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The Dense Body
Occult science teaches that man is a complex being who possesses:
1) A Dense Body, which is the visible instrument he or she uses in this world
to fetch and carry; the body we ordinarily think of as the whole man.
2) A Vital Body, which is made of ether and pervades the visible body as ether
permeates all other forms, except that human beings specialize a greater
amount of the universal ether than other forms. That ethereal body is our
instrument for specializing the vital energy of the Sun.
3) A Desire Body, which is our emotional nature. This finer vehicle pervades
both the vital and dense bodies. It is seen by clairvoyant vision to extend
about sixteen inches outside our visible body, which is located in the center
of this ovoid cloud as the yolk is in the center of the egg.
4) The Mind, which is a mirror, reflecting the outer world and enabling the
Ego to transmit its commands as thought and word, also to compel action.
The Ego is the threefold Spirit which uses these vehicles to gather
experience in the school of life.
The dense body was the first vehicle built and has therefore an enormous
period of evolution back of it. It is in its fourth stage of development and
has now reached a great and marvelous degree of efficiency. It will, in time,
reach perfection, but even at present it is the best organized of man's
vehicles. It is a wonderfully constructed instrument and should be recognized
as such by everyone pretending to have any knowledge of the constitution of
The germ of the dense body was given by the Lords of Flame during the first
Revolution of the Saturn Period, the first of the Seven Great Days of
Manifestation according to the Rosicrucian Teachings. This germ was somewhat
developed during the remainder of the first six Revolutions, being given the
capacity for developing the sense organs, particularly the ear. Therefore the
ear is the most highly developed organ we possess.
In the first half of the Saturn Revolution of the Sun Period, the second of
the Seven Great Days of Manifestation, the Lords of Flame were concerned with
certain improvements to be made upon the germ of the dense body. It became
necessary to change the germ in such a way as to allow of interpenetration by
a vital body, also capability of evolving glands and an alimentary canal. This
was done by the joint action of the Lords of Flame and the Lords of Wisdom.
In the first or Saturn Revolution of the Moon Period, the third of the Seven
Great Days of Manifestation, the Lords of Wisdom cooperated with the Lords of
Individuality to reconstruct the germ of the dense body. This germ had
unfolded embryonic sense organs, digestive organs, glands, etc., and was
interpenetrated by a budding vital body. Of course, it was not solid and
visible as it is now, yet in a crude sort of way it was somewhat organized. In
the Moon Period it was necessary to reconstruct it and make it capable of
evolving a nervous system, muscle, cartilage, and a rudimentary skeleton. This
reconstruction was the work of the Saturn Revolution of the Moon Period. These
Moon beings were not so purely germinal as in the previous periods. To the
trained clairvoyant they appear suspended by strings in the atmosphere of the
fire-fog, as the embryo hangs from the placenta by the umbilical cord.
Currents, which provided some sort of nourishment, flowed in and out from the
atmosphere through these cords.
When the Earth came out of chaos, at the beginning of the Earth Period, it
was at first in the dark red stage known as the Polarian Epoch. There humanity
first evolved a dense body, the germ of which was given by the Lords of Flame
during the First Revolution of the Saturn Period. It was not then at all like
our present vehicle, of course. When the condition of the Earth became fiery,
as in the Hyperborean Epoch, the vital body was added and man became plant-
like, that is to say, he had the same vehicles as our plants have today, and
also a similar consciousness, or, rather, unconsciousness, to that which we
have in dreamless sleep when the dense and vital bodies are left upon the bed.
At that time, in the Hyperborean Epoch, the body of man was like an enormous
gas bag, floating outside the fiery Earth, and it threw off plant-like spores,
which then grew and were used by other incoming entities. At that time man was
double-sexed, a hermaphrodite.
In the Lemurian Epoch, when the Earth had somewhat cooled and islands of
crust had begun to form amid boiling seas, then also man's body had somewhat
solidified and had become more like the body we see today. It was apelike, a
short trunk with enormous arms and limbs, the heels projecting backward, and
almost no head--at least the upper part of the head was nearly entirely
wanting. Man lived in the atmosphere of steam which occultists called fire-
fog, and had no lungs, but breathed by means of tubes. He had the gill-like
apparatus still present in the human embryo while passing through the stage of
antenatal life corresponding to that epoch. He had no warm, red blood, for at
that stage there was no individual Spirit. He had a bladder-like organ inside,
which he inflated with heated air to help him leap enormous chasms when
volcanic eruptions destroyed the land upon which he was living. From the back
of his head there projected an organ which has now drawn into the head and is
called by anatomists, the "pineal gland," or the "third eye," although it was
never an eye, but a localized organ of feeling. The body was then devoid of
feeling, but when man came too close to a volcanic crater, the heat was
registered by this organ to warn him away before his body was destroyed.
