|Simplified Scientific Christianity
This modest little volume is dedicated to my beloved teacher, Max Heindel, for whose spiritual instruction the author owes a debt of sincere gratitude that cannot possibly be expressed in words.
The subject matter of this booklet was sent out by The
Rosicrucian Fellowship in the form of monthly lessons. After the supply was
exhausted so many requests came in for copies of them that The Board of
Trustees decided to reprint the lessons in one volume in order that they would
be available to all who are interested in the structure, function, and
spiritual significance of the seven ductless (endocrine) glands herein discussed. The
spiritual function of the glands as discussed in this work is based on
extraordinary information given out by Max Heindel. The psychological
structure and function is based on valuable information gleaned from the
textbook on the ductless (endocrine) glands written by Dr. Louis Berman, to whom the
author wishes to extend most grateful thanks.
— Mt. Ecclesia, June 1940
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the
stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? — Psalm 8:3,5
Before beginning these lessons on the ductless (endocrine) glands it would be well for us to briefly review the origin and constitution of man.
There is nothing in the universe other than pure spirit, and there never has been; but there are two forms or poles of spirit. One is positive, acting, directing, and the other is negative, passive, receiving, assimilating. This positive-negative spirit substance, its two poles working together, is all inclusive and has produced all that there is from the clod to God. All creation is in a state of ever becoming and perfection is the goal. The positive pole of spirit manifests as energy. The negative pole acts as its receptacle, and the two produce both life and form. Form, which is a lower vibration of spirit, is brought into being for the use of the spirit, and form and spirit evolve side by side.
God, the Creator of our solar system, has within Himself three great dynamic forces, which for want of better names we designate as will, wisdom-love, and activity; and by putting these forces into directed orderly action He created our solar system and all therein. The ultimate goal to be attained by each of His creations is Godhood. Each individual brought into existence by this mighty Being has within Himself in potentially all of the powers of his Creator, including epigenesis, the spirit's power to inaugurate something entirely new; and the work of each is to develop these potentialities into dynamic forces like unto those of our great Progenitor. In man we speak of these potentialities as the divine, life, and human spirits. It means that man, who is pure spirit, has within himself three great spirit-force potentialities.
Man's latent potentialities are developed in two ways, namely, through his own efforts, and by the help of others, chief among which are great Beings who are far beyond him on the path of evolution.
Just as it is necessary to take food in order to develop the physical body, so is it necessary to give food to the vital and desire bodies. The vital body gets its food directly from the sun; the etheric spleen of each individual attracts as much of the solar life forces as it requires. In the Desire World there is an essence corresponding to the vital fluid which sustains the vital body, and in this elixir of life the desire body steeps itself while the dense body sleeps.
It was impossible for the spirit to develop its potentialities until it had built its three lower vehicles, the dense, vital, and desire bodies; for it is from them that it obtains the food on which to nourish and develop its potential powers. This food essence is called soul.
By right action in relation to external impacts, experiences, and observations the spirit automatically extracts the conscious soul essence from the dense body, and this pabulum or food develops the latent potentialities of the divine spirit into dynamic forces which manifest as will, intellect, knowledge, the positive force of its being, the father principle, the power to do.
By discrimination in relation to the important, the essential, and the real things of life, and the unimportant, the unessential, and the unreal, the spirit automatically extracts the intellectual soul food essence from the vital body and this in turn feeds and develops into dynamic power and potentialities of the life spirit which are imagination, intuition, receiving power, power to assimilate, the mother principle, the love nature.
By a curb on animal instincts, devotion to high and lofty feelings, and emotions generated by right action and purifying experiences the spirit automatically extracts the emotional soul food essence from the desire body and it in turn nourishes and develops the human spirit potentialities which are creative power — both physical and mental, fecundation, expansion, germination, and growth, and develops them into dynamic forces under the domination of the will.
Much help is given to the individual by Great Beings through the ductless (endocrine) glands of which we will now make a study. A gland is composed of a mass of cells, and cells are composed of a thick, colorless, jellylike substance called protoplasm. Every gland might be likened to a chemical factory in which all cells are workers, and the product of the factory is its secretions.
The ductless (endocrine) glands have no openings, tubes, or ducts carrying their secretions away, but empty them directly into the blood and the lymphatics which permeate them. The ductless (endocrine) glands are often spoken of as the endocrine glands or the hormone producing glands. Endocrine is really a most convenient term as it stands for both the secretion and the gland, but the word hormone is applied specifically to the internal secretion and not to the gland. The hormone is a substance formed in one organ of the body and carried through the circulation of the blood to another organ on which it exerts a stimulating effect. The word is derived from a Greek verb meaning to arouse or set in motion. Without the endocrine substance suited to them no muscle nor cell would act. Without a supply of the endocrine phosphorus furnished by the thyroid gland no brain could function. The beat of the heart would not continue for a moment were it not supplied with adrenal secretion; and cases are on record of hearts that were pronounced "dead," but after being supplied with adrenal secretion beat again with regular rhythm.
