

An organism affords the opportunity for an intelligence which is superior to that of any single cell to manifest itself. Furthermore, because the physical conditions are thus present for a particular type of manifestation, an astral entity is always there to take charge. As a matter of fact, through the operation of vibratory affinity, as soon as the physical conditions are present by which an intelligence more complex than that of a single cell can express itself, such an intelligence moves in.

More commonly an organism thus has in charge of its growth and other activities a single dominating intelligence, or soul. This soul, because of its past experiences, knows how to direct the development and functions of the particular organism. Within certain limits it is able to command obedience from the single-celled intelligences within its domain. It directs them in their activities.

The reproduction of an organism, either plant or animal, is commonly either through simple cell division, or through specially developed cells or groups of cells, such as seeds, spores, bulbs, runners and offsets.

A cutting from a geranium, or a limb from a willow tree, when placed in the earth under favorable circumstances will grow. It will develop into a mature plant which will bear leaves and flowers. If the soul which directed the growth of the parent plant remained with the present plant, from whence came the intelligence to direct the growth and development of the new one?

The material conditions being present for the expression of a given kind of intelligence, vibratory affinity causes such an intelligence to move in from the astral. An astral intelligence with experience enough to be able to handle the development of such a plant, and needing the new experiences for which this afforded opportunity, in each case was attracted to, and occupied, the plant which was separated from its parent. Just as soon as the conditions for a life apart from the parent stem was presented, there was an intelligence ready to grasp the opportunity and direct the activities of the newly independent life processes.

So also with seed and spore. These are cells which have specialized in the propagation of the race. Under certain conditions, as when the seed is fertilized, they afford the material requisites for the development of a physical life form after the parent pattern. And whenever the material requirements are present, vibratory affinity attracts an intelligence of the necessary experience to take charge.

Life as it occurs on the earth signifies that, for the time being, an intelligence has found the opportunity by which it can undergo experiences in a physical form. When, for any reason, the intelligence occupying form and directing its processes is unable longer to handle these processes successfully, the organism begins to break up, and the entity is compelled to move out into the astral again. This is known as death.

Within the body of man, as within the body of complex plants and other complex animals, there is a constant outflow of cell intelligences as cell structure is consumed in the life processes, and a constant influx of new cell intelligences as new cells are formed to take the place of outworn tissue. The life of an organism, to the clairvoyant vision, is a process of lesser intelligences moving in, doing more or less as they are directed by the soul of the organism and, as their vehicle is destroyed, again moving out into the astral. They have rendered somewhat of service, and have gained somewhat in experience.

The kind of an organism occupied by any evolving intelligence depends upon the ability of that evolving intelligence to gain the allegiance of lesser evolving intelligences, such as those occupying single cells, and to direct their activities into building a form of a suitable type and function. And its ability to gain such allegiance and direct such activities depends entirely upon its own past experiences.

Where it gained the experiences is not essential; but before it can be attracted to the physical conditions that will permit it to occupy a form of a particular type, it must have had experiences of sufficient complexity to afford it a preliminary training in handling such a form. Such preliminary training gives it a dominant vibratory rate of a particular type of life form. As a result of this dominant frequency rate, whenever the physical conditions are present for the manifestations of a form of this life type, there is opportunity for it to move in and take charge. That is, there is opportunity for it to express itself in some physical life form.

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Competition for A Physical Form

Throughout space there are other intelligences also which have developed a similar dominant vibratory rate. The physical conditions also present an opportunity for them to express, or be born, into earthly experience. But the one of these various intelligences, or souls, which actually takes charge of the growth and development of the new physical form is the one whose vibratory rates in their complex details—that is, the one whose past experiences—most perfectly coincide with the vibratory rates of the cutting, the bulblet, or fertilized seed which affords the opportunity for physical development. This law of vibratory affinity holds true alike for plants, for animals, and for man.

A walnut tree, for instance, is a particular type of life form belonging to the vegetable kingdom. A fertilized walnut which has fallen to the ground, when the rains of spring cause it to germinate, affords the opportunity for an intelligence of a certain dominant vibratory rate to take charge of the growth and development of a sprouting walnut tree. This intelligence has never previously had any experience with walnut trees. It may have never had any experience with any kind of a tree. But it has had experience with some lower form of vegetable life. It has occupied the form of some growing plant in the past. When it no longer could hold the allegiance and direct the activities of the still lesser intelligence of this plant, the plant died and it passed to the astral world.

