The Problem Of Life

Among all the vicissitudes of life, which vary in each individual's

experience, there is one event which sooner or later comes to

everyone--Death! No matter what our station in life, whether the life lived

has been a laudable one or the reverse, whether great achievements have

marked our path among men, whether health or sickness have been our lot,

whether we have been famous and surrounded by a host of admiring friends

or have wandered unknown through the years of our life, at some time there

comes a moment when we stand alone before the portal of death and are

forced to take the leap into the dark.

The thought of this leap and of what lies beyond must inevitably force

itself upon every thinking person. In the years of youth and health, when

the bark of our life sails upon seas of prosperity, when all appears

beautiful and bright, we may put the thought behind us, but there will

surely come a time in the life of every thinking person when the problem

of life and death forces itself upon his consciousness and refuses to be

set aside. Neither will it help him to accept the ready made solution of

anyone else without thought and in blind belief, for this is a basic

problem which every one must solve for himself or herself in order to

obtain satisfaction.

Upon the Eastern edge of the Desert of Sahara there stands the

world-famous Sphinx with its inscrutable face turned toward the East, ever

greeting the sun as its rising rays herald the newborn day. It was said in

the Greek myth that it was the wont of this monster to ask a riddle of

each traveler. She devoured those who could not answer, but when Oedipus

solved the riddle she destroyed herself.

The riddle which she asked of men was the riddle of life and death, a

query which is as relevant today as ever, and which each one must answer

or be devoured in the jaws of death. But when once a person has found the

solution to the problem, it will appear that in reality there is no death,

that what appears so, is but a change from one state of existence to

another. Thus, for the man who finds the true solution to the riddle of

life, the sphinx of death has ceased to exist, and he can lift his voice

in the triumphant cry "Oh death where is thy sting, oh grave where is thy


Various theories of life have been advocated to solve this problem of

life. We may divide them into two classes, namely the monistic theory,

which holds that all the facts of life can be explained by reference to

this visible world wherein we live, and the dualistic theory, which

refers part of the phenomenon of life to another world which is now

invisible to us.

Raphael in his famous painting "the School of Athens" has most aptly

pictured to us the attitude of these two schools of thought. We see upon

that marvelous painting a Greek Court such as those wherein philosophers

were once wont to congregate. Upon the various steps which lead into the

building a large number of men are engaged in deep conversation, but in

the center at the top of the steps stand two figures, supposedly of Plato

and Aristotle, one pointing upwards, the other towards the earth, each

looking the other in the face, mutely, but with deeply concentrated will.

Each seeking to convince the other that his attitude is right for each

bears the conviction in his heart. One holds that he is of the earth

earthy, that he has come from the dust and that thereto he will return,

the other firmly advocates the position that there is a higher something

which has always existed and will continue regardless of whether the body

wherein it now dwells holds together or not.

The question who is right is still an open one with the majority of

mankind. Millions of tons of paper and printer's ink have been used in

futile attempts to settle it by argument, but it will always remain open

to all who have not solved the riddle themselves, for it is a basic

problem, a part of the life experience of every human being to settle that

question, and therefore no one can give us the solution ready made for our

acceptance. All that can be done by those who have really solved the

problem, is to show to others the line along which they have found the

solution, and thus direct the inquirer how he also may arrive at a


That is the aim of this little book; not to offer a solution to the

problem of life to be taken blindly, on faith in the author's ability of

investigation. The teachings herein set forth are those handed down by the

Great Western Mystery School of the Rosicrucian Order and are the result

of the concurrent testimony of a long line of trained Seers given to the

author and supplemented by his own independent investigation of the realms

traversed by the spirit in its cyclic path from the invisible world to

this plane of existence and back again.

Nevertheless, the student is warned that the writer may have misunderstood

some of the teachings and that despite the greatest care he may have taken

a wrong view of that which he believes to have seen in the invisible world

where the possibilities of making a mistake are legion. Here in the world

which we view about us the forms are stable and do not easily change, but

in the world around us which is perceptible only by the spiritual sight,

we may say that there is in reality no form, but that all is life. At

least the forms are so changeable that the metamorphosis recounted in

fairy stories is discounted there to an amazing degree, and therefore we

have the surprising revelations of mediums and other untrained

clairvoyants who, though they may be perfectly honest, are deceived by

illusions of form which is evanescent, because they are incapable of

viewing the life that is the permanent basis of that form.

We must learn to see in this world. The new-born babe has no conception of

distance and will reach for things far, far beyond its grasp until it has

learned to gauge its capacity. A blind man who acquires the faculty of

sight, or has it restored by an operation, will at first be inclined to

close his eyes when moving from place to place, and declare that it is

easier to walk by feeling than by sight; that is because he has not

learned to use his newly acquired faculty. Similarly the man whose

spiritual vision has been newly opened requires to be trained, in fact he

is in much greater need thereof than the babe and the blind man already

mentioned. Denied that training he would be like a new-born babe placed in

a nursery where the walls are lined with mirrors of different convex and

concave curvatures, which would distort its own shape and the forms of its

attendants. If allowed to grow up in such surroundings and unable to see

the real shapes of itself and its nurses it would naturally believe that

it saw many different and distorted shapes where in reality the mirrors

were responsible for the illusion. Were the persons concerned in such an

experiment and the child taken out of the illusory surroundings, it would

be incapable of recognizing them until the matter had been properly

explained. There are similar dangers of illusion to those who have

developed spiritual sight, until they have been trained to discount the

refraction and to view the life which is permanent and stable,

disregarding the form which is evanescent and changeable. The danger of

getting things out of focus always remains however and is so subtle that

the writer feels an imperative duty to warn his readers to take all

statements concerning the unseen world with the proverbial grain of salt,

for he has no intention to deceive. He is therefore inclined rather to

magnify than to minimize his limitations and would advise the student to

accept nothing from the author's pen without reasoning it out for himself.

Thus, if he is deceived, he will be self-deceived and the author is