At that time the body had already so far solidified that it was impossible
for man to continue to propagate by spores, and it was necessary that he
should evolve an organ of thought, a brain. The creative force which we now
use to build railways, airplanes, computers, etc., in the outer world was then
used inwardly for the building of organs. Like all forces it was positive and
negative. One pole was turned upward to build the brain, leaving the other
pole available for the creation of another body. Thus man was no longer a
complete creative unit. Each possessed only half the creative force, and it
was therefore necessary for him to seek his complement outside himself.
In the latter part of the Lemurian Epoch the form of man was yet quite
plastic. The skeleton had formed, but man himself had great power in molding
the flesh of his own body and that of the animals about him.
At this time, when he was born, man could hear and feel, but his perception
of light came later. The Lemurian had no eyes. He had two sensitive spots
which were affected by the light of the Sun as it shone dimly through the
fiery atmosphere of ancient Lemuria, but it was not until nearly the close of
the Atlantean Epoch that he had sight as we have it today.
His language consisted of sounds like those of Nature. The sighing of the
wind in the immense forests which grew in great luxuriance in that super-
tropical climate, the rippling of the brook, the howling of the tempest, the
thunder of the waterfall, the roar of the volcano--all these were to him
voices of the Gods from whom he knew himself to have descended.
Of the birth of his body he knew nothing. He could no see either it or
anything else, but he did perceive his fellow beings. It was, however, an
inner perception, like our perception of persons and things in dreams, but
with this very important difference, that his dream-perception was clear and
But when "their eyes were opened" (as told in the story of the "Fall") and
their consciousness was directed outward toward the facts of the Physical
World, conditions were altered. Propagation was directed, not by Angels, but
by man, who was ignorant of the operation of the Sun and Moon forces. His
consciousness became focused in the Physical World, although things did not
appear to his vision with clearly defined outlines until the latter part of
the Atlantean Epoch. Still he came by degrees to know death because of the
break made in his consciousness when it was shifted to the higher worlds at
death and back to the Physcial World at rebirth.
However, what has been said about the enlightenment of the Lemurians applies
to only a minor portion of those who lived in the latter part of that epoch,
and who became the seed for the seven Atlantean Races. The greater part of the
Lemurians were animal-like and the forms inhabited by them have degenerated
into the savages and anthropoids of the present day.
In the Atlantean Epoch, which followed the Lemurian, man was very different
from anything existent on Earth at the present time. He had a head, but
scarcely any forehead; his brain had no frontal development; the head sloped
almost abruptly back from a point just above the eyes. As compared with our
present humanity, he was a giant; his arms and legs were much longer in
proportion to his body than ours. Instead of walking, he progressed by a
series of flying leaps, not unlike those of the kangaroo. He had small
blinking eyes and his hair was round in section.
The higher vehicles of the early Atlanteans were not drawn into a concentric
position in relation to the dense body, as are ours. The Spirit was not quite
an indwelling Spirit; it was partially outside, therefore could not control
its vehicles with as great facility as though it dwelt entirely inside. The
head of the vital body was outside of and held a position far above the
physical head. There is a point between the eyebrows and about half an inch
below the surface of the skin, which has a corresponding point in the vital
body. When these two points come into corresspondence, as they do in man
today, they form the seat of the indwelling Spirit in the man.
On account of the distance between these two points, the Atlantean's power
of perception or vision was much keener in the inner worlds than in the dense
Physical World, obscured by its atmosphere of thick, heavy fog. In the
fullness of time, however, the atmosphere slowly became clearer; at the same
time, the point spoken of in the vital body came closer and closer to the
corresponding point in the dense body, being united to it in the last third of
the Atlantean Epoch.
The Rmoahals were the first of the Atlantean Races. They had but little
memory and that little was connected with sensations. They remembered colors
and tones, and thus to some extent they evolved Feeling. With memory came to
the Atlanteans the rudiments of a language. They evolved words and no longer
made use of mere sounds, as did the Lemurians, giving names to things.
The Tlavatlis were the second Atlantean Race. Already they began to feel
their worth as separate human beings. They became ambitious; they demanded
that their works be remembered. Memory became a factor in the life of the
community. Thus began ancestor worship.
The Toltecs were the third Atlantean Race. They inaugurated monarchy and
hereditary succession, originating the custom of honoring men for the deeds
done by their ancestors. Experience came to be highly valued, and memory was
developed to a very great degree.
In the middle third of Atlantis we find the beginning of separate nations.
In time the Kings became intoxicated with power, and began to use their power
corruptly, for selfish ends and personal aggrandizement instead of for the
The Original Turanians were the fourth Atlantean Race. They were especially
vile in their abominable selfishness, erecting temples where the kings were
worshipped as Gods.
