There is many a man who lifts up his eyes seeking for Light and Truth. His longing is great, but very often he lacks earnest volition! More than half of the seekers are not genuine. They bring their own preconceived opinion. Should they have to change it in the slightest degree, then they would much rather reject all that is new to them, even if it contains the Truth.
Thus thousands must fall because, entangled as they are in erroneous convictions, they have restricted the freedom of movement which they need to swing themselves upward to salvation.
There are always some who imagine they have already grasped all that is right. They have no intention of subjecting themselves to a strict examination based on what they have heard and read.
Naturally I am not addressing such people!
Nor do I speak to churches and political parties, to religious orders, sects and societies, but only in all simplicity to man himself. Far be it from me to pull down what exists; for I am building up and completing the answers to questions as yet unsolved, questions that must arise in everyone as soon as he thinks even a little.
Only one basic condition is essential for every listener: earnest seeking for the Truth. He should examine the words and let them come to life inwardly, without regard to the speaker. Otherwise he derives no benefit. All who do not aspire to this are simply wasting their time from the start.
It is incredible how naively the great majority of people cling tenaciously to their ignorance on such questions as whence they come, what they are, and whither they go!
Birth and death, the inseparable poles of all life on earth, should not be a secret to man.
There is a great deal of contradiction in the views of what constitutes the inner core of man. This is the result of the morbid self-aggrandizement of the earth-dwellers, who presumptuously boast that their inner core is Divine!
Look at humanity! Can you discover anything Divine in them? Such a foolish statement should be branded as blasphemy, because it is a debasement of Divinity.
Man does not carry a speck of Divinity within him!
This idea is just morbid presumption, the cause of which is simply the consciousness of being unable to understand. Where is the man who can honestly say that for him such a belief has also become his conviction? Whoever seriously reflects within himself must deny it. He will feel distinctly that it is only a longing and a desire to bear something Divine within him, but not a certainty! It is quite right to say that man carries within him a spark of God. But this spark of God is spirit! It is not a part of Divinity.
The term spark is a perfectly correct designation. A spark develops and sprays out without transporting or bearing within it anything of the nature of its originator. It is the same here. A spark of God is not itself Divine.
When such mistakes with regard to the origin of a being can already be found, then failure must ensue regarding the whole development! If I have built on a wrong foundation, then one day the whole structure must totter and fall.
It is, after all, the origin which provides support for everyone’s entire being and development! Anyone who seeks to reach far beyond his origin, as usually happens, and reaches for something he cannot grasp, thereby loses all support in the quite natural course of events.
If, for instance, I reach for the branch of a tree whose material earthly nature is similar to my earthly body, I gain support from this branch and can thus swing myself up on it.
But if I reach beyond this branch, then I cannot find support in the different consistency of the air, and therefore... cannot pull myself up! Surely this is clear enough.
It is exactly the same with the inner consistency of man, called the soul, and its core, the spirit.
If this spirit wishes to have the essential support that it needs from its origin, then it must of course not seek to reach into the Divine. That would be unnatural; for the Divine lies much too far above it, and is of an entirely different nature!
And yet, in his conceit, man seeks contact at this point which he can never attain, and he thereby interrupts natural development. His wrong desire is like a dam forming an obstruction between himself and his necessary supply of power from the origin. He cuts himself off from it.
Therefore away with such errors! Only then can the human spirit develop its full power, which today it still heedlessly disregards, and become what it can and should be i.e., a ruler in Creation! But mark you well, only in Creation, not standing above it.
Only Divinity stands above all Creation. —
God Himself, the Origin of all Being and Life, is, just as the word says, Divine! Man, however, the fact is not unknown, was created by His Spirit!
Man is thus not directly from out of God, but rather from His Spirit! Divine and spiritual are not one and the same. Spirit is the Will of God. Only out of this Will did the first Creation came into being, not however out of the Divine! Do let us keep to this simple fact; it provides the possibility for a better understanding.
By way of comparison, just picture your own will. It is an act, but not part of man himself; otherwise man would in time dissolve in his many acts of will. There would be nothing left of him whatever.
It is no different with God! His Will created Paradise! But His Will is the Spirit, designated as the “Holy Spirit.” Paradise, again, was only the work of the Spirit, not part of the Spirit Itself. There is a gradation downwards in this. The Creative Holy Spirit, that is, the Living Will of God, was not absorbed in His Creation. He did not even give a part of Himself to it, but He Himself remained wholly outside Creation. The Bible already states this quite clearly and explicitly with the words: “And the Spirit of God moved above the face of the waters,” not God Himself personally! There is, after all, a difference. Thus man does not carry within him anything of the Holy Spirit Itself, but only of the spirit which is a work of the Holy Spirit, an act.