It is less than fifty years since the scientists began a real study of the ductless (endocrine) glands, and most of the information that we have regarding them has been acquired during the last two and a half decades. What the scientists do not know yet is that the ductless (endocrine) glands primarily do not belong to the physical body at all, but are adjuncts to the vital body, set apart and crystallized to the necessary density in order that they may perform certain special kinds of work. The glands and the blood are the special manifestations of the vital body. Although each of these glands has a specific work to perform, when normal and in good health they all work together in perfect harmony. The ductless (endocrine) glands are of more than particular interest to the students of the esotericism for they may be termed in a certain sense "the seven roses" upon the cross of the body, and are intimately connected with the esoteric development of humanity.
The principal ductless (endocrine) glands are the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, thymus, spleen, and the two adrenals. The adrenals, spleen, and thymus gland belong to the personality. The pituitary and pineal are correlated with the spiritual side of the nature, and the thyroid forms a link between the two.
We will begin our study of the glands with the adrenals. They are a pair of cocked-hat shaped glands capping the upper end of the kidneys. They are easily recognized because of their yellowish fatty color. For centuries these important glands were not given a separate status as organs but were passed up as a part of the fat ensheathing the kidneys. In childhood and youth they are relatively larger and more prominent than in the adult. At all ages the amount of blood passing through the adrenals is very great in comparison with their size. Their tremendous importance in the body economy cannot be overestimated. The great value of these glands is better understood when it is known that death occurs very quickly after their removal.
Each adrenal is a double gland composed of a cortex or outer layer and a medulla or inner layer. The cortex is of the same kind of tissue that builds the male and female organs of reproduction. How closely the adrenals and the organs of reproduction are related is neatly pointed out by the fact of their common ancestor, the mesoderm, which forms the middle layer of the embryonic cell. All vertebrates have adrenal glands. The inner portion of the adrenals, the medulla, is developed from the ectoderm, or outer layer of cells which form the embryo. This is the same tissue that produces the sympathetic nervous system. The size of the adrenals is somewhat variable, but generally speaking they are about three inches long, an inch and a half wide, and weigh about a fourth of an ounce. Human beings have a larger adrenal cortex (outer layer) than any of the animals.
The adrenal cortex contains more of the phosphorous-bearing substances of the general nature of those found in the cerebrospinal nervous system than any other gland or non-nerve tissue in the physical body. During intra-uterine life the adrenals are large and conspicuous, in the first half of the second month being twice as large as the kidneys. Most of this relatively large size, which is in the human fetus only and not in other animals, is due to the enlargement of the cortex. Should this predominance of the cortex over the medullary portion not occur in the human fetus, that is, if the proportion should remain like those of the animals, the brain would fail to develop properly, and an entirely mindless monster would be generated.
The secretion of the cortex or outer layer of the adrenals is called interrenalin. This secretion stimulates a healthy growth of the brain and sex cells, develops great mental concentration and physical endurance, and generates a vigorous nervous and muscular constitution. It acts on the pigment cells of the skin, blunting their sensitiveness to light. In certain diseases of the cortex of the adrenals the skin becomes dark, pigmented, or bronzed. This condition is known as Addison's disease. Interrenalin neutralizes the acid formed in the body during digestion. Were this acid not neutralized it would quickly snuff out the life of the tissues.
The removal of the adrenal cortex influences profoundly the chemistry of the blood, notably the content of chloride, acid soluble phosphorous, and acid ions (an ion consists of one or more atoms and carries a unit charge of electricity or life force).
The adrenal cortex has an intimate relationship with the gray matter of the brain, and it also has a relation to sex and the chemical content of the blood. A defective adrenal cortex means an insufficiently developed brain and nervous system. So closely are the brain and adrenal cortex related that a normal human brain never develops without a normal adrenal cortex. Note that the adrenal cortex is also correlated to the voluntary nervous system.
The medulla, or inner portion of the adrenal glands, contains numerouys nerve cells belonging to the sympathetic or involuntary nervous system. The secretion of the medulla is a nitrogenous substance called adrenalin. This secretion acts as a powerful stimulant on the heart, and has a reinforcing effect upon the entire body.
