When we expose a piece of iron to the air, the oxygen contained in the latter element oxidizes the iron and in time disintegrates it. This process is commonly known as rusting. The blood comes in contact with the air every time it passes through the lungs, and as a needle is drawn to a magnet, so does the oxygen of the inspired air coalesce with the iron the blood. A process of combustion takes place, which is similar to the rusting or oxidation we observed in the iron exposed to the air. The ether contained in the dense fiber of wood, after the latter has undergone combustion in a stove, passes outwards through the iron in the form of semi-invisible heat-waves vibrating at different velocities according to the degree of heat in the furnace.
So the spiritual vibration generated by the combustion of oxygen and iron in our physical bodies, passes outwards and colors our invisible vehicles according to their vibratory pitch. Low vibrations are seen as red, the higher are yellow, and the highest blue. Experience has taught us that combustible material may be placed in a furnace and all conditions necessary to combustion may be present but that until the match is applied the materials remain unconsumed. Those who have studied the laws of combustion know also that a forced draft carries with it great quantities of oxygen which is necessary to obtain heat from fuel containing much mineral. The reason for this condition lies in the fact that minerals, being the lowest in the scale of evolution, vibrate at a correspondingly slower rate than the plant, animal or man. It requires a maximum effort to raise their vibrations to such a pitch that combustion may liberate their spiritual essence, and oxygen is the accelerator in this process.
Were the same amount of oxygen supplied to good vegetable fuel, which naturally vibrates at a higher rate than mineral, the furnace would be in danger of destruction because of the intensity of the heat generated. A similar process takes place within the body, which is the temple of the spirit; this is the flame which kindles the inner fire and generates the spiritual product which passes outwards from all warm-blooded creatures as heat radiates from a stove. (Cold-blooded creatures are so low in the scale of evolution that they have as yet no life within themselves but are worked upon by the group-spirit from without entirely and it is the group-spirit which generates the life-giving currents responsible for the animation in these creatures; these currents pass inwards to sustain the nascent life until it shall be able to respond and begin to send currents outwards from itself.)
These radiant lines of force emanating invisibly to the physical sight from our dense bodies are our aura, as already stated, and while the color of each individual’s aura differs from that of all other individuals there is nevertheless a basic or ground color showing its status in the scale of evolution. In the lower races this ground color is a dull red like the color of a slow burning fire, indicating their passionate, emotional nature. When we examine people upon a somewhat higher rung of the ladder of evolution, the basic color or vibration radiated by them is seen to be of an orange hue, the yellow of intellect mixed with the red of passion. By the spiritual alchemy unconsciously performed by them as they travel along the path of progress and learn to make their emotions subservient to mind a measure, through many experiences in the school of life, they are gradually freeing themselves from bondage to the martial Lucifer Spirits and the War God Jehovah, whose colors are scarlet and red; also by obeying consciously or unconsciously the unifying altruistic Christ Spirit whose vibrations produce a yellow color which is thus mingling with the red and will gradually obliterate it.
The golden aureole painted by the artists gifted with spiritual sight around holy men is a physical representation of a spiritual promise which applies to Humanity as a whole, though it has only been realized by a few who are called Saints. After lives of battle with their passions, after patient persistence in well-doing, high aspirations and steadfast adherence to lofty purposes these people have raised themselves above the red ray and are now entirely imbued with the golden Christ ray and its vibration. This spiritual fact has been embodied by mediaeval artists gifted with spiritual sight, in their pictures of saints whom they represent as surrounded by a golden aureole, indicating their emancipation from the power of the Lucifer Spirits of Mars who are the fallen angels, as well as from Jehovah and His angels, who belong to an earlier stage of evolution and are warders of national and race religions. The Lucifer spirits find expression in the iron in our blood. Iron is a Mars metal, difficult to start into high vibration, so difficult that it takes many lives of great effort to change the product of its combustion to the golden color which designates the Saint. When that has been achieved, the greatest feat of alchemy has been performed; The base metal has been changed to gold, the wonderful alloy of the Molten Sea has been made from the dross of the earth.
All that then remains is to “pull the plugs” and pour it. The natural golden color is the Christ ray finding its chemical expression in the oxygen, a solar element, and as we advance upon the path of evolution towards Universal Brotherhood even those who are not professedly religious acquire a tinge of gold in their auras due to the higher altruistic impulses common to the West. Paul speaks of this as “Christ being formed in you,” for when we have learned to mix the alloy by spiritual lives, when we vibrate to the same pitch as He, we are Christ-like, ready, as said, to pull the plugs of the crucibles and to pour the Molten Sea. Christ was liberated on the cross through spiritual centers located where the nails are said to have been driven, and elsewhere. And one who has prepared the Molten Sea is also instructed by the Teacher how to pull the plugs and soar into the higher spheres or, as the Masonic saying is, to “travel in foreign countries.” This is in harmony with the dictum of Christ that to become His disciple one must leave father and mother.