Instead of considering this fact, man tries with all his might to form a gap here already! Just consider the prevalent conception of the First Creation, of Paradise! It absolutely had to be on this earth. The small human mind thereby compressed the developments of millions of years into its own sphere, limited by space and time, and imagined itself to be the centre and axis of all cosmic events. As a result he readily lost the way to the actual origin of life. In place of this clear path, of which he no longer had a complete view, his religious conceptions needed a substitute, if he were not to designate himself as the creator of all being and life, and thus as God. This substitute was provided by the term “faith!” And the word “faith” is what all of mankind has suffered from until now! What is more, this misunderstood word, which was meant to supplement all that was lost, became a barrier which caused total failure!
Faith is satisfactory only to the indolent. And it is faith that the scoffers catch hold of. And the word “faith” wrongly interpreted, is the barrier which today obstructs the road to mankind’s progress.
Faith is not meant to be the cloak generously covering all the inertia of indolent thinking which, like a sleeping-sickness, gradually descends upon and paralyses the spirit of man! In reality faith must become conviction. Conviction however demands life, and the keenest examination!
Where even one gap, one unsolved mystery remains, conviction becomes impossible. Therefore no one can have genuine faith so long as he has an unanswered question.
Already the expression “blind faith” allows the unsoundness to be recognized!
Faith must be alive, as Christ already demanded, otherwise it serves no purpose. To be alive, however, means to bestir oneself, to weigh and also to examine! It does not mean the apathetic acceptance of thoughts of others. To believe blindly clearly means not to understand. What a person does not understand cannot benefit him spiritually, for through lack of understanding it cannot come to life within him.
But whatever he does not fully experience within can never become his own! And only what is his own helps him to ascend.
After all, no one can walk and go forward along a road containing great yawning clefts. Spiritually man must come to a halt where he cannot advance knowingly. This fact is irrefutable and no doubt easily understood. Hence he who wishes to advance spiritually must awaken!
He can never proceed on his path to the Light of Truth while asleep! Nor with a bandage or a veil over his eyes.
The Creator wants His human beings to be seeing in Creation. To be seeing, however, means to be knowing! And knowledge does not go with blind faith. Only indolence and slothful thinking do, but not greatness!
The advantage of the ability to think entails the duty to investigate!
In order to avoid all of this, man, out of indolence, simply so belittled the great Creator as to ascribe to Him arbitrary actions as proof of His Omnipotence.
He who will think but a little must again find a great error therein. An arbitrary act implies the possibility of bending the existing Laws of Nature. However, where such a thing is possible, there is no perfection. For where there is perfection there can be no alteration. Thus a large part of humanity erroneously represents the Omnipotence of God in such a way that those who think more deeply would have to regard it as a proof of imperfection. And therein lies the root of much evil.
Give God the honor of perfection! Then you will find the key to the unsolved mysteries of all life. —
It shall be my endeavor to lead serious seekers to this point. A sigh of relief shall go through the circles of all seekers for the Truth. Finally they will joyfully recognize that there is no mystery, no gap in the entire course of world events. And then ... they will see clearly before them the road to ascent. They only need to follow it. —
In all of Creation there is no justification whatever for mysticism! There is no room for it, because everything should lie before the human spirit clearly and without gaps, right back to its origin. And this area includes all of Creation. Only what is above this Creation, the Divine alone, will have to remain a most sacred mystery to every human spirit because it is above his origin which rests within Creation. Therefore the human spirit will never be able to grasp what is Divine, not with the best will and the greatest knowledge. But in this inability to grasp what is Divine rests the most natural process for man that one can think of; for it is well known that it is not possible for anything to go beyond the nature of its origin. This is also true for the spirit of man! The difference in consistency always sets a boundary. And the Divine is of an entirely different consistency from the spiritual, in which man originates.
The animal, for instance, can never become a human being, however highly developed its soul may be. From out of its animistic substance there can, under no circumstances, blossom forth spiritual substance which gives birth to the human spirit. The composition of all animistic substance lacks the basic nature of spirit. Man, who has issued from the spiritual part of Creation, can in turn never become Divine, since the spirit does not have the nature of the Divine. The human spirit may well be able to develop to the highest degree of perfection, but must nevertheless always remain spiritual. It can never go above itself into the Divine. Here again the different consistency forms the natural, ever impassable limitation upwards. The World of Matter does not enter into this at all since it has no life of its own, but serves as a cloak, driven and formed by the spiritual and the animistic.