The amount of adrenalin present in the medulla in the blood issuing from the adrenals, and in the circulation in general is about one part to twenty millions while there is about a hundred thousand times as much stored in the glands as reserve. Profound emotions result in a decrease of it in the glands and an increase in the blood. Pain and excitement, especially fear and rage, cause a discharge from the glands. The entry of adrenalin into the blood causes a tremendous heightening of vigor, and a tensing of the nervous system. The nerve cells become more sensitive to stimuli, more sugar is sent into the blood from the liver, and more red blood corpuscles are forced into the circulation from the blood lakes of the liver and spleen. A redistribution of the entire blood mass takes place, a great deal of it being withdrawn from the internal viscera and dispatched to the brain and to the muscles attached to the skeleton. The heart beats more strongly, the eyes are enabled to see more clearly, the hearing becomes intensified, and the breathing more rapid; the temperature rises, and the skin gets moist and greasy. In case of fear the hair of the head and body often becomes erect.
This extra adrenalin in the blood produces a reinforcing action on the nutritive properties of the blood, the tone of the muscles, and the activity of the brain and sympathetic nervous system.
While the adrenals are thus stimulating the external muscles, they are having the opposite effect on the digestive organs; for the time being digestion is inhibited, for the Ego's whole attention is being centered entirely along another line of action, and everything nonessential or detrimental to the matter of the moment is inhibited, arrested, and suppressed.
In certain types of the middle-ages, a high blood pressure accompanied by a great capacity for work has been found to be caused by an overdeveloped adrenal cortex. The adrenal glands are often called the glands of combat and are masculine in their manifestation. In women where excess in development of adrenal cortex occurs there is a degree of masculinity which more or less neutralizes the specifically feminine influence of the internal secretion of the ovaries. Such women have a vigor and energy above the normal, and command responsible positions in society, not only among their own sex, but also among men. They are the ones who are likely to become professional politicians, lawyers, bankers, captains of industry, and directors of affairs.
In facing a crisis the adrenals function as the glands of combat. The more combative and pugnacious the animal or individual, the more adrenal activity it or he has. The adrenals are the glands of energy, the glands of emergency, and the glands of preparedness. Adrenalin, the secretion of the medulla, is the substance used for body mobilization at a moment's notice. It has a reinforcing action on the entire physical organization, adding strength, alertness, and both physical and mental activity. It gives force in combat and swiftness in flight.
Adrenalin is so powerful in its action that in solution of one part to a million, it produces physiological reaction. its effect on the small blood vessels is so tremendous that quite a weak solution will stop a hemorrhage when applied locally, and it is frequently used in minor surgical operations to prevent excessive bleeding; but owing to the fact that its effect lasts only a few minutes, the injections have to be repeated frequently. As the activity of adrenalin is regulated by the sympathetic or involuntary nervous system the secretion of it can be increased by the stimulation of these nerves along the spinal column.
Through repeated excitement, anger, rage, et cetera, the adrenal glands may be exhausted of their reserve supply of adrenal secretion; the amount secreted being insufficient if enough time is not allowed, between demands, for the glands to recuperate, the result being temporary or chronic adrenal deficiency. In a person so affected there appears a weariness, a sensitiveness to cold, cold hands and feet which are sometimes mottled bluish-red; a loss of appetite and zest of life, and a tendency to worry; also an inclination to weep on the slightest provocation.
A nervous breakdown may sometimes be traced to a lack of normal response to the needs of everyday life by the adrenals. In some cases mental and physical elasticity is totally lost, and even the slightest exertion along either line often causes so much worry and exhaustion as to be prohibitive. Sometimes such sufferers are obsessed by the thought that they have lost their nerve completely, and accordingly dread to commit themselves on even the most trivial subject. This vacillating frame of mind is so distressing that at times it arouses thoughts of suicide.
In certain disturbances of the adrenal glands, especially where there are tumors which supply a massive does of the secretion to the blood, peculiar sex phenomena and general developmental anomalies and irregularities are produced. If the disease is present in the fetus, manifesting before birth, there evolves the condition of pseudo-hermaphroditism. (The person is apparently but not actually hermaphrodite, as when in animals the sexual glands are of one sex while the other genitals are present, mixed or intermediate.) The individual, if a female, presents to a greater or lesser extent the external habits and character of the other sex so that she is actually taken for a man, although the primary sex organs are ovaries, often not discovered to be such except when examined during an operation or after death.
If the process involving the adrenal cortex attacks it after birth, the symmetrical correspondence and harmony of the primary sex organs and the secondary sex characteristics are not affected, but there follows a curious hastening of the maturity of the body and mind — a precocious puberty, with the most startling effects. A little girl two, three, or four years of age will within a few months after the appearance of the disease begin to exhibit the growth and likeness of a girl of fourteen or fifteen, developing the physical and mental qualities and attributes of an adolescent — a tot bewitched into puberty, so to speak. Again, a boy of six or seven years may suddenly in the course of a few weeks or months become a little man, robust, rather short and stocky, but mustached, with the muscular strength and sexual powers of a man and thinking a man's thoughts.