On the astral plane it also existed as a plant, the counterpart of the physical one. And during this period of existence on the astral plane it acquired many additional experiences. And these, as well as those resulting from its experiences on earth, built the thought cells of its astral form; the sum total of the states of consciousness thus acquired through all its experiences constituting its soul.

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Life Also Develops on the Astral Plane

It is a mistake to think of the astral world as static. Things on that plane develop and progress much as they do on earth. People who pass to the next life continue with their education and development. And likewise, the lower forms of life, when they pass from physical expression, continue to develop on the inner plane. Not only the experiences of physical life, but these additional experiences of astral life, at intervals are assimilated and reorganized.

The most obvious thing about life is its constant struggle and effort. And this struggle and effort, which we see in every living thing about us, does not cease when it passes to the next plane. Even as on earth, it is still eager for experience. And in this restless desire to advance it is assisted by cosmic forces, by tides of astral energy which have come to be known as life waves.

Therefore, the astral form of the plant which we have been considering, by the time it is attracted to another physical form—incarnated in another plant—has made appreciable strides in its abilities. Its intense struggles to advance have brought it experiences which give it the dominant vibratory rates of a germinating walnut.

It may never have lived as a tree. This, perhaps, is a long step physically from the simpler vegetable form it previously occupied on earth. But it has been carried forward by the tides of cosmic energy to a point where its desires for still further experience and development give it not merely the dominant vibratory rates of the walnut tree type of life, but the detailed vibratory rate of a certain germinating walnut. And it is attracted to, and becomes associated with, this germinating walnut, because its vibrations more nearly correspond to those of this walnut than do the vibrations of other astral plants having the walnut tree type of vibration.

The genes of the chromosomes of the germinating walnut are associated with the astral vibratory rates that carry the racial characteristics. The incoming astral intelligence which takes charge, now acquires these vibratory rates as a part of its own organization. And the latitude of its power to mold the developing form is limited by these racial vibrations which it thus acquires. These rates determine that the tree shall be a walnut and not an elm. And soil and wind and rain and the prevalence of insect pests and various other physical factors place still other limits upon its expression. But, nevertheless, the form which develops under the direction of this soul is an expression of its own powers and capacities.

During the lifetime of this tree the intelligence occupying it brings under command a myriad of simpler intelligences, such as those which occupy the cells of its structures. It directs that certain cells shall take on coarseness and become the protecting bark, that other cells shall perform the delicate and complex function of the Cambrian layer, that still other cells shall develop into sapwood. How much energy shall be devoted to leaves and how much to root structure, to flowers, and to fruit are under the jurisdiction of its thought cells. It does not reason about these things, no more so than our own intelligence reasons about how much tissue shall develop here, and how much there, in our own anatomy. These are functions of the thought cells and thought structures of the unconscious mind, or soul. And the soul knows, because of past experiences, how to direct them.

But when the walnut tree dies it does not cease to exist. It may still be seen upon the astral plane, where it continues to live and develop. The astral plane is quite as real as the physical, and quite as capable of imparting experiences, although experiences of a different kind. The walnut tree gains new experiences as a tree on the astral plane. These experiences build in it new thought cells. And in time it is carried forward, its experiences assimilated and reorganized, to a point where its dominant vibratory rates correspond to the dominant vibratory rates of some other and more complex life form.

But you may be sure of this, having had experience as a walnut tree, it never has the detailed vibratory rates which are simple enough again to attract it to a germinating walnut. Its thought-cell structure, even at the time the tree it occupied died, is so complex as the result of its experiences as a mature tree, that it has no affinity for the simpler rates of a new walnut shoot. And, for that matter, as soon as any degree of assimilation and reorganization has been made, the thought-cell structure is too complex for the walnut tree type. It still belongs to the walnut tree type so long as it exists on the astral as a walnut tree. But as it develops on the astral plane still further, and has new experiences, its dominant vibratory rates become of a character quite different, and in time are those belonging to some still higher form of life on the physical plane.