The Original Semites were the fifth and most important of the seven
Atlantean Races, because in them we find the first germ of the corrective
quality of thought. Therefore the Original Semitic Race became the "seed-race"
for the seven races of the Aryan Epoch. They were the first to discover that
"brain" is superior to "brawn." During the existence of this race, the
atmosphere of Atlantis commenced to clear definitely, and the previously
mentioned point in the vital body came into correspondence with its companion
point in the dense body. The combination of events gave man the ability to see
objects clearly with sharp, well-defined contours; but it also resulted in
loss of the sight pertaining to the inner worlds.
The Akkadians were the sixth and the Mongolians were the seventh of the
Atlantean Races. They evolved the faculty of thought still farther, but
followed lines of reasoning which deviated more and more from the main trend
of the developing life. As the heavy fogs of Atlantis condensed more and more,
the increasing quantity of water gradually inundated that continent,
destroying the greater part of the population and the evidences of their
Central Asia was the cradle of the Aryan Races, who descended from the
Original Semites. Thence have the different race gone out.
THE BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEMS
In the Saturn Revolution of the Earth Period the dense body was given the
ability to form a brain and become a vehicle for the germ of mind which was to
be added later. The impulse was given to building the frontal part of the
brain. The brain and the nervous systems are the highest expression of the
desire body. They call up pictures of the outside world, but in mental image-
making, the blood brings the material for the pictures; therefore, when
thought is active the blood flows to the head.
In man the brain is the link between the Spirit and the outside world. He
can know nothing of the outside world except through the medium of the brain.
The sense organs are merely carriers to the brain of impacts from without and
the brain is the instrument which interprets and coordinates those impacts.
The Spirit, aided by the Angels, built the brain to gather knowledge of the
Physical World. When the Ego entered into possession of its vehicles it became
necessary to use part of the creative force for the building of a brain and
larynx. The Lucifers are the instigators of all mental activity, by means of
the part of the sex force that is carried upward for work in the brain. Thus
did the evolving entity obtain brain consciousness of the outside world at the
cost of half its creative power.
Physiologists note that certain areas of the brain are devoted to particular
thought activities, and phrenologists have carried this branch of science
still farther. Now it is known that thought breaks down and destroys nerve
tissues. This and all other waste of the body, is replaced by the blood. When,
through the development of the heart into a voluntary muscle, the circulation
of the blood finally passes under the absolute control of the unifying Life
Spirit it will then be within the power of that Spirit to withhold the blood
from those areas of the mind devoted to selfish pusposes. As a result, those
particular thought centers will gradually atrophy. Brain-knowledge, with its
concomitant selfishness, was bought by man at the cost of the power to create
from himself alone. He bought his free will at the cost of pain and death; but
when man learns to use his intellect for the good of humanity, he will gain
spiritual power over life, and in addition, will be guided by an innate
knowledge as much higher than the present brain- consciousness as that is
higher than the lowest animal consciousness. The brain is, at best, only an
indirect way of gaining knowledge and will be superseded by direct touch with
the Wisdom of Nature, which man, without any cooperation, will then be able to
use for the creation of new bodies.
In the Moon Period it was necessary to reconstruct the dense body to make it
capable of being interpenetrated by a desire body, and also capable of
evolving a nervous system, muscle, cartilage, and a rudimentary skeleton. This
reconstruction was the work of the Saturn Revolution of the Moon Period.
The reconstruction of the dense body in the Saturn Revolution of the Earth
Period gave the first impulse to the incipient division in the nervous system
which has since become apparent in its subdivisions: the voluntary and the
sympathetic. The latter was the only one provided for in the Moon Period. The
voluntary nervous system (which has transformed the dense body from a mere
automaton acting under stimuli from without, to an extraordinary adaptable
instrument capable of being guided and controlled by an Ego from within) was
not added until the present Earth Period.
When the division of the Sun, Moon, and Earth took place, in the early part
of the Lemurian Epoch, the more advanced portion of humanity-in-the-making
experienced a division of the desire body into a higher and a lower part. The
rest of humanity did likewise in the early part of the Atlantean Epoch. This
higher part of the desire body became a sort of animal soul. It built the
cerebrospinal nervous system and the voluntary muscles, by that means
controlling the lower part of the threefold body until the link of mind was
Part of the involuntary muscular system is controlled by the sympathetic
The seat of the Human Spirit is primarily in the pineal gland and
secondarily in the brain and the cerebrospinal nervous system, which controls
the voluntary muscles.
This article was adapted from "Occult Principles of Health and Healing,"
page 11-22, by Max Heindel, published by The Rosicrucian Fellowship.