A case in point is that of little four-year-old Clarence Kehr of Toledo, Ohio, whose adrenal and thyroid glands got busy overnight and transformed him from an ordinary little boy into a juvenile Samson. Clarence was born in September 1924, and up to the age of three was apparently normal. Then almost overnight his voice changed from a childish treble to a husky baritone, and his small body began to take on a matured appearance. Very soon he began to look upon his brother of seven and sister of eight as small children, and sought the company of the fourteen and fifteen year old boys of his neighborhood. Clarence takes a keen delight in the fact that he is grown up, has to shave, is abnormally strong and can lift some two hundred pounds. Psychiatrists of the University of Michigan have made a special study of this boy's case. After making more than a dozen X-ray pictures of his head and subjecting him to very close observation for several days the scientists finally arrived at the conclusion that the lad's condition was due to "some dysfunction of the ductless (endocrine) glands." The following is an extract from a report made by Dr. Gordon Manac:
"Clarence Kehr, aged four years, has been observed in our clinic, and we have found that the child is a rare anomaly....X-ray studies of his bones reveal his frame to be that of a boy well beyond his chronological age. His physical condition apparently is excellent. According to our psychiatrists he is above the average in intelligence....We believe that the child's condition is due to some dysfunction of the ductless (endocrine) glands."
Clarence was on the Academy of Medicine stage during the meeting of the doctors to demonstrate his strength. He lifted heavy weights easily, and while the discussion was going on amused himself by pushing a grand piano about the stage.
Dr. Louis Berman in discussing like cases says:
"It is all as if into some fermentable medium or solution a little yeast were dropped that changed the quiet calm of its surface into a bubbling, effervescing revolution. It suggests at once that the transformation of the child into a man or woman must be due to the pouring into the blood and the body fluids of some substance which acts like yeast in the fermentable solution. The adrenal cortex is one source of the 'maturity producing' internal secretions. If trouble in the adrenals starts after puberty, phenomena of the same type as that of the girls and boys mentioned, but of a different order, exhibit themselves. Suppose a woman in the thirties, for instance, becomes affected. Slowly or quickly her body will be covered with an abundant growth of hair, more or less of a beard or mustache will appear on the face, the voice will become deep and penetrating, the muscles hardened, and she will show a capacity for hard physical labor. Menstruation ceases. Sexually she appears to be made over. Masculinity now predominates in her make-up. She will have to shave regularly, and is not bothered in the least by the lack of feminine charms, for the change in her physical organization makes her immune to feminine desires. The cause of such a transformation in one previously normal woman was found to be due to a tumor on the adrenal cortex."
In the case of the pure type, one particular gland, either by its excessive action or its subnormal activity exercises a dominating influence upon the traits of the individual; and either as the strongest link in the chain of glands or the weakest, it becomes the ruler and all of the others must accommodate themselves to its dominance. Among all the others as the chief commander of growth, development, and normal function, it holds the balance of power. It dominates every emergency by its strength or weakness, and in this way it creates its own type of individual with characteristics and attributes peculiar to itself. The pure types are the adrenal, the thyroid, the pituitary, the pineal, and the thymus.
With a little practice each person representing a pure type can be readily identified as one passes him or her on the street, for each is stamped with identifying characteristics of figure, height, hair, skin, and temperament, with the corresponding ambitions, social inclinations, and even a predisposition to particular diseases. The various types differ in appearance as greatly as do different animals of the same genus. For instance, no one ever mistakes a mastiff for a bulldog or a fox terrier for a dachshund. Each has a distinctive size and shape, each has certain traits and characteristics, and each is built and organized in the most efficient manner to work out its own specific destiny in a particular way, all of which is true of glandular- typed people.
The distinctions are less marked among the mixed types and consequently they are more difficult to classify. In them there is a conflict as to which ductless (endocrine) gland shall dominate, and of course the combined action of the different glands results in a considerable modification of the primary characteristics. In some cases not only two but even three of the ductless (endocrine) glands strive for supremacy, and their combined action causes a modification in the primary glandular appearance. A compromise effect is then necessitated. Also it is possible for an individual to be under the domination of one gland during one period of his life, and under another at a later time. In such instances the gland ruling the early life will leave its impress on the earliest developing features while other signs will indicate the more recent influence. Such combinations are classified as the adrenal-thyroid type, the pituitary-adrenal type, et cetera.
The adrenal face is often dark or freckled, and tends to be broad and irregular, the head square-shaped. The low hairline makes the brow appear low, and there is considerable hair over the cheek bones. The skin is one of the chief clues to the adrenal personality; the epidermis is always more or less pigmented. Pigmentation is due to a deposit of dark-brown coloring matter of varying intensity in the skin. It is a well-known fact that skin pigment bears a direct relation to the reaction of the organism to light, especially the ultraviolet rays, to heat radiation, and therefore to the fundamental productions and consumptions of energy by the cells. The hair of the adrenal type is profuse, thick, dry, and coarse. It is most prominent over the chest,....