That is one of the hard sayings of the Gospel and generally misunderstood because it is taken to refer to our physical father and mother in the present life, whereas in the esoteric point of view something very different was intended. To get the idea let us once more call to mind that the Lucifer spirits by the introduction of iron into the system made it possible for the human ego to become an indwelling spirit, but continued oxidation of the blood renders the body undesirable as a habitation in time and death ensues. Therefore, though the Lucifer spirits helped us into the body, they are also truly angels of death, and the progeny of Samael and Eve are subject thereto as well as the children begotten by her and Adam, for all are flesh. The Sun is the center of life and rules the life-giving gas we know as oxygen which coalesces with the martial iron.
Therefore, Christ, the Lord of the Sun, is also the Lord of Life, and when by spiritual alchemy as has been explained, we become like Him, we are immortal and thus we leave our father Samael and our mother Eve, and death has no more dominion over us. That does not mean that death may not happen to the body of such people, but the body entirely under their control, and a body used by such people usually lasts for many hundreds of years unless it becomes expedient to take another one. Then by the same process of spiritual alchemy they are able to create an adult body for themselves and to leave the old body which they desire to discard for the new one which they have made previously and fitted to serve their purpose. The question will now probably arise in the reader’s mind: “How can an Initiate create such a new adult body, ready to wear, before he relinquishes his old one?” The answer to this question involves an understanding of the law of assimilation, but it should be said in the first place that no one who has just become aware of the spiritual world and perhaps learned to function in the soul-body only recently is capable of performing this feat.
This requires a vastly more spiritual development, and only those who are very high in the scale of initiation at our present time are able to perform the feat. The method is, however, said to be as follows: When food is taken into the body of anyone, be he Adept or ignoramus, the law of assimilation is that he must first overpower each particle and conform it to himself; he must subdue and conquer the individual cell life before it can become part of his body. When this has been done, the cell will stay with him for a longer or shorter time according to the constitution and place in evolution of the life that dwells within it. The cell composed of tissue that has once been incorporated in an animal body and interpenetrated by a desire body has the most evolved cell life, therefore this life quickly reasserts itself and leaves the body into which it has been temporarily assimilated. Hence one who lives upon a flesh diet must replenish his food supply very often; such material would therefore be unsuitable for the purpose of building a body that has to wait for some time before the Adept enters it. Food consisting of vegetables, fruits and nuts, particularly when these are ripe and fresh, is interpenetrated by a great deal of the ether which composes the vital body of the plant. These are much easier to subdue and to incorporate into the polity of the body, also they stay much longer there before the individual cell life can assert itself.
Therefore the Adept who wished to build a body ready to wear before he leaves the old one, naturally builds it of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts, taking them into the body which he uses daily where they become subjected to his will, a part of himself. The soul-body of such a man is naturally very large and powerful; he separates a part of that and makes a mould or matrix into which he may build each day physical particles superfluous to the nourishment of the body he is using. Thus by degrees, having assimilated a considerable surplus of new material, he may also draw upon the vehicle he is wearing for material that can be incorporated in the new body. So in the course of some time he gradually transmutes one body into the other, and when the point is reached where emaciation of the old body would be observable to the outside world and cause comment, he would have balanced matters so that the new body is ready to wear, and he can step out of the old into the new.
But he does not do that merely for the purpose of living in the same community. It is possible for him by reason of his great knowledge to use the same body for many centuries in such a manner that it would still seem young, for there is no wear and tear upon it such as we ordinary mortals cause by our passions, emotions and desires. But when he does create a new body it is always, as far as the writer knows, for the purpose of leaving the environment in which he is at that time and taking up his work in a new place. It is by reason of this fact that we hear of men like Cagliostro, Saint Germain and others who one day appeared in a certain environment, took up an important work and then disappeared. Nobody knew whence they had come or whither they had gone, but everybody that knew these people was ready to testify to their remarkable qualities, whether for the purpose of vilification or praise.
This transition of the Adept from the dominion of death to the realm of immortality was foreshadowed in the daring leap of Hiram Abiff, the Grand Master-Workman of Solomon’s Temple, into the seething sea of molten metal and his passage through the nine arch-like strata of the earth which form the path of initiation; also in the baptism of Jesus and the subsequent descent from Golgotha into the subterranean region where his vital body is still kept awaiting the day of final egress of the Christ Spirit at the second advent.