Modern psychic science! What gathers beneath this banner! What an odd collection of proponents and opponents! A playground for earnest seeking, little knowledge, great plans, vanity and stupidity; in many cases for empty boasting, and still more for the most unscrupulous commercialism. Out of this confusion there frequently blossom envy and boundless hatred, which finally results in the basest kind of malicious vindictiveness.
In such a state of affairs it is naturally not surprising if many people shun all these mad activities, fearing to poison themselves by coming into contact with them. They are not altogether wrong; for countless adherents of psychic science show anything but enticing, still less attractive behavior; on the contrary, everything about them warns others to exercise the greatest caution.
It is strange that the whole field of so-called psychic science, which is often confused by the malicious or ignorant with ghost science, is today still considered a sort of open territory where everyone may go about doing his own brand of mischief, unhindered, even unrestrained and with impunity.
It is considered to be so. But experiences have already very often taught that it is not so!
Countless pioneers in this field who were foolhardy enough to venture a few steps forward in their investigations, equipped with only an imagined knowledge, have become helpless victims of their carelessness. The only sad thing about this is that all these victims fell without bringing even the slightest benefit to humanity!
Now each of these cases should really have proved that the way followed is not the right one, because it brings only harm and even destruction, but no blessing. Yet with a strange persistence these false ways are retained, and fresh victims are continually sacrificed; a great clamor is raised over every small speck of dust that is discovered and newly recognized, although self-evident in the mighty Creation, and innumerable treatises are written which must repel many serious seekers, because the merely uncertain groping therein is clearly evident.
All investigations until now should really be called dangerous pastimes, based on good intentions.
The field of psychic science, which is considered open territory, can never be entered upon with impunity as long as one does not first know how to take into account the spiritual Laws to their full extent. Every conscious or unconscious opposition to these Laws, that is “non-observance” of them, which is equivalent to transgression, must through their inevitable reciprocal action strike the bold, frivolous or careless person who does not or cannot observe them strictly.
Trying to explore the non-earthly with earthly means and possibilities is no different from placing an undeveloped child, as yet unfamiliar with earthly dangers, alone in a jungle, where only a man adequately equipped for it and at the height of his strength, exercising greatest precaution, can have any prospect of getting through unharmed.
It is no different for modern psychic scientists and their present methods, even if they believe their intentions to be absolutely serious, and if they really take great risks for the sole purpose of gaining knowledge to help men advance across a boundary, before which they have long been waiting and knocking.
Even today these researchers stand before this boundary like children, helpless and groping, unaware of the dangers that may rush towards them at any moment, or pour forth through them on to others if their groping efforts breach the natural defenses, or open a door that for many had better remain closed.
All this is nothing but recklessness, not boldness, as long as those desiring to forge ahead are not absolutely certain that they will be able to completely and instantly master all possible dangers which may arise, not only for themselves but also for others.
Those “investigators” who engage in experiments act most irresponsibly of all. Attention has already been repeatedly called to the crime of hypnotism. *(Lecture No. 35: The crime of hypnotism) Investigators experimenting in yet other ways in most cases, knowing nothing themselves – for otherwise they would surely not do it – make the regrettable mistake of putting other persons who are very sensitive or have mediumistic abilities, into either a magnetic or even hypnotic sleep, in order to bring them nearer to the physically invisible influences of the “other world” in the hope of thereby hearing and observing various things which would not be possible if the experimental subject were in a fully day-conscious condition.
In at least ninety-five out of a hundred cases they thus expose such persons to great dangers, which they are not yet ready to cope with; for every kind of artificial help towards deeper penetration is a binding of the soul, which forces it into a state of sensitiveness that goes beyond what its natural development would permit.
The result is that the soul of a victim of such experiments suddenly stands in a region where he is robbed of his natural protection by the artificial training, or for which he does not have his natural protection, which can only be formed through personal, sound inner development.
