Studies in "The Web of Destiny"
by Max Heindel


  This study guide is intended for use with The Web of Destiny by Max Heindel. The guide contains two groups of questions for each chapter in The Web of Destiny. The first group of questions for a chapter are questions whose answer may be found somewhere in the chapter. The second group of questions are labeled as "thought questions." The answers to these questions are not given in the chapter, but rather can be answered by relating what was said in the chapter to one's own experience and by using one's creative imagination.

  In using the study guide it is recommended that one first read an entire chapter from The Web of Destiny to get an overall picture of the topic being discussed. Then answer the questions below, referring back to the text as needed.

  It is hoped that this study guide will help the reader clarify and make more precise the understanding of occult Truths, so that he or she may tred the path with a more certain step.


The Web of Destiny
Part 1

1-1] Why must every action have a corresponding reaction?

1-2] Explain how the law of Cause and Effect compels people to be reborn.

1-3] Correctly complete each sentence by inserting in each blank one of the following: dense body, vital body, desire body, mind.

That which is now the ____________ was the first vehicle acquired by man. Currently, the ___________ is the most organized of man's vehicles, and the __________ is the least organized. Even the most abnormally degenerate ______________ can be thoroughly cleansed inside a few months. The activity of the __________ must be brought under subjection to the will of the spirit before it is safe to enter the spiritual worlds. The higher part of the __________ can be developed into a Soul Body for use in soul- flights.

1-4] What makes the two higher ethers of the vital body grow in volume?

Thought Question:

1-A] We have not seen any reactions to some of our actions. Why?


Part 2

2-1] Once one has learned to enter the higher worlds in his soul body, can he then accurately read the Memory of Nature? Why?

2-2] a) Where, within an individual, is a record of his life stored?
b) How does this record get into this storage place?

2-3] There is a record of the occurences on Earth stored in the vital body of the Earth. When people study this record, what problem do they encounter?

2-4] From what part of what world does this initiate prefer to read the record of the past?

Thought Questions:

2-A] Of what value is it to be able to read the Memory of Nature?


Part 3

3-1] Choose from each parentheses the word or phrase which correctly completes the sentence.

In the hours immediately following death, the panoramic pictures which were stored in the seed atom in the [heart, liver, solar plexus) are transferred from there through the (chemical, life, light, reflecting) ether of the vital body into the (desire body, mind).

3-2] Choose from each parentheses the word or phrase which correctly completes the sentence.

Devotion to high ideals and frequent expression of the devotional nature leads to an increase in the quantity of (chemical and life, light and reflecting) ethers in the vital body. Frequent indulgence of the passions and animal appetites leads to an increase in the (chemical and life, light and reflecting) ethers in the vital body. Where there is a larger proportion of light and reflecting ethers in the vital body and a smaller proportion of chemical and life ethers, the body is more (insensitive, sensitive) and more (delicate, physically robust).

3-3] Next to each item on the left put the letter of the item on the right which is most closely related:

After death, a cleavage occurs in
the vital body. The higher part is
retained and serves as a vehicle of
consciousness in the Desire World. ____
A. A person has lived a
degenerate, brutal life,
and has actively sought to
gain power over others and
to inflict pain.
After death, most of the vital
body decays synchronously with the
dense body. ______
B. A person has aimed mostly
to satisfy his personal
desires, and has had
little time for soul
After death, the lower part of the
vital body remains interlocked with
the desire body for some years. ___
C. A person has lived a life
of devotion to high ideals.

3-4] What two types of things may an evil person do after death while the lower part of his vital body and his desire body are locked together?

3-5] Which of the following is not able to nourish the vital body of an evil person after death, while his lower vital body and desire body are locked together?

3-6] Why is it undesirable to listen to the promptings of unseen spirits?

3-7] Why is capital punishment undesirable?


Part 4

4-1] What name is given to the interlocking vital and desire bodies of an evil person?

4-2] If an earthbound spirit does evil while in his Sin Body, does he later have to suffer for his deeds? If so, when?

4-3] When the Ego leaves the Sin Body, it proceeds through purgatory and the heaven worlds and then is reborn.

4-4] If a medium allows elemental spirits to control his body during life, what danger may the medium encounter AFter death?


Part 5

5-1] When subhuman elementals attach themselves to and serve a person or group of people, what may the elementals demand in return? Why?

5-2] Why do the "wise" spirit controls stand outside the victim's body and behind it, while manipulating it?

5-3] a) What may cause a person to commit suicide?
b) If a person commits suicide in one life, what may happen to the spirit's occupancy of its body in the next life?
c) What will the spirit then wish to do?

5-4] What may lead a human, AFter death, to obsess an animal body?


Part 6

6-1] Next to each item on the left put the letter of the item on the right which is most closely related:

A person ignores the love of others
and brings sorrow to those who love
him. ____
A. In the next life the
person finds himself in an
unsympathetic environment.
A person fails to love others and
as a consequence the others turn
to a life of crime. ___
B. In the next life the
person is born with a weak
mind or a speech impairment
or lack of muscular
A person degenerates and wastes
his creative life forces. ____
C. In the next life the
person loves people who
are suffering for past


Part 7

7-1] A spirit sees a panorama of the major events of the coming life as it enters the womb and comes in contact with the etheric mold of its new physical body (on or about the eighteenth day after conception). If, at this time, the Ego feels that the coming life will be too hard for it, and tries to run away, what will be the effect?

7-2] What effect can a great fright or shock during life have on the connection between the Ego and its bodies?