....abdomen, and back, and it has a kinky tendency. It often has an unexpected color: an Italian's may be yellow or a Norwegian's jet black. Adrenal people have well-marked canine teeth. With a properly cooperating thyroid and pituitary the adrenal person is in possession of striking vigor, energy, and persistence. Such a one may easily become a progressive personality and a winning fighter who seldom loses his objective.
Among women the adrenal type is always masculine. If such a one is physically feminine, due to adequate feminine reactions on the part of the other glands, she will at least show masterful virile qualities. A few decades ago such women had to repress their inherent desires to fill positions that placed them before the public; but now they are striding forward and commanding responsible positions which carry high salaries. Dr. Berman suggests that the first woman president will probably be an adrenal type. Certain it is that individuals of this type are the good workers, the efficient directors; they are successful for the reason that they have a driving force within themselves that is ever urging them onward toward the acquirement of that which they desire. President Harding was a typical masculine adrenal-centered type, and Carrie Nation an excellent example of a feminine one.
The insufficient adrenal type is built along the same lines as the adrenal adequate, and may easily be taken for him; but he differs and contrasts strikingly beneath the surface. He is one, and perhaps the most frequent, variety of the neurasthenic. He is weak, lazy, irritable; has a poor appetite, and lacks response to stimuli of all kinds. Chronic indecision is one of his most prominent traits. Among his chief troubles are a fatigableness that goes with low blood pressure, lowered body temperature, and a subnormal ability to utilize sugar for fuel purposes. Children who have an insufficient adrenal supply cannot learn easily; their growth is slow, and they cannot be driven or hurried. Often those lacking adrenal secretion before puberty awaken to good energy when the rest of the endocrines develop, especially the sex glands. Therefore the outlook for such unfortunates is not hopeless.
Fear and anger arouse the endocrine glands into needlessly strenuous action, and frequent indulgence in either of these emotions will in time impair the efficiency of these glands. Then if an effort is not made to give them an opportunity to recuperate, this impaired condition will eventually develop into a state of permanent adrenal insufficiency, and the individual will find himself in a most distressing physical and mental predicament. Optimism, good humor, and faith in God vivify and strengthen the adrenal glands, imbuing them with power and adequacy.
Relative to the activities of the ductless (endocrine) glands, Max Heindel has stated:
"Science is gradually learning the truths previously taught by the esoteric science and their attention is being more and more directed to the ductless (endocrine) glands which will give them the solution to many mysteries, but they do not seem to be aware as yet that there is a physical connection between the pituitary body, the principal organ of assimilation and therefore of growth, and the adrenals which eliminate the waste and assimilate the proteins. These are also physically connected both with the spleen and the thymus and thyroid glands. It is significant in this connection, from the astrological point of view, that the pituitary body is ruled by Uranus which is the octave of Venus, the ruler of the solar plexus where the seed atom of the vital body is located. Thus Venus keeps the gate of the vital fluid coming direct from the Sun through the spleen, and Uranus is warder of the gate where enters the physical food, and it is the blending of these two streams which produces the latent power stored up in our vital body until converted to dynamic energy by the martial desire nature."
The spleen is the largest ductless (endocrine) gland. It is located at the left end of the stomach, between it and the diaphragm. It is bean-shaped and has a deep bluish-red color. It weighs from five to six ounces, is about five inches in length and three inches in breadth. It is soft, spongy, and fragile. Normally, the spleen is movable within certain limits. It moves with respiration or breathing. it may become greatly enlarged during disease, such as typhoid or malarial fever, or during a disease of the organ itself, such as leukemia, an affection in which the white corpuscles of the blood are greatly increased in number, accompanied by enlargement of the spleen itself. The spleen permanently enlarges during prolonged ague, and then becomes the so-called "ague cake." Enlargement of the spleen of infants is often due to syphilis, and if it occurs at the age of two or three months it is usually due to that cause. The spleen always enlarges during digestion. This gland is fed by the splenic artery, and its veins empty into the portal vein which discharges its contents into the liver.
The spleen appears in the embryo about the fifth week, as a localized thickening of the mesoderm, or middle layer of the embryonic cell. It is almost entirely surrounded by peritoneum membrane, and is held in position by two folds of this tissue. It is invested by two coats — an external moist, fibrous membrane, and an internal fibro-elastic one. The external coat is thin and smooth. The secretion of the spleen is called hemolytin and is the controller of the blood destruction. It also has a striking effect in stimulating the normal movement of the intestines. Cases of chronic constipation have been cured by the use of it. On the inner side of the spleen at a depression called the hilus the blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatics enter or leave.