One must picture such a pitiable person as standing naked, tied to a stake and pushed far out into dangerous territory as bait, in order to attract and be affected by the as yet unknown life and activity there, so that he can report on it; or so that various manifestations will also become visible to others, through his co-operation by producing certain earthly substances from his body.
Such an experimented upon person is able at times, through the connection his projected soul must maintain with his earthly body, to report all that happens as through a telephone, and transmit it to the observer.
However, should the outpost thus artificially pushed forward be attacked in some way, he cannot defend himself because he lacks his natural protection. He is exposed helplessly, because, with the aid of others, he has been artificially pushed into territory where, according to the state of his own development, he does not belong yet or not at all. The so-called researcher, however, whose thirst for knowledge pushed him into it, can do just as little to help him, since he himself is an inexperienced stranger in the place whence the danger comes, and therefore is unable to provide any kind of protection.
This is how researchers unwittingly become criminals, who cannot be prosecuted for this by earthly justice. However, this does not prevent the spiritual Laws from exercising their reciprocal action with full force, and chaining the investigator to his victim.
Many a person used for experiments has suffered ethereal attacks which in due course, often quickly, or immediately, have a gross-material-physical effect as well, so that physical illness or death follows, but without eliminating the harm done to the soul.
The observers who call themselves investigators, however, and who push their victims into unknown regions, in most cases stand during such hazardous experiments under good earthly cover through the protection of their body and day-consciousness.
They seldom share simultaneously in the dangers confronting the test persons in a way that such dangers immediately pass on to them. But then, at their physical death, i.e. the transition into the Ethereal World, because they are chained to their victims they must inevitably go wherever these may have been pulled, so that only together with them they may slowly begin to ascend once more.
The artificial projection of a soul into another region must not always be taken to mean that the soul leaves the body and floats away to another region. In most cases it just remains in the body. But the magnetic or hypnotic sleep makes the soul unnaturally sensitive, so that it responds to much finer currents and influences than would be possible in its natural state. It is self-evident that in this unnatural condition the full strength is not available, which the soul would otherwise possess if it had attained this point through its own inner development, and would therefore stand firmly and securely on this new and more refined soil, bringing an equal strength to bear on all influences. Because of this lack of sound full vigor, the artificiality produces an inequality which is bound to entail disturbances. As a result all intuitive perceptions become absolutely blurred, giving rise to distortions of reality.
The cause of the false reports and countless errors is again always given only by the investigators themselves, through their harmful assistance. That is also why in the many “investigated” matters from the occult field already available so much does not accord with strict logic. They contain countless errors, which until now could not yet be recognized as such.
Absolutely nothing that could be of the slightest use or blessing to mankind is gained by these obviously wrong methods.
In reality, only that which helps men upwards, or at least points a path thereto, can be of any use to them. Such experiments, however, completely rule out any such thing from the outset and forever! While an investigator, through artificial assistance, may ultimately be able to push some sensitive or mediumistic human being out of his earthly gross material body into the Ethereal World nearest to him, but not a hair’s breadth above the region to which he belongs in any case by virtue of his inner development. On the contrary, through artificial assistance he cannot even bring him that far, but always only to the environment nearest to all that is earthly.
However, this environment nearest to the earthly can only contain all that of the beyond which is still closely earthbound, that which remains chained to the earth by its inferiority, its vice and passion.
Naturally, now and then something more advanced will also temporarily dwell in this environment. But this is not always to be expected. Nothing exalted can be there, purely by virtue of the Natural Laws. Sooner would the world be turned upside down, or... the soil for anchoring the Light would have to be present in a human being!
It is hardly to be assumed, however, that this should be found either in an experimental subject or in such a groping investigator. Thus the danger and uselessness of all experiments remain.
Moreover it is certain that without the presence of a highly advanced human being, purifying anything of a coarser nature, something of a really higher nature cannot approach a medium, much less speak through him. Materializations *(turning gross-material) from higher circles are altogether out of the question, to say nothing of such popular pastimes as knocking, movements of objects, and so on. The gap is far too wide to be easily bridged.
