Awake, ye men, out of your leaden slumber! Recognize the ignoble burden you bear, that weighs upon millions with enormous pressure. Throw it off! Is it worth bearing? Not for a single second!
Of what does it consist? Empty husks which the breath of Truth will scatter in the wind. You have wasted time and energy for nothing. Therefore burst the fetters that hold you down, and free yourselves at last!
The man who remains inwardly bound will always be a slave, even if he were a king.
You bind yourselves with all that you aspire to learn. Reflect: In acquiring knowledge you continuously force yourselves into alien forms thought out by others; you willingly adopt an alien conviction, making your own only what others have experienced within, for themselves. Consider: What applies to one does not apply to all! What helps one person may harm the other. Each individual must make his own way to perfection. The abilities he carries within him are his equipment for this. He must adjust himself to them and build upon them! Otherwise he will remain a stranger to his real self, will always stand beside what he has learned, which can never come to life in him. Thus he is barred from any gain. He will vegetate, all progress being impossible.
Listen, you who seriously aspire to Light and to Truth:
Each individual must inwardly experience the way to the Light, he must discover it himself if he wishes to be sure of the way. Only what a man experiences inwardly, what he perceives intuitively in all its variations, has he fully grasped!
Both sorrow and joy are constantly rapping at the door to encourage and arouse man to awaken spiritually. He is then very often freed for a few seconds from the trivialities of everyday life, and in happiness or grief vaguely senses his affinity with the spirit pulsating through all that lives.
And everything is life, nothing is dead! Happy is he who seizes and holds on to such moments of affinity, using them to soar upwards. In so doing he must not keep to rigid forms, but everyone must develop himself, from within.
Have pity on the scoffers and all who are still strangers to spiritual life. Do not be angry with them when they become sarcastic; for they are only to be pitied. They stand before the great Work of Creation, which offers us so much, like drunkards, like sick people. Like blind men who grope their way through life on earth without seeing all the splendor around them!
These poor people are confused, they are asleep; for how can anyone still affirm, for instance, that only what he can see exists? That where his eyes perceive nothing, there is no life? That with his physical death he himself also ceases to exist, all because in his blindness he could not, up till now, convince himself to the contrary through his eyes? Does he not already know from many things how very limited is the capacity of the eye? Does he not yet know that it is related to the capacity of his brain, which is bound to time and space? That because of this he cannot recognize with his eyes anything rising above time and space? Has this logical, intellectual reasoning not yet become clear to any of these scoffers? Spiritual life, let us also call it the beyond, is after all merely something that stands completely above the earthly division of time and space, and therefore requires a similar nature in order to be recognized.
Yet our eyes do not even see all that can be classified within time and space. Think of a drop of water, which appears immaculately pure to every eye; and which on examination under the microscope is shown to contain millions of living organisms mercilessly fighting and destroying each other. Are there not sometimes bacteria in both water and air that have the power to destroy human bodies, and that are imperceptible to the human eye? But they become visible by means of powerful instruments. Who then will still dare to maintain that there is nothing new and as yet unknown to be seen when the power of these instruments is further increased? Increase their power a thousand fold, a million fold, and there will be no end to what may be seen, but ever new worlds which previously you could neither see nor feel, yet which nevertheless existed, will unfold before you. Logical thinking also leads to the same conclusions about everything the sciences have hitherto been able to collect. There is a prospect of continuous progress and development, but never of an end.
What, then, is the beyond? The word confuses many. The beyond is simply all that cannot be perceived by earthly means. And earthly means are the eyes, the brain and all other parts of the body, also the instruments that help them to do their work still more accurately and precisely, and to extend its scope. Therefore one could say: the beyond embraces all that is beyond the perceptive capacity of our physical eyes. But there is no division between this world and the beyond! Nor any gulf! All is united, as is the whole of Creation. One power streams through this world and the beyond, everything lives and works from this one life stream, and is thus quite inseparably linked. Thus the following becomes clear: If one part of it sickens the effect must be felt in the other part, as with a physical body. Through the attraction of homogeneous species, diseased matter from this other part will then flow across to the sick part, thus further aggravating the illness. But should such a disorder become incurable, it will absolutely be necessary forcibly to sever the ailing member, if the whole is not to suffer permanently. And the danger compels healthy reciprocal action which, through a wrong mindset is made more difficult and sometimes inconceivable.
For this reason change your attitude. There is no such thing as this world and the beyond, but only one united existence! The idea of a division has been invented solely by man, because he is unable to see everything, and imagines himself to be the center and focal point of the surroundings visible to him. Yet his sphere of action is greater. With the erroneous idea of a division, however, he forcibly limits himself, hinders his progress, and allows his imagination to run riot and conjure up grotesque pictures. Is it surprising then, if as a consequence many only smile incredulously, while others adopt an unwholesome form of worship that becomes servile or degenerates into fanaticism? Who can then still be astonished if some people develop a nervous fear, even terror and consternation? Away with all this! Why these torments? Break down this barrier which human error sought to erect, but which never existed! Your past wrong attitude also gives you a false foundation, on which you vainly endeavor continually to build up the true belief, that is, inner conviction. You consequently encounter points, obstacles, which must make you waver and doubt, or compel you to tear down the whole structure, perhaps abandoning everything out of despair or resentment. The loss is then yours alone, because this is not progress for you, but standstill or retrogression. The road which in any case you must follow one day will only be lengthened thereby.