The spleen manufactures white blood corpuscles, stores up iron, has a strong influence on the nervous system (controls intake of vital sugar fluid which traverses the nerves), and aids in digestion by taking in more vital essence from the sun during this process. Removal of the spleen is not fatal. After its removal there is an overgrowth of the lymphatic glands which take over its physical work. The etheric spleen does not decay simultaneously with the amputated physical member, but continues its existence and carries on its vital functions the same as before. The spleen is the entrance gate for the solar force which vitalizes the dense body. Without this vital elixir no being can live.
From the spleen this sun force is sent to the solar plexus, where it meets the ether which has been extracted from the blood in the heart, and which, as soon as it is extracted, flows along the silver cord to the solar plexus where the seed atom of the vital body is located. This seed atom seems to have the same effect upon the ether as a prism has upon light, for the ether stream is refracted by it into the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. In people living the purely physical life, red overwhelmingly predominates; but as the individual advances spiritually, yellow becomes noticeable, and later, blue. The red stream coalesces with the colorless solar stream which constantly rushes to the solar plexus by way of the spleen, and it is the agent that changes this colorless solar fluid to a pale rose, and gives the entire vital body its tinge of delicate peach-blossom hue. From the solar plexus this fluid-like energy flows along the filaments composing the nervous system, and in this way it permeates every part of the physical body, energizing each and every cell with its life force.
When a person is in health this life energy is specialized by the spleen and extracted from the blood in such large quantities that it cannot all be used in the body, and therefore it radiates outward through the pores of the skin in straight lines or streams. It is the outpouring of this excessive vital force, radiating from the body, that drives our poisonous gases, inimical microbes, and effete matter, and in this way assists in preserving a healthy condition of the physical organism. It also prevents armies of disease germs which swarm about in the atmosphere from entering the dense vehicle. In this way it serves a most beneficial purpose even after it has been used by the body and is returning to a free state.
The trained clairvoyant often observes a curious and astounding sight when gazing at the exposed parts of the body such as the face and hands, when suddenly there commences to flow from them a stream of stars, cubes, pyramids, and a variety of other geometrical figures. These forms are atoms belonging to the chemical ether that have served their purpose in the body and are being expelled through the skin. Each figure floats away from the individual a short distance and then disappears. Their color is an amethystine blue.
After eating, the vital solar forces attracted by the spleen is consumed by the body in great quantities. The two lower ethers contain the cement which the nature forces (nature spirits, so-called dead, Lucifer spirits, and Teachers from the higher creative Hierarchies) use in building food into the physical body.
When the meal is heavy, the outflow of the vital fluid from the body is perceptibly diminished and does not then cleanse the dense vehicle as thoroughly as it does when the food has been digested, nor is it as potent in keeping out inimical germs. Therefore overeating renders a person more likely to catch cold or take disease. During ill health the spleen furnishes the vital body with very little solar energy, and at this time the dense body seems to feed on the vital body in consequence of which the latter becomes more transparent and attenuated in proportion as the physical vehicle exhibits a state of emaciation. As the cleansing vital radiations are almost entirely absent during sickness, complications then set in very easily.
Ordinarily if any part of the body or any organ is removed and there is no longer any use for the etheric counterpart, that part of the vital body gradually wastes away; but in the case of the spleen no such disintegration takes place for, as stated before, the etheric spleen has a great work to perform, and if the physical body is to live the former must of necessity remain intact and continue with its work, viz., the attracting of solar energy or force to the dense vehicle.
The glands are an adjunct to the vital body, but the desire body has gained a hold in the spleen and makes the white corpuscles there. The white blood corpuscles are destroyers. The desire body uses the blood to carry these tiny destroyers all over the physical body. They pass through the walls of the arteries and veins whenever annoyance is felt, and especially in times of great anger; for then the rush of forces in the desire body causes the arteries and veins to swell, and that opens up the way for the white blood corpuscles to pass out through the thin walls of these distended blood vessels into the surrounding tissue of the body, where they form bases for the earthy matter which kills the dense vehicle.
The desire body is constantly destroying and breaking down physical tissue, which the vital body is constantly building up; and it is the war between the two that results in consciousness in the physical world. The etheric forces in the vital body act in such a way as to convert as much of the food as possible into blood; and blood is the highest product of the vital body. Red blood corpuscles are circular discs, concave on both sides, and have no nuclei. They distribute oxygen through the body. The white corpuscles are irregular in shape, have nuclei, and are possessed of the power of amoeboid movement.
The way the desire body works in forming white blood corpuscles in the spleen is as follows: Evil thoughts, fear, and anger interfere with the power of evaporation in the spleen. The desire body seizes the opportunity and forms a speck of plasm, the sticky material of an animal cell, which becomes the foundation of the white corpuscle. This is at once seized by a thought elemental, which forms a nucleus and embodies itself therein. Then the elemental commences to live a life of destruction, coalescing with waste products and decaying elements wherever obtainable, making the physical body a charnel house instead of the temple of an indwelling spirit. Every white corpuscle which has thus been formed and taken possession of by an outside entity is to the spirit a lost opportunity; and the more of the lost opportunities there are in the physical body the less that vehicle is under the control of the Ego. White blood corpuscles are always present in large numbers in all diseases.