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Assimilation and Reorganization

This principle of the assimilation and reorganization of experiences, which is a function of astral life, takes place on a small scale, and has come to be well recognized, in the physical life of man.

An individual who has been applying himself to some task requiring great dexterity or unusual mental ability, and seems to have reached his best performance, often finds that additional practice leads to no greater perfection. When the individual has reached such a stage, for instance, in playing golf, in rendering musical compositions, in literary production, or any other art, those having his training in charge, if wise, advise him to take a vacation from it. It is better for a time that he does not even think about it, but that he should become interested in something entirely different. Then, at the end of his vacation, he is usually amazed to find that he not merely commences to improve where he left off, but that somehow, during the vacation, he has moved forward a marked step, and that he takes up his practice again at a point far in advance of anything he had attained during the previous period.

This well known psychological law, which is applied practically in many fields of endeavor, is based upon the principle that, unhindered for a time by other physical experiences of a like nature, experiences already acquired, under the urge already given them for greater perfection of performance, undergo assimilation and reorganization within the astral form. And as a result of this assimilation and reorganization, abilities of far greater perfection come into existence than any which had ever previously found physical expression. There is a decided gap between what the individual could do when last he tried, and what he now finds he can do. It has not been just a gradual progress, but he has moved forward by a clear-cut step.

Business men are advised by psychologists, and many of them follow this advice, that when they have worked hard to solve some perplexity, or to devise some method of overcoming a difficulty, and have not arrived at anything satisfactory, to put the thing from their mind and take a drive in the country with a friend, go to a baseball game, or otherwise spend the balance of the day in recreation. Business psychologists tell them to let the problem “stew in its own juice” without thinking about it. Then the unconscious mind, or soul, takes the various thoughts about the problem, and such information as it can reach concerning it derived from both the physical and astral planes, and assimilates and reorganizes this knowledge. And when, after the individual has forgotten all about it in some interesting sport, it pops into his mind, it has been worked out in detail, and is ready to be given physical expression.

The finer body of any life form is composed primarily of psychoplasm, even as its physical body is composed of protoplasm and its secretions. Psychoplasm, in turn, is composed of thought elements in various proportions. Thought elements belong to ten different families. Whenever a state of consciousness registers on the soul it adds thought elements belonging to one or more of these ten families to the soul. These thought elements which are added by experience tend to build up definite thought cells, even as assimilated physical food tends to build up the cells of the physical body. These thought cells and the thought structures they form constitute the astral body, and their organization, embracing all previous states of consciousness, is the soul.

This astral organization is changed not merely by experiences coming from the outer plane, but also by experiences coming from the inner plane. Every objective thought adds its energy to the thought cells, giving those of similar type more power. And in addition, through the feeling energy accompanying it, the thought cells thus given more energy become more harmonious or more discordant. Also, through the association of this type of thought with thoughts of a different type, it tends to cause the thought cells thus given energy to have an influence upon other thought cells.

Not only does later objective thinking about experiences tend to link together in the unconscious mind the thought cells in which the energy of these experiences have been stored, but the thinking about them below the threshold of objective consciousness also tends to link them together. A strong desire will set in motion trains of unconscious thought which tend to bring together the various factors relating to the desire. Not only are past experiences relating to the desire assimilated, but the soul exercises extrasensory perception to gain new information and assimilate it. Thus, after a time, the individual is able clearly to grasp a problem, or is aware of just what he should do.

Here we have an instance in which there has been some assimilation and reorganization of thought. But probably there has been no pronounced change in the thought-cell organization; for such a change is soon apparent in the change of fortune and in the change of character. Nor is there probably any pronounced change in the thought-cell organization of the individual who takes a definite step in skill at the end of a vacation. Other than possessing the desired skill, he is much the same as before where his character is concerned.

Something has occurred, however, relative to the ability of his thought cells to direct the activities of the intelligences occupying the physical cells and physical structures of his body. His thought cells, impelled by the desire to acquire the given skill, have gone to work to get cooperation from the intelligences occupying the cells of certain muscles and nerves. These were given new orders and brought into such alignment that they would work for the accomplishment of the desired act of skill. It is true that certain thought cells have been reorganized. But in addition, a myriad of astral intelligences constituting the souls of the physical cells and organs of his body were given instructions and brought into greater obedience, that they might the more effectively assist in the performance of new tasks.