When you have at last perceived Creation as a complete whole, as it is, and do not separate this world from the beyond, then you have found the direct path, the true goal draws nearer and the ascent gives you joy and satisfaction. You are then much better able to feel and understand the reciprocal actions pulsating warmly through this uniform whole, since all activity is driven and sustained by the one power. Then the Light of Truth will dawn upon you!
You will soon realize that many who scoff only do so out of indifference and indolence, just because it would require a certain effort to throw over existing ideas and learning and erect something new. Others would find it interferes with their customary mode of living and thus becomes uncomfortable for them. Leave all such alone, do not argue, but offer your knowledge helpfully to those who are not satisfied with fleeting pleasures, to those who seek for something more in their earthly lives than merely to fill their stomachs like animals. Do not then bury your talent, impart to them the recognition you are granted; for in giving, your knowledge will in turn be enriched and strengthened.
An Eternal Law operates in the Universe: That only in giving can one receive where lasting values are concerned! Like a sacred legacy of its Creator, this Law deeply permeates the whole of Creation. To give unselfishly, to help where help is needed, and to understand both the suffering and the weaknesses of your fellow-men, means to receive, because it is the simple and true way to the Highest!
And to will this seriously brings you immediate help and strength! By one single, honest and ardent wish to do good, the wall which your thoughts have hitherto erected as a barrier is cleaved as with a flaming sword from the other side that is now still invisible to you; for you are indeed one with the beyond which you so fear, deny or long for, you are closely and inextricably linked with it.
Try it, for your thoughts are the messengers you send forth, which return heavily laden with similar thought-forms, good or evil as the case may be. This actually happens. Remember that your thoughts are realities that shape themselves spiritually, often becoming forms outliving the earth-life of your body, then much will become clear to you. Thus it is quite rightly said: For their works will pursue them! Thought-creations are works which will one day await you! Which form light or dark rings around you, which you must traverse in order to enter the spiritual world. Neither protection nor intervention can help in this, because the decision lies with you. Therefore you yourself must take the first step in everything. This is not difficult; it lies solely in the volition, which expresses itself through thoughts. Thus you carry heaven or hell within you.
You are free to decide, but you are then irrevocably subject to the consequences of your thoughts, of your volition! You yourselves create these consequences, and that is why I exhort you: Keep the hearth of your thoughts pure, you will sow peace and earn happiness!
Do not forget that every thought you produce and send out attracts all similar thoughts on its way, or attaches itself to others, thus continually increasing in strength and finally also reaching a goal, a human brain which is perhaps off its guard just for a moment, thereby offering such floating thought-forms the opportunity to penetrate and operate. Just consider what responsibility will fall upon you if at some time or other the thought becomes a deed through some person whom it was able to influence! This responsibility already arises through the fact that every single thought keeps a constant link with you just as if by an unbreakable thread, so as to return with the strength gained on its way, either to burden you or to bring you joy, according to the kind you produced.
Thus we stand in the world of thoughts, and according to your way of thinking at the time make room for similar thought-forms. Do not therefore waste the power of thinking, but for defense and for keen thinking, which goes forth like spears and affects everything. Thus create out of your thoughts the Holy Spear which fights for the good, heals wounds and furthers the whole of Creation!
Adjust your thinking, therefore, towards activity and progress! To do this you must shake many a pillar supporting traditional ideas. Often it is some concept wrongly understood that hinders man from finding the right way. He must return to the starting-point. One flash of light will destroy the whole structure so painfully erected over decades, and following a shorter or longer period of stunned inertia, he will make a fresh start! He must do so, for there is no standing still in the Universe. Let us take, for instance, the concept of time:
Time passes! Times change! We hear this said everywhere, and automatically a picture arises in the spirit: We see changing times marching past us!
This picture becomes so en-grained that for many it also forms a solid foundation on which they continue to build, adjusting their whole research and speculation to it. Before long, however, they encounter obstacles which contradict each other. However hard they try, not everything will fit in. They lose their way, leaving gaps that can no longer be filled in spite of all their pondering. Many then believe that in such places faith must act as a substitute for the failure of logical reasoning. But this is wrong! Man should not believe in things he cannot grasp! He must try to understand them; for otherwise he opens wide the door to errors, and with errors the Truth is always debased.
To believe without understanding is just indolence, mental laziness! It does not lead the spirit upwards, but presses it down. Look upward, therefore, we are to test and investigate. Not for nothing does the urge to do so lie within us.
