In the preceding chapters we have been considering man in relation to three of the five Worlds which form the field of his evolution. We have partly described these Worlds and noted the different vehicles of consciousness by means of which he is correlated to them. We have studied his relation to the other three Kingdoms — mineral, plant and animal — noting the difference in vehicles, and consequent difference in consciousness, between man and each of these Kingdoms. We have followed man through one life cycle in the three Worlds and have examined the operation of the twin laws of Consequence and Rebirth in their bearing upon the evolution of man.
In order to understand further details as to the progress of man, it now becomes necessary to study his relation to the Grand Architect of the Universe — to God and to the Hierarchies of Celestial Beings which stand upon the many different rungs of the Jacob's ladder of attainment that stretches from man to God and beyond.
This is a task of the utmost difficulty, rendered still more so by the indefinite conceptions of God which exist in the minds of the majority of the readers of literature dealing with this subject. It is true that names, in and of themselves, are not important, but it matters greatly that we know what we mean by a name; other wise misunderstanding will result, and if a common nomenclature is not agreed upon by writers and teachers, the present confusion will be worse confounded. When the name "God" is used it is always uncertain whether The Absolute, the One Existence, is meant; or The Supreme Being, Who is the Great Architect of the Universe; or God, Who is the Architect of our Solar system.
The division of the Godhead into "Father," "Son" and "Holy Ghost" is also confusing. Although the Beings designated by these names are immeasurably above man and worthy of all the reverence and worship he is capable of rendering to his highest conceptions of Divinity, yet They are different from one another in actual fact.
Diagram 6 and diagram 11 » will perhaps make the subject clear. It must be kept in mind that the Worlds and Cosmic Planes are not one above another in space, but that the seven Cosmic Planes interpenetrate each other and all the seven Worlds. They are states of spirit-matter, permeating one another, so that God and the other great Beings who are mentioned are not far away in space. They pervade every part of their own realms and realms of greater density than their own. They are all present in our world and are actually and de facto "nearer than hands and feet." It is a literal truth when we say " in Him we live and move and have our being." For none of us could exist outside these great Intelligences Who pervade and sustain our world with Their Life.
It has been shown that the Etheric Region extends beyond the atmosphere of our dense Earth; that the Desire World extends out into space further than the Etheric Region; also that the World of Thought extends further into interplanetary Space than either of the others. Of course, the Worlds of rarer substance occupy a larger space than the denser World, which has crystallized and condensed, thus occupying less space.
The same principle is operative in the Cosmic Planes. The densest of them is the seventh (counting from the top downward). It is represented in the diagram as larger than any of the others, the reason being that it is the plane with which we are most intimately concerned, and it was desired to indicate its principal subdivisions. In reality, however, it occupies less space than any of the other Cosmic Planes, although it must be borne in mind that, even with this comparatively restrictive qualification as to its extent, it is still immeasurably vast, far beyond the utmost power of the human mind to conceive, comprising within its limits millions of Solar Systems similar to our own, which are the fields for the evolution of many grades of beings of approximately our own status.
Of the six Cosmic Planes above our own we know nothing, save that we are told they are the fields of activity of great Hierarchies of Beings of indescribable splendor.
Proceeding from our Physical World to the inner and finer worlds and up through the Cosmic Planes, we find that God, the Architect of our Solar System, the Source and goal of our existence, is found in the highest division of the seventh Cosmic Plane. This is His World.
His realm includes the systems of evolution carried on in the other planets which belong to our system — Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, and their satellites.
The great Spiritual Intelligences designated as the Planetary Spirits, which guide these evolutions, are called the "Seven Spirits before the Throne." They are His Ministers, each presiding over a certain department of the Kingdom of God — which is our solar System. The Sun is also the field of evolution of the most exalted Beings in our Cosmos. They alone can endure and advance by means of the terrific solar vibrations. The Sun is the nearest approach we have to a visible symbol of God, yet it is but a veil for That which is behind. What That is cannot be uttered publicly.
When we try to discover the origin of the Architect of our Solar System, we find that we must pass to the highest of the seven Cosmic Planes. We are then in the Realm of the supreme Being, Who emanated from the Absolute.
The Absolute is beyond comprehension. No expression convey any adequate idea. Manifestation implies limitation. Therefore, we may at best characterize the Absolute as boundless Being; as the Root of Existence.
From the root of Existence — The Absolute — proceeds the Supreme Being, at the dawn of manifestation. This is THE ONE.
In the first chapter of John this Great Being is called God. From this Supreme Being emanates The Word, the Creative Fiat "without whom was not anything made," and this Word is the alone-begotten Son, born of His father (the Supreme Being) before all worlds — but positively not Christ. Grand and glorious as is Christ, towering high above mere human nature, He is not this Exalted Being. Truly "the Word was made flesh," but not in the limited sense of the flesh of one body, but the flesh of all that is, in this and millions of other solar Systems.
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 this threefold Supreme Being proceed the seven Great Logoi. They contain within Themselves all the great Hierarchies which differentiate more and more as they diffuse through the various Cosmic Planes. (See diagram 6). » There are forty-nine Hierarchies on the second Cosmic Plane; on the third there are 343 Hierarchies. Each of these is capable of septenary divisions and subdivisions, so that in the lowest Cosmic Plane, where the Solar System manifest, the number of divisions and subdivisions is almost infinite.
In the Highest World of the seventh Cosmic Plane dwells the God of our Solar Systems in the Universe. These great Beings are also threefold in manifestation, like The Supreme Being. Their three aspects are Will, Wisdom and Activity.
Each of the seven Planetary Spirits which proceeds from God and has charge of the evolution of life on one of the seven planets, is also threefold and differentiates within itself Creative Hierarchies which go through a septenary evolution. The evolution carried on by one Planetary Spirit differs from the methods of development inaugurated by each of the others.
It may be further stated that, at least in the particular planetary scheme to which we belong, the entities farthest evolved in the earliest stages, who had reached a high stage of perfection in previous evolutions, assume the functions of the original Planetary Spirit and continue the evolution, the original Planetary Spirit withdrawing from active participation, but guiding its Regents.
The foregoing is the teaching relative to all the Solar Systems, but coming down to the particular System to which we belong, the following is the teaching which the sufficiently trained Seer can obtain for himself by personal investigation of the memory of nature.
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception,
Chapter 5, by Max Heindel