7-3] a) If a person is lascivious, but also of a devotional nature, what effect may he experience in his next life? b) If a person is lascivious and also of a cruel nature, what effects may he experience in his next life?

7-4] If a person is materialistic in one life, what effect may he experience in his next life?

7-5] If a person persistently aligns himself with unthuths, what may happen in the second heaven when he is building hie body for his next life?


Part 8

8-1] Next to each description of a spirit on the left put the letter of the item on the right which describes what that spirit will do while in the Region of Concrete Thought building the archetype of its coming dense body:

The spirit loves music. ___ A. The spirit will build a
body with a weak voice or
an impediment in speech.
The spirit wishes to shut itself
away from other's expressions of
joy or sorrow. ____
B. The spirit will build
strong vocal organs.
The spirit wishes to share its
knowledge with others. ___
C. The spirit will give
attention to building an
accurate ear and dexterous
The spirit wishes to keep its
knowledge for its own use. ___
D. The spirit will neglect
the building of the ear.

8-2] What effect is the Christ spirit's continued ministrations on earth having on

8-3] Insert the appropriate word or phrase in each blank.

In the future, the ___________ in the eye will be sensitized, and shall look out through the eye and see directly the thing itself instead of the image upon our __________.

Thought Question:

8-A] When we see someone with a particular physical or mental disability, why should we not draw hasty conclusions as to what they may or may not have done in a past life?


The Occult Effects Of Our Emotions

Part 1

1-1] In the present time, the desire bodies of humans are responsive to which of the planetary vibrations?

1-2] What effect do these planetary vibrations have on the desire bodies of humans?

1-3] What was the molten sea, being made by Hiram, going to be able to reflect?

1-4] Insert the appropriate word into each blank.

Hiram's plan to make the molten sea was frustrated because he knew only how to work with _________, and when traitors poured _______ into the mold, Hiram was unable to blend the two elements. Hiram's ancestor Cain gave Hiram _________ and ___________ which would enable him, when he had become skilled in their use, to bend the antagonistic elements and make the molten sea. In the present day there is a war going on in every person between the aqueous _________ body which tries to build and sustain the dense body, and the _________ body which stirs the person into activity which tends to destroy the tissues in the dense body. The instruments which will help us blend these elements are the cross of ___________, and the new word which is ____________.

Though question:

1-A] Just as Hiram gathered materials and melted them down to construct the molten sea, each one of us is gathering materials to build within ourself a molten sea. What type of materials do we need to build our own molten sea? What do we need to do to "melt down" and "purify" these materials?


Part 2

2-1] What effect does the singing of a hymn by a group of people have on the desire bodies of those people?

2-2] What type of emotion can cause one to congeal one's desire body into a steel colored, almost motionless shell of armor, which is impervious to outside inflience?

2-3] What type of emotion can cause the desire body to be full of little eddies, none of which is large enough to lead to action?

Thought Question:

2-A] How can someone who is full of fear and worry best be helped?


Part 3

3-1] When one person is angry at another person, what is the appearance of the desire forms created?

3-2] In the war zones it was observed that there were no people with congealed steel-colored desire bodies. Why?

3-3] How does death of a loved one in a war help a person to develop a sixth sense?

3-4] When a person is killed by a large explosion, what happens to his vital body?

3-5] What effect does being killed by a large explosion have on the after-death retrospection?


Part 4

4-1] Why do the prismatic ether atoms gathered by the seed atom extend farther beyond the periphery of the dense body of a child than of an adult?

4-2] The vital body contains prismatic ether atoms.

4-3] Which part of the vital body grows by service?

4-4] What determines the effects on us of what people say to us or about us?

4-5] In order to keep the desire body from running riot or congealing, what attitude must we cultivate?


Part 5

5-1] What effect does bathing in water have on the vital body?

5-2] How is the vital body restored after it becomes depleted?

5-3] Why should someone who is not in perfect health avoid excessive bathing?

5-4] What effect does remorse have on the life panorama stored in the seed atom in the heart?

5-5] How much remorse is needed to cleanse the seed atom from a given evil deed?

5-6] What effect does remorse have on the desire body?

5-7] After having felt appropriate remorse for a given deed and after having made restitution in so far as we are able, why should we then consider the incident closed and forget about it?


Prayer--A Magic Invocation

Part 1

1-1] What is the source of all power in the universe?

1-2] Where can a person go to escape from the presence of God?

1-3] With what attitude must we do our daily work if our prayers are to be effective?

1-4] Which of the following does not aid in the optimizing of the efficacy of collective prayer?

Thought question:

1-A] In what ways must worshippers be attuned if they are to effectively pray together?


Part 2

2-1] What three qualities are most necessary for the aspirant to have if his prayers are to have 'wings and power'?

2-2] What are the effects of prayers of praise and thanksgiving?

Thought question:

2-A] Should one, in prayer, ask God for gifts--either temporal or spiritual?


Practical Methods of Achieving Success

1. If some of the buds are pruned from a rose bush, what effect does this have on the growth and longevity of the bush?

2. During childhood, for what is the creative force generated within the body used?

3. After puberty, to what three possible uses may the creative force generated within the body be put?

4. Is use of the creative force for generation (production of offspring) legitimate? If so, under what circumstances?

5. What effect does frequent indulgence of the desire for sexual pleasure have on the link between the two lower ethers and the two higher ethers of the vital body?

6. What effect do we wish to produce on the link between the lower and higher parts of the vital body if we wish to learn to travel in our soul bodies?

7. Which of the following is not an effect of sending the creative force upward for regeneration?

Thought questions:

A. Why is health desirable?

B. What constitutes "success" in life?



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