Time! Does it really pass? Why does one encounter obstacles when thinking more deeply about this axiom? Simply because the fundamental idea is wrong; for time stands still! We, however, hurry towards it! We rush into time, which is eternal, and seek the Truth in it. Time stands still. It remains the same, today, yesterday and a thousand years hence! Only the forms change. We plunge into time, to cull from her records for the purpose of enriching our knowledge from what has been collected there! For time has lost nothing, it has recorded all things. It has not changed, because it is eternal. You too, Oh man, are always just the same, whether you appear young or old! You remain what you are! Have you not already sensed this yourself? Do you not clearly notice a difference between the form and your “ego?” Between the body that is subject to change and yourself, the spirit, which is eternal?
You seek the Truth! What is Truth? What you still feel to be truth today you will recognize even tomorrow as error, in which, however, you will later again discover grains of truth! For the manifestations also change their forms. Thus your seeking continues, yet amid these changes you mature!
Truth, however, remains always the same, it does not change, for it is eternal! And being eternal it can never be clearly and truly grasped by the earthly senses, which are familiar only with the change of forms! Therefore become spiritual! Free from all earthly thoughts, and then you will possess the Truth, will stand in the Truth, and will bathe in it, constantly surrounded by its pure Light, for it will envelop you completely. As soon as you become spiritual, you will swim in it.
Then you need no longer study so painstakingly what science has to offer, nor need you fear errors, but you will already have the answer to every question in the Truth itself. Moreover, you will no longer have any questions, because without thinking you will know all things, will embrace all things, because your spirit will live in the pure Light, in the Truth!
Therefore become spiritually free! Burst all the fetters that hold you down! If obstacles present themselves welcome them joyfully; for they show you the way to freedom and strength! Look upon them as gifts from which you will benefit, and you will overcome them with ease.
Either such obstacles are put in your way to teach and develop you, in which case you add to the means of your ascent, or they are the reaction to some debt you have incurred, which you can redeem in this way and thus free yourselves. In either case they help you to advance. Therefore set out to meet them with a bold heart, it is for your own good!
It is foolish to talk of reverses of fortune or of trials. Every conflict and every sorrow means progress. Men are thus offered the chance to dispel the shadows of former misdeeds; for not a single farthing can be remitted to the individual, because here also the cycle of the Eternal Laws in the Universe is inflexible. The Creative Father-Will reveals Himself in them, and thereby forgives us and dispels all Darkness.
So clearly and wisely is everything arranged that the most minute swerving from this would have to plunge the world into ruins.
But what of the man who has very much to redeem from former times, must he not then despair, will he not tremble at the thought of the misdeeds he has to atone for?
As soon as he honestly wills he can hopefully and gladly begin with it, free from all worry! For a balance can be brought about by the counter-current of the power of good volition, which like other thought-forms takes life in the spiritual, forging a strong weapon capable of removing every dark burden, every weight, and leading the “ego” towards the Light!
Power of volition! A mighty force, unsuspected by so many; attracting similar powers like a never-failing magnet, it grows like an avalanche. Uniting with similar spiritual forces, it works backwards, again reaching the starting-point, thus the origin, or rather, the producer, uplifting him high to the Light, or pressing him deeper into the mud and filth! Exactly in accordance with what the author himself originally willed. He who is acquainted with this steady, never-failing reciprocal effect inherent in all Creation, which manifests and unfolds itself with absolute certainty, knows how to make use of it; he must love it and fear it! Gradually the invisible world around him becomes alive to him; for he feels its influence so distinctly that it silences all doubt. If he only pays a little attention to it he must intuitively sense the strong waves of ceaseless activity that affect him from out of the great Universe. Finally he feels himself the focal point of strong currents, like a lens that absorbs the rays of the sun, concentrating them on one point and producing a combustive power which can burst forth to singe and destroy, but also to heal, animate and bring blessing; and likewise can start a blazing fire! And we, too, are such lenses, capable through our volition of gathering these invisible power-currents that reach us, and sending them forth as a united force for good or evil, to bring blessing or indeed destruction to mankind. Through this we can and should light a blazing fire in the souls of men, a fire of enthusiasm for the good, for the noble and for perfection!
This only requires a strength of volition, which in a certain sense makes man lord of Creation and master of his own fate. It is man’s own volition which brings him destruction or redemption, reward or retribution, with inexorable certainty!
Do not fear then, that this knowledge will alienate you from the Creator, or weaken your present faith. On the contrary! The knowledge of these Eternal Laws, which we can put to use, makes the entire work of Creation appear even more sublime to us. Its magnitude forces him who searches more deeply to his knees in veneration!
Man will then never wish for evil things. He will joyfully grasp at the best support that exists for him: Love! Love for the whole wonderful Creation, and love for his neighbor, that he too may be led upward to the glory of this enjoyment, of this consciousness of power!