The mighty field of the spirit extends through all Creation. Therefore man can, should and must fully grasp and recognize Creation! And through his knowledge he will rule in it. But rightly understood, to rule, no matter how severely, simply means to serve! —
At no point in the entire Creation, up to the highest spiritual, is there any deviation from natural development! This fact alone surely makes all things much more familiar to everyone. The unhealthy and secret fear, the reluctance to face so many things as yet unknown, thus collapses by itself. With naturalness a fresh breeze blows through the sultry atmosphere formed by the morbid fantasies of those who like to draw attention to themselves. Their morbidly fantastic constructs, terrifying to the weak and mocked by the strong, seem absurd and childishly foolish to those whose sight are becoming clear. Those who finally, joyful and happy, take in the glorious naturalness of all developments, which always move only in simple, straight lines that can be clearly recognized.
It runs through everything uniformly, in the strictest regularity and order. And this makes it easier for every seeker to obtain the broad, free view right to the point of his actual origin!
For this he needs neither painstaking research nor flights of fancy. The main thing is for him to stay away from all those who in their confusing secretiveness try to make meager part-knowledge appear greater.
It all lies before men so simply that because of the very simplicity they often do not come to recognition, because from the outset they assume that the great work of Creation must be much more difficult and entangled.
In spite of the best volition thousands stumble over this. Seeking they raise their eyes to the heavens, not realizing that all they have to do is to look in front and around them without effort. They will then see that through their existence on earth they are already standing on the right road, and need only calmly stride forward! Without haste and without strain, but with open eyes and a free, unrestricted mind! Man must learn at last that true greatness lies only in the most simple and natural happening, indeed, that greatness requires this simplicity.
So it is in Creation, and so it is in him, who belongs to Creation as a part of it!
Only simple thinking and intuitive perceiving can give him clarity! Such simplicity as children still possess! Calm reflection will show him that, for man’s ability to comprehend, simplicity is identical with clarity and also with naturalness! One is inconceivable without the other. They form a triad expressing one concept! Whoever makes it the foundation-stone of his seeking will soon break through the nebulous confusion. Everything that has been artificially inflated will then collapse into nothingness.
Man will realize that the natural order of development cannot be eliminated or interrupted anywhere! And the greatness of God reveals itself therein! The unchangeable liveliness of the self-acting Creative Will! For the Laws of Nature are the inexorable Laws of God, continually visible to all men, speaking to them insistently, testifying to the Greatness of the Creator, of an unshakable constancy without exception! Without exception! For a grain of oat can bring forth only oats, and likewise only wheat can grow from a grain of wheat, and so forth.
So is it also in that first Creation which, as the Creator’s own Work, stands nearest to His Perfection. There the fundamental Laws are anchored in such a way that, driven by the vitality of the Will, they were bound to entail in the most natural development the genesis of the further Creation, eventually down to these celestial globes. Only becoming coarser the further Creation becomes removed from the perfection of the origin in the process of development. —
Let us first of all consider Creation.
Imagine that all life therein bears only two species, no matter what part it is found in. The one kind is self-conscious, the other kind is unselfconscious. It is of the utmost value to observe these two different categories! They are connected with the “origin of man.” The differences also provide the stimulus to further development, to the apparent struggle. The unconscious is the foundation of all that is conscious, while its composition is of exactly the same nature. To become conscious is progress and development for the unconscious which, through being together with the conscious, is continually being stimulated to also attain to this consciousness.
In the process of developing downwards, the first Creation itself brought three great successive basic divisions: as the uppermost and highest is the spiritual, the Primordial Creation, followed by the Sphere of Animistic Substance which becomes increasingly dense, and thus heavy. Lastly, as the lowest and because of its greatest density the heaviest, there still follows the great Realm of Matter which, separating itself from Primordial Creation, gradually sank downward! Through this there finally remained only the Pure-Spiritual as the uppermost Substance, because in its pure nature it embodies what is lightest and most luminous. It is the oft-mentioned Paradise, the crown of all Creation.
With the sinking down of that which becomes denser we already touch upon the Law of Gravitation, which is not only anchored in matter, but has an effect in all Creation, from the so-called Paradise on down to us.
The Law of Gravitation is of such crucial importance that everyone should hammer it into his mind; for it is the main lever in the whole evolution and process of development of the human spirit.
I have already said that this gravitation applies not only to earthly consistencies, but also works uniformly in those parts of Creation which earthmen can no longer see, and which they therefore simply call the beyond.
For a better understanding I must still divide the World of Matter into two sections. Into ethereal matter and gross matter. Ethereal matter is that matter which cannot become visible to the physical eye, owing to its different nature. And yet it is still matter.