The spleen has no personality type; but owing to the fact that it attracts an excessive amount of solar force during mealtime and digestion in order that the food eaten may be taken care of, the gourmand with his excess of fat and his unwieldy body might possibly be considered as the representative of a type which may develop if the appetite is not controlled; however, if control is used, a high type, forceful and strong will be developed.
The thymus gland is situated in the chest between the two lungs and behind the upper part of the sternum or breastbone. It descends and covers the upper portion of the heart, overlapping the great vessels at the top of the latter. It is a brownish mass, which when cut, has the appearance of a sweetbread. It is placed over the trachea or windpipe. It rises as a growth from the wall of the third pouch of the pharynx (a funnel-shaped cavity in the alimentary canal beginning behind the mouth); it reaches its greatest at the beginning of puberty. At birth it weighs about half an ounce. At puberty it weighs a little over an ounce. It is about two inches in length, an inch and a half broad, and a fourth of an inch thick. It is readily found in dissection until the twentieth year. Its gradual disappearance thereafter is marked by a loss of glandular structure, which is replaced by fibrous and adipose tissue. Vestiges of the characteristic thymus tissue, however, persist and some of the secreting cells remain throughout life.
In the past it was believed that at puberty the thymus atrophied, but now it is known that some of its secreting cells persist throughout life. When too many of these cells persist, the gland becomes from five to ten times as large as normal and a number of other features become prominent which make the individual extraordinary, the victim of the "status thymicus," who amid the hazards of life will react in a most amazing way. This will be further discussed in this series of lessons under thymus personality. certain it is that the thymus is the gland that keeps children childish, and sometimes makes children out of adults. The arteries that supply the thymus with blood are chiefly from the internal mammaries, an indication of the close relation existing between the mother and child. The nerves, which are small, come from the sympathetic or involuntary nervous system and the tenth cranial or pneumogastric nerve.
During childhood the thymus is the organ that promotes growth of bones, but at puberty a decreased functioning begins. It is believed that the sex glands arising to functioning level at that time exert a restraining influence upon it.
The secretion of the thymus is called thymovidin, and is believed to be the controller of the growth of children. When an enlarged thymus is present in a newborn baby, the starting of the process of breathing, that is, the introduction of the infant to the oxygen in the air, may be an exceedingly prolonged difficult matter. Such a baby is said to be born blue; the breathing for days produces a harsh, whistling sound, becoming normal for a time, to be followed by spells when there is trouble in breathing, breathlessness, accompanied by blueness of the skin and threatened death. There are cases in which these spells have occurred after the child had appeared to be perfectly healthy. That an oversize thymus is responsible for such a condition has been shown by the relief obtainable by X-ray shrinkage of the gland or the surgical removal of a part of it.
When the body of a child is suffering from under-nutrition, there is a rapid decline in weight of the thymus. This proves that the size and condition of a child's thymus are an index of the state of nutrition of its body. it has been proved that underfeeding for four weeks will reduce the thymus to one- third its normal size. This gland appears to act as a storage and reserve organ, affording some protection against the limitation of growth on account of lack of food. It is an interesting fact that in exhausting or wasting diseases the weight of this gland sinks much more quickly than does that of the other glands. There are reported instances where developing children grew inches in height and expanded mentally when thymovidin was fed to them, when every other measure had failed. In France a study was made of over four hundred idiotic children with normal thyroids. The report on the investigation stated that over three-fourths of these unfortunates had no thymus gland at all.
The secretion of the thymus gland controls normal bone growth and muscular metabolism in some definite way during the period of childhood. This gland particularly influences the development of the adrenal cortex (outer part of it), the pineal gland, the thyroid gland, and the prostate gland. Thymovidin injection has a specific effect in relieving the fatigue of the voluntary muscles.
Removing the thymus gland of a young and growing animal produces an interference with its normal growth — a dwarfing, with changes in the skeleton resembling rickets. The bones become soft and bendable, and fractures occur easily. However, with the regeneration of small bits of the thymus that may have been left behind during the operation these symptoms disappear, and the animal becomes normal again.
The thymus gland grows rapidly during the first two years of a child's life. The reason for this is that the child is then nursed, and the vital ether contained in the mother's milk especially furthers the growth of this organ. The thymus gland of children nursed by a human mother is always larger than that of children brought up on the milk of animals, and such children are always more amenable to the control of anyone else. From the time when nursing is discontinued the disintegrating atoms of the thymus gland circulate in the bloodstream, and since they are impregnated with the vital ether of the mother obtained during the time of nursing the close physical tie between them remains until the gland has become greatly decreased. Children nursed on human milk have greater vitality than those brought up on the milk of animals, because animal ether is not permanently absorbed by the thymus gland as the human ether is.