Even with a medium, all these things can only be carried out by such souls in the beyond as are still very closely connected with matter. Were it possible otherwise, that is to say, if an exalted being could so easily make contact with humanity, then there would have been no need whatever for Christ to become man, but He could have accomplished His Mission without this sacrifice. *(Lecture No. 14: The Redeemer) The souls of men today, however, are certainly no more highly developed than at the time of Jesus on earth, so that it cannot be assumed to be easier to establish connection with the Light now than it was in those days.
Now, psychic scientists declare, of course, that their primary aim is to establish the fact of the existence of life in the beyond, and especially the fact that life continues after physical death; and that in view of the doubt prevailing today very strong and forceful arguments are needed, hence earthly tangible proof, to breach the defenses of the adversaries.
But this reasoning does not justify the repeated endangering of human souls in such a wanton way! Besides, there is really no compelling need to set about convincing malevolent opponents at all costs! Surely it is well known, and already made clear in Christ’s statements, that they would not be prepared to believe even if an angel came directly from Heaven to proclaim the Truth to them. As soon as the angel had gone they would simply insist that it was a case of mass hallucination and no angel at all, or trump up some other excuse. And if any thing or any body were brought, which or who remains in an earthly state, i.e. neither vanishing nor becoming invisible, there would again be other excuses, just because it would then be too earthly for those who do not wish to believe in a beyond. They would not hesitate to declare such proof a swindle, the person a dreamer, a fanatic, or a swindler. Whether it be too earthly or too unearthly, or both together, they will always have something to find fault with or to have doubts about. And if they know of absolutely no other way, they will fling mud, proceed to vigorous attacks, and will not shrink from violence.
Therefore, no sacrifices should be made in order to convince these doubters, still less, however, for many of the so-called adherents! With a strange kind of arrogance, these think that, due to their generally rather vague and fantastic belief in life in the beyond, they can make certain demands on it in order to “see” or “experience” something. They expect from their guides other-worldly signs as a reward for their good behavior. The expectations they harbor, which they consider to be their natural due, are often as utterly ridiculous as the knowing, benevolently forgiving smile with which they mask their real ignorance. It is poison to stage performances for these masses; for since they imagine they know so much, the experiments are little more to them than well-earned hours of entertainment, in which those in the beyond are expected to act as music-hall performers.
Now, leaving aside the big experiments, let us consider small ones, such as table-turning. These are by no means as harmless as people imagine, but because of the extreme ease with which these practices can spread they are a very grave danger!
Everyone should be warned against this! Enlightened persons must turn away in horror when they see how casually these things are treated. How many adherents seek to display their “knowledge” in various circles by suggesting experiments in table-turning, or by introducing into families, with smiles or mysterious whispers, the almost playful practice with letters and a glass, or some other aid, which, when a hand is laid on it lightly, glides or is drawn toward various letters, thus forming words. With uncanny rapidity all this has developed into party games carried out amid laughter, derision and at times a pleasantly scary sensation.
Every day older and younger ladies, in families or alone, are seated at little tables before a piece of cardboard on which letters have been drawn, which, if possible, must even be of a very special design, so as to provide the hocus-pocus stimulating the imagination. Actually this is quite unnecessary; for the object would also be accomplished without it, if the person concerned has even a slight tendency towards these things. And there are countless numbers of them!
Modern psychic scientists and leaders of occult societies are glad of this, because real words and sentences are formed which the performer has neither consciously nor unconsciously thought of. He must become convinced through this and increase the number of adherents of the “occult.”
Publications of occult societies point to this, speakers support it, and appliances are made and sold to facilitate all this nonsense, and thus almost the entire occult world acts as a well-functioning henchmen of the Darkness, in the honest conviction of being priests of the Light!
