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Page 1
P
LANT
R
ESPONSES
Question: We are taught that in plants the light ether
is partially dormant and the reflecting ether is lack-
ing. Thus, it is reasoned, sense perception and mem-
ory, which are the qualities of these ethers, cannot be
expressed by the plant kingdom. How is this to be
reconciled with recent scientific findings showing
that plants do respond “emotionally” to stimuli and
do seem to have a sensitive nervous system?
Answer: In Letters to Students, Max Heindel
wrote that “plant life is growing more sentient. The
lateral limbs of trees produce more abundantly
than do vertical branches because in plants, as in
us, consciousness results from the antagonistic
activities of the desire and vital currents. Lateral
limbs axe swept through their entire length by the
desire currents which circle our planet and which
act so powerfully in the horizontal animal spines.
The desire currents rouse the sleeping plant life in
the lateral limbs to a higher degree of conscious-
ness than is the case with the vertical branches,
which are traversed lengthwise by vital currents
radiating from the center of the Earth. Thus, in
time, the plants will also become too sensitive to
serve as food and another source must be sought.”
Occult science agrees that response to stimuli
among plants certainly does exist. The primary dif-
ference between occult and material science in the
interpretation of this phenomenon appears to be
concerning the source of the response. Occult sci-
ence teaches that the different life-waves have dif-
ferent levels of consciousness. The consciousness
of plants resembles that of dreamless sleep. Occult
science also teaches that the source of response to
outside stimuli is not actually the plant itself, but a
higher Being, a Group Spirit, who helps the plant
to function and through whom, in a sense, the plant
is evolving.
This may be hard to accept in the light of what
modern science has to say, but that does not nulli-
fy the validity of the occult teachings. The
occultist uses faculties which he has developed
within himself, and the material scientist uses an
inanimate instrument. It would be a great mistake
to think that this mineral device can perceive more
than a spiritually developed individual. Material
science has only recently become aware of things
that occultists have been saying for years.
T
HE
I
NITIATOR
Question: Much is being said these days about
spiritual Initiation. Who is the Initiator? Is it
Christ?
Answer: The various spiritual Initiations which
the aspirant undergoes as he proves himself ready
represent steps in the life of Christ. Christ is the
Wayshower for all humanity—both for those who
are endeavoring to take the straight upward path of
evolution and those many who are proceeding
along the slow, steady, spiral path.
The Initiator of any individual Ego is a
Teacher—a highly advanced human being who has
become a Hierophant of the lesser Mysteries
appropriate to the country in which the candidate
resides. In the case of the preparatory school for
the Rosicrucian Order, the Initiator is one of the
Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross, who has been
aware of the candidate’s strivings and appears to
him at the appropriate time.
Although the Teacher assists the candidate as
necessary, it must be stressed that spiritual Initiation
into a truly occult Brotherhood is an inner experi-
ence which can come to the candidate only after he
has proven himself worthy. Such Initiation can
RAYS 03
35
Plant Responses; Who Initiates?
The Woman Within; Jesus’ Disciples
READERS’ QUESTIONS

Page 2
never take place until the candidate, by living life-
times of purity and service, has achieved the req-
uisite development of his latent spiritual powers,
which the Initiator then teaches him how to use
dynamically. The task of the Initiator is to show the
candidate these latent faculties and dormant pow-
ers and to demonstrate for the first time how the
candidate may awaken this static energy into
dynamic power.
F
INDING THE
“W
OMAN
W
ITHIN
Question: We are told in Mysteries of the Great
Operas that celibacy and the suppression of the sex
drive are not the same thing and that we must want
to be chaste rather than have to force ourselves to
be chaste. “This can only be done by what the
mystic calls ‘finding the woman within himself.’”
How is this accomplished?
Answer: It is indeed true that we must want to be
chaste, so that we willingly dedicate ourselves to
living the life of purity and service which gradual-
ly enables us to control our thoughts and feelings.
By using our creative faculties on the mental plane
(mathematics, music composition, etc.) we trans-
mute the sex urge into spiritual channels.
“Finding the woman (or the man) within” refers
to the balance which every Ego must establish
within himself—the balance that eventually mani-
fests in perfect bipolarity. Each Ego is
essentially bisexual, although at the pre-
sent time in evolution it generally man-
ifests in alternate re-births as male and
female. Perfect balance will come about
with the inception of perfect bipolarity.
The process of “finding the woman
within” will not be completed until the
first Initiation, when we face the Dweller
on the Threshold—the composite entity
created as the result of all our individual
sins. The Dweller always appears as a
creature of the opposite sex. Once this
creature is met and mastered, the candi-
date for Initiation is allowed to proceed
into higher spiritual knowledge and
power. He then has found the man, or the
woman, within himself, achieving com-
plete mastery over his passions.
J
ESUS AND
H
IS
D
ISCIPLES
Question: I have heard it stated by more than one
person that Jesus and His twelve disciples have all
been reincarnated several times, and that they are all
inhabiting physical bodies right now. Some people
have even gone so far as to claim that they, or some
of the people they know, are various ones of the dis-
ciples. One man claimed to be John and another said
he was Peter. What is your opinion on this subject?
Some of those laying claim to such lofty develop-
ment appear very human to me indeed.
Answer: Jesus and His disciples have never reincar-
nated in physical bodies, although they are all per-
fectly able to do so. The reason is that He, with His
band of twelve highly trained helpers, is working
with the various churches from the invisible planes,
and that work is entirely unconnected with material
affairs. However, it is usual for a great Teacher to
come in each age, and as we are now nearing the
cusp of the Aquarian Age, we may confidently look
forward to the coming of such a One, who more than
likely, will be Jesus, as this Teacher is coming to give
the Christian Religion impetus in a new direction.
When Jesus and His disciples do reincarnate, it
will not be necessary for them to announce them-
selves to the world, for the life led by each will
proclaim his identity.
Ë
36
RAYS 03
Watercolor, James J. Tissot (1836-1902)
Christ’s Exhortation to the Twelve Apostles
Some of the twelve disciples, including John, may be among the Compassionate
Ones, all of whom have passed the Vulcan Initiation.—Cosmo, p. 592