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How an Organism Operates

An organism is not just one intelligence, but in addition to the thought cells of the dominating soul embraces many minor intelligences which have come under the dominion of the mind, or soul, of the intelligence ruling the organism. And in addition to the various intelligences guiding the physical cells, there are still others of higher complexity within the body of man, such as those which have charge of certain organs.

That organs have an intelligence of their own, and are not merely occupied by the thought cells of the human soul, is demonstrated by their ability to carry out their function in some degree after being removed from the physical body. The intelligence associated with the organ has learned how to do certain things, and to the extent it is provided with proper conditions—perhaps a nutrient solution—it continues to carry out this work, as explained in Chapter 1 (Serial Lesson 95), Course IX, Mental Alchemy, after the organ is no longer a part of the original physical organism.

To the clairvoyant vision, man is not merely a superintendent directing in person a host of laborers of the intelligence and ability of cell life. Instead, there are bosses which more or less take instructions from his thought cells and thought structures and direct the work of certain organs and certain functions. His own thought cells and thought structures know how each job should be done, and give the orders to the intelligence associated with the physical cell or organ or function. Each of these intelligences which is not an integral part of his soul has its own domain and, if of greater advancement than a single cell, has its own laborers, or cell intelligences, which take instructions from it. In turn, it is given directions by a certain group of thought cells which are an integral part of the individual’s soul.

Life forms are not simple. Even a molecule of matter is composed of rapidly moving atoms, each with its field of energy; and these atoms in turn embrace moving electrons, each with its energy field. Some of the energy fields tend to hold the electrons from departing, some of the energy fields hold the atoms together by what is called gravitation, and other energy fields keep the atoms themselves from collapsing, and hold each other at a distance.

And even as there are energy fields and still other energy fields embraced within each molecule of matter, so are higher forms of life very complex, not merely in the division of the labor performed, but in the number and variety and types of intelligences, which like the energy fields of the molecule are interdependent in giving the whole its proper integrity.

But whether the intelligence is merely that expressing in a single cell, or even still less as the intelligence of an atom of mineral matter taken into the cell, or still greater as the intelligence governing such an organ as the heart, for instance, these intelligences do not constitute the soul of the organism. They each and all make use of the organism where they temporarily sojourn to express themselves and gain desired experiences. They each and all are performing their own evolution, and except for the time they are associated with the organism, are as independent of it as its soul is independent of them.

It is common, in occult circles, to refer to all the various intelligences within the organism of man, whether thought-cell intelligences, or those intelligences which supervise functions and direct organs and otherwise take charge of affairs, as submundane atoms of life. Submundane means below the earth, and strictly speaking these intelligences, many of them, are as closely associated with physical life as is man, himself. But if we were to use the word subhuman, it would embrace intelligences, such as animals and plants, which are not so closely associated with man. These so-called submundane entities, which also include thought cells, are the lesser members of an organization over which man is rightfully the ruler.

Few of us ever stop to consider just how interdependent, even in the physical sense, life is upon life. The handling of food within the digestive tract requires bacterial life of certain kinds. The pollination of many flowers, without which no seed is produced, depends upon insects. Earthworms, passing soil through their digestive tracts, give it a texture and fertility that favors vegetable growth. And in a thousand other ways life form depends upon life form.

But when we consider an organism in reference to the intelligent entities it embraces, we find even a far greater interdependence. Such an organism is like some great industrial organization, with departments presided over by foremen, and more or less under the control of the soul which is manifesting through the body. The soul of an organism, whether it be the soul of a plant, an animal, or a man, is an intelligence which by virtue of its past experiences has acquired thought-cell structure ability to attract to itself and direct the efforts of a host of lesser intelligences. These lesser intelligences are of various grades and functions.

Of course, it is not the objective mind which controls and directs these lesser intelligences. What does your objective mind, or mine, know about the proper handling of the digestive ferments, about the proper number of red corpuscles that should be given birth to under certain circumstances, about directing those soldiers of the blood stream, the phagocytes, so as best to protect the body from invading bacterial and protozoan foes? It is the thought cells of the unconscious mind, or soul, which attend to all these things.