The child does not manufacture its own red blood corpuscles in the same way that the adult does. The reason for this is that the positive pole or energy of the desire body of the child is comparatively inactive; in consequence of which this vehicle does not act as an avenue for the forces (Martian) which take the iron from the blood and change it into hemoglobin (the red coloring matter of the blood corpuscles). To compensate for this inaction there is stored in the thymus gland of the child a spiritual essence which is drawn from the parents at the time of conception; and this substance accomplishes the alchemistry of the blood temporarily for the child until the desire body becomes dynamically active which is about the age of fourteen.
The thymus gland controls the physical growth of children, the greater part of which takes place approximately before the fourteenth year of age. During this time it holds the other glands in check, delays puberty, and further normal brain development. There are cases, however, where, owing to a disease of the adrenal glands, the brain and generative organs mature in a few weeks or months before the body has time to properly develop; the stoppage of its growth at this time leaves it undersized although it may be symmetrically formed. These are exceptional cases, however. Ordinarily the thymus gland prevents any such phenomenon taking place.
When the persistence of the thymus after puberty is too great, the gland being from five to ten times as large as normal, the individual develops a case of status thymicus which is weirdly interesting. This condition tends towards producing the feminine expression of the male, and the masculine expression of the female. In other words it causes an arrest of masculinization or feminization, as the case may be, sometimes resulting in the peculiar complex that the man will desire the society of men more than that of women, and that women will prefer the society of women to that of men. Carried to the extreme this may result in Narcissim which is a love of oneself. Such people continually use the pronoun I; they love to preen themselves before mirrors, they delight in admiring themselves before mirrors, they delight in admiring their own hands, feet, in fact their entire bodies, and may often be seen patting themselves tenderly and smiling sweetly at their own mirrored images.
Sometimes this class of people have an irresistible urge to wear the clothes of the opposite sex. Some of them are satisfied with half-way compromises; but others are not content with half-way compromises; but others are not content unless they change their attire completely and pass as members of the opposite sex. This class of people are not pseudo-hermaphrodites; their sex development is perfectly normal. There is a case on record where one man lived 48 years dressed in male attire; then he changed to that of a female which he continued to wear until his death thirty-five years later. During all of his later life he was universally accepted as a woman, and it was an autopsy which disclosed the fact that he-she was really, so far as sex was concerned, a normal man.
This type of individual is misunderstood and misjudged; and usually a hopeless misfit in society; the result of which is that such persons ofttimes become disheartened and discouraged, take to alcohol or drugs, and eventually resort to suicide. However, there are those of this type who after a stormy life through the twenties, become adapted to their surroundings in the thirties, because the pituitary and the thyroid become more dominant in their activities, giving greater mental poise and stability. Thymo-centrics who combine brilliancy with instability, sometimes become famous adventurers and restless experimentalists.
The heart of the thymo-centric is small and the blood vessels remarkably fragile. This prevents the flow of blood from responding to an emergency and these people sometimes die suddenly owing to ruptures in their vessels caused by the attempt to force an excessive flow of blood through them. Any sudden shock, fright, or the administration of an anesthetic is likely to produce a collapse, in many instances resulting in death.
Up to the time the permanent teeth make their appearance the thymus is the dominant gland, and it is noticeable that the child's form in both sexes is very much alike. After this a gradual differentiation takes place although the....
....change does not become marked until the time of puberty. Ordinarily from this time on the thymus functions less and less, and the other glands increase in their activity. But many times the thymus gland does not cease in its action, in which cases we have individuals whose whole life is dominated by this gland. Such people belong to the thymus centered type. The features of these individuals remain rounded and childlike; the children belonging to it are well proportioned and perfectly formed, with delicately chiseled features. The skin is transparent and flushes readily; the hair is long and silky. Such children are the embodiment of beauty. They are the "angel children" who are admired for the coarse conflicts of life and usually die young.
The thymus type is essentially feminine. The figure, sometimes medium height, and sometimes tall, is slender, the limbs are rounded, and the entire body is gracefully formed. The skin is fine, delicate, and velvety, a dead white or peaches and cream, the hair soft and silky, with little or none on the face; the finely molded features are beautifully proportioned, the eyes blue or brown, with long lashes, the lips thin and the chin oval. Sometimes in the adult the chin is receding, and the mouth is not well formed. The teeth are milky-white, thin and translucent, scalloped or crescentic at the grinding edge.
We wish to reiterate that this type of individual does not have great endurance; and therefore the best of care should be given to the physical body.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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