These occurrences alone prove the utter ignorance that lies in occult endeavors of this kind! They show that of all these people no one really sees! It must not be regarded as proof to the contrary if now and then some good medium has developed from such beginnings. Or, rather, to be more correct, if a good medium in the early stages was temporarily attracted to them, this must not be regarded as proof to the contrary.
The few people predestined for this have in their own natural development a totally different protection, carefully watching over every step, which others do not enjoy. However, this protection is only effective in natural self-development, without any artificial aids! For protection lies, as a matter of course, only in anything that is natural.
As soon as there is the slightest help, whether through exercises by the person himself or from another source in the form of magnetic sleep or hypnotism, it becomes unnatural, and is thus no longer completely in harmony with the Natural Laws which alone can grant protection. When ignorance, as it exists everywhere today is added to this, then it becomes disastrous. Volition alone will never replace ability when it comes to action. But no one should exceed his abilities.
It is of course possible that among the hundreds of thousands who engage in this dangerous pastime there may be here and there one who really escapes unpunished and enjoys good protection. There are also many who will only be harmed in such a way as is not yet apparent on earth; and not until they pass on must they suddenly realize the follies they have actually indulged in. But there are also many who already bear physical evidence of harm, although they will never recognize the real cause during their life on earth.
For this reason the ethereal and spiritual process occurring during these pastimes must be explained. It is as simple as everything in Creation, and by no means complicated, yet more difficult than many imagine.
In the present state of the earth the Darkness has, through the volition of mankind, gained the upper hand over everything material. Thus in all material things it stands to all intents and purposes on its own familiar ground, and can therefore manifest to the fullest extent in the material. Hence it is in its element there, fighting on soil with which it is well acquainted. It therefore, for the time being, dominates over the Light in all that is material, i.e. gross material.
The consequence is that in all things material the power of the Darkness becomes greater than that of the Light. In such pastimes however, as table-turning, etc., the Light, i.e. what is exalted, has absolutely no part. At best we can speak of evil, thus darkness, or of something better, i.e. more luminous.
When a person makes use of a table, or a glass, or indeed of any gross material object, he thus enters upon the battle-ground which is familiar to the Darkness, the soil which all Darkness calls its own. From the start he thereby yields to the Darkness a power against which he cannot put up adequate protection.
Let us for a moment consider a spiritist pastime, or simply a party game with a table, and follow the spiritual, or rather the ethereal happenings.
When one or more persons approach a table for the purpose of contacting through it someone in the beyond, so as to either have them make knocking noises, or, more commonly, move the table, so as to enable them to form words from these signs, then, through the connection with material substance, it is first and foremost also the Darkness which is attracted and will take over the manifestations. They often use high-sounding language with great skill, and seek to answer the thoughts of men, which they can read quite easily, in the manner these desire; but if serious questions arise they invariably lead them astray and, if it is done often, try to gradually bring them under their ever-increasing influence, and so to slowly but surely drag them down. Yet they very skillfully leave those that they mislead in the belief that they are ascending.
But, if perhaps at the very start, or at some other opportunity, a relative or friend who has passed over communicates through the table, which happens very frequently, the deception is accomplished even more easily. People will recognize that it must really be a specific friend who manifests, and then will believe that it is always he when utterances are transmitted through the table and the name of the friend is given as the author.
But this is not the case! Not only does the ever watchful Darkness make cunning use of the name to make deceptions appear as authentic as possible, and gain the confidence of the questioners; but it even goes so far that a dark entity will interfere in the middle of a sentence begun by the real friend, and purposely give it a false ending. This leads to the scarcely known fact that two have taken part in one smoothly and flowingly spoken sentence. First it is the real, and perhaps quite luminous, therefore purer friend, and then a dark entity of evil volition, without the questioner noticing anything of it.