The soul of the organism is the dominant intelligence which has attracted to itself such other intelligences as it has need of. But these other intelligences are merely workmen, they are not the soul. They are paid for their work through the education they get, just as the soul is paid for its endeavors in the wages of expanding character.

When the soul, or intelligence, which has built and lived in an organism no longer can hold that organism together as a living form, the physical form dies and the soul of the organism moves out into the astral world. This astral form is not dependent upon the various intelligences which were embraced within the physical form. I do not wish to say that the astral form and its functions are completely independent of other intelligences than the soul dominating it. But it is no longer dependent upon the various intelligences which were embraced within its physical form.

As the physical form disintegrates not only the cell life, but the other intelligences associated with man’s physical form during physical life, separate from it and travel on their own independent paths of development.

And the soul, or intelligence, which had directed the building of the physical form, and undergone experiences in it, then undergoes a shorter or longer period of life and development in the astral world. At the end of this period of development on the astral, in which still other experiences are added to its thought-cell organization, a process of assimilation and reorganization sets in. This, only on a vastly larger scale, is similar to the assimilation and reorganization of experiences which enable an artist in any line to take a marked step after a vacation, or a business man to solve difficult problems during recreation.

At the end of this assimilation and reorganization process, the soul is not merely ready to build a form on the physical plane just a shade higher than the one built previously. Instead, it has taken a pronounced step forward, and has the ability, when attracted to the physical plane by conditions corresponding in basic vibratory rates to its new stage of development, of animating and building a form of quite different character and of far greater complexity.

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The Evolution of the Soul is Through Long Physical Steps

Yet if we consider the physical the only place where life forms can develop and function, we have a sadly limited conception of the universe. The physical is merely the cellar of a vast skyscraper, and the best that can be grown here are mushrooms and similar fungi. The physical is the place where such life forms as we are most familiar with start their upward development. And, taking the upward trip step at a time, each experience in a physical form meaning that the next form is considerably advanced in complexity, life develops alternately on the physical and in the astral realm.

Yet the highest to which it ever reaches on earth is the puny stature of man, whose intellect and functions are infinitely small in comparison with the intellect and functions of beings still higher in the scale of existence.

But man’s form is, nevertheless, the highest that can be developed in this cellar called the physical world. It is only one step, although the last step on the physical plane, in the upward journey.

The ascending soul animates the form of any species but once, and it does not occupy the forms of all species, for it ascends the physical by rather long strides. It does, however, commonly occupy the form of the species man once, although only once. But, because what it has acquired requires properties that cannot be found on the physical plane for complete expression, after once being man, it does not again take any form on the physical plane. Instead, the law of vibratory affinity attracts it to a region of higher velocity, where it can find expression for its rapidly expanding acquired abilities.

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Birth Charts

Laurence Leopold Weitz Chart

April 24, 1918, 7:00 p.m., Daylight Saving Time 80:15W. 41:10N.
Data furnished by his mother.

1927, May, left for journey through Europe: Neptune square Sun r, Mars square Jupiter p.

1938, talked with Douglas Montero and another youth of the unsatisfactory condition of the world (economic depression had made securing employment difficult) and how much fun it would be to go in a boat to the South Sea Islands. On April 12, 1938, the three left Balboa, near Los Angeles, in a small sail boat, never to be heard from again. Parents believe they met foul play: Asc. sesquisquare Pluto r, Mercury sesquisquare Mars p, Venus trine Saturn p, Mars square Jupiter p in eighth house.

Douglas Montero Chart

December 10, 1918, 5:55 a.m. 96:15E. 17N.
Data furnished by his mother.

1919, came from Burma to U.S.A.: Mercury sextile Moon r.

1923, tonsils removed: Sun semisextile Mars r.

1928, appendix removed: Mars inconjunct Saturn r.

1930, trip to Peru: Sun trine Saturn r. 1931, sinus operation: Mercury semisextile Mars r.

1935, trip to Peru: Sun conjunction Mercury r.

1937, graduated Los Angeles High School: Mercury conjunction Sun r.

1938, April 12, with Douglas Montero and another youth left Balboa, near Los Angeles, in a small sail boat, never to be heard from again: Sun opposition Pluto r, Sun semisextile Mars p, Saturn semisquare Jupiter r in eighth house.

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