The results of this are easy to imagine. The trusting person is deceived and his faith shaken. The opponent uses the incident to support his ridicule and doubts, and occasionally to make violent attacks on the whole subject. But in fact both are wrong, which can only be attributed to the ignorance still prevailing in the whole matter.
What occurs, however, takes place in all naturalness: If a more luminous and real friend is at the table wishing to comply with the wish of the questioner and to manifest himself, and a dark spirit crowds to the table, then the more luminous one must retreat, since the darker one can develop greater strength through the material substance of the table acting as intermediary, because at the present time all that is material is the actual domain of the Darkness.
The mistake is made by the person who chooses material objects, and thus from the outset provides unequal ground. What is dense, heavy, and therefore dark, by virtue of its density, does stand nearer to gross matter than what is luminous, pure and lighter, and it develops greater strength through the closer connection.
On the other hand something more luminous but still able to manifest through a material object, also still possesses a certain degree of density corresponding with the object; otherwise a link with physical matter for the purpose of any kind of communication would no longer be possible at all. This in itself requires a closer approach to matter, which in turn involves the possibility of contamination as soon as the connection with the Darkness is made through a material object. To avoid this danger the more luminous one has no option but to withdraw quickly from the material, i.e. from the table or some other aid, as soon as a dark entity reaches for it, in order to cut off the intermediary link, which would form a bridge over the natural gulf which separates and thereby protects.
In such cases it is unavoidable for those in the beyond to relinquish the person experimenting through the table to the mercy of base influences. Indeed, his own action proves that he did not will it differently; for ignorance of the Laws cannot protect him here either.
For many these processes will clarify much that has hitherto been inexplicable, numerous puzzling contradictions will be solved, and it is to be hoped that in future many people will leave such dangerous toys alone!
Dangers connected with all other experiments which are much bigger and more powerful can now be described in the same detailed manner. But for the time being it should suffice to mention these most common and widespread instances.
Only one other danger must yet be mentioned. Through this kind of questioning and desperately seeking for replies and advice, people make themselves very dependent and lose their self-reliance. This is the opposite of life’s purpose on earth.
In every respect it is the wrong course! It only brings harm, no benefit. It is a groveling on the ground where there is danger of constantly encountering loathsome vermin, of wasting one’s strength, and of finally collapsing, exhausted, by the wayside... all for nothing!
With this “desire to investigate” however, much damage is also done to those in the beyond!
Many dark entities are thereby offered an opportunity, indeed a direct temptation to commit evil and to burden themselves with fresh guilt, which they could not so easily do otherwise. Others are held back in their upward striving through the constant attachments formed by such wishes and thoughts. In clearly observing the nature of these investigations it often appears so childishly obstinate, so completely saturated with a most ruthless egotism, and withal so clumsy, that one must shake one’s head and ask oneself how anyone could possibly want to open up to the general public a region of which he himself does not even know the first thing.
It is also wrong for all these investigations to take place before the general public. To do so opens the way for fantastic dreamers and charlatans, making it difficult for mankind to gain confidence.
This has never happened in any other field. And every research whose complete success is now acknowledged was subject to numerous failures during the preceding period of research. But the public were not allowed to take part in them to the same extent! They become fatigued by them, and in due course lose all interest. The result is that when the Truth is finally discovered the major impetus for a revolutionary and sweeping enthusiasm was bound to be lost beforehand. Mankind can no longer rouse itself to an exultant joy, so convincing that it carries everything along with it.
Setbacks from the pursuance of wrong courses become sharp weapons in the hands of many enemies, who in the course of time are able to instill such distrust in the minds of hundreds of thousands of people that, when the Truth emerges, these unfortunates will no longer desire to examine it seriously for sheer fear of a new delusion! They close their ears, which they would otherwise have opened, and so they miss the last span of time that could still grant them the opportunity to ascend to the Light. Thereby the Darkness will have won a further victory, thanks to the researchers who extended their hands for it and who gladly and proudly set themselves up as leaders of modern psychic sciences!