The so-called “beyond” must not be confused with the longed-for Paradise, which is strictly pure-spiritual. The spiritual must not be taken as something having “to do with thoughts” but the spiritual is a species, just as the animistic and the material each is a species. This ethereal matter then is simply called the beyond because it lies beyond earthly vision. Gross matter on the other hand is this world, all that is earthly, which is visible to our gross material eyes because of its homogeneity.
Man should get out of the habit of considering things invisible to him as incomprehensible and unnatural. Everything is natural, even the so-called beyond and Paradise, which still lies at an immense distance from it.
Just as it is here, where our physical body is sensitive to its surroundings of a homogenous nature, which it can therefore see, hear, and feel, so is it exactly in those parts of Creation whose species are not like ours. The ethereal man in the so-called beyond feels, hears and sees only his homogeneous ethereal environment; the higher spiritual man can again only feel his spiritual environment.
Thus it happens that some earth-dwellers will now and then already see and hear the Ethereal World with their ethereal bodies, which they bear within before the separation from the gross material earthly body takes place through physical death. There is absolutely nothing unnatural in this.
In addition to and of equal importance as the Law of Gravitation is the coactive Law of Homogeneous Species.
I have already touched upon this by saying that any species can only recognize the same species. The proverbs: “Birds of a feather flock together” and “like attracts like” seem to have been gleaned from the Primordial Law. Together with the Law of Gravitation it swings throughout Creation.
In addition to those already mentioned there is a third Primordial Law in Creation: The Law of Reciprocal Action. The effect of this Law is that man must reap what he once sowed, absolutely. He cannot reap wheat where he sowed rye or clover where he spread thistles. In the Ethereal World it is exactly the same. In the end he will not be able to reap kindness where he felt hatred, nor joy where he cultivated envy within himself!
These three fundamental Laws form the landmarks of the Divine Will! They alone automatically work out reward or punishment for a human spirit, with inexorable justice! So incorruptibly, in the most miraculous, precise gradations, that the thought of even the slightest injustice in the gigantic world happening becomes impossible.
The effect of these simple Laws brings every human spirit exactly to the place where he belongs according to his inner attitude. Any error here is impossible, because the manifestation of these Laws can only be set in motion by the innermost condition of a human being, which will set it in motion without fail in every case! Thus the lever for activating the reciprocal effects requires man’s innate pure-spiritual power of intuitive perception! Nothing else has this effect. For this reason only the real volition, man’s intuitive perception, is decisive for what develops for him in the world that is invisible to him, and which he must enter after his earthly death.
Neither pretence nor self-deception will help him. He absolutely must reap what he has sown through his volition! What is more, the homogeneous currents of the other worlds are set in motion to a greater or lesser degree exactly according to the strength or weakness of his volition, no matter whether it is hatred, envy or love. An absolutely natural process, of the greatest simplicity, and yet with the inexorable effect of adamantine justice!
He who tries to seriously immerse his thinking into these happenings in the beyond will recognize what incorruptible justice lies in this automatic working and in this alone will he see the inconceivable Greatness of God. God does not need to intervene, after having placed His Will into Creation in the form of perfect Laws.
He who, in the course of his ascent, returns to the Spiritual Realm is purified; for he had to first pass through the self-acting mills of the Divine Will. No other road leads into the vicinity of God. And how these mills work on the human spirit depends on the latter's preceding inner life, its own volition. They can carry it pleasantly into the Luminous Height; or they can pull it agonizingly down into the night of horror, indeed even drag it into complete destruction. —
It should be realized that at the time of its earthly birth the human spirit which has matured to the point of incarnation already wears an ethereal cloak or body, which it has needed on its journey through the Ethereal World. During the spirit’s earthly existence this cloak remains with him as a connecting link to the physical body. Now the Law of Gravitation always exerts its main effect upon the densest and coarsest part, which during life on earth is the physical body. But when this body dies and falls away, the ethereal body again becomes free and in this moment, unprotected and now the coarsest part, is subject to this Law of Gravitation.
When it is said that the spirit forms its body then that is true as regards the ethereal body. The inner quality of man, his desires and his actual volition laid the foundation for it. In the volition lies the power to form ethereal matter. Through the urge for what is base or for mere earthly pleasures the ethereal body becomes dense, therewith heavy and dark, because the fulfillment of such desires lies in the World of Gross Matter. Thereby man binds himself to what is coarse and earthly. His desires pull along the ethereal body which is formed so densely that its consistency resembles as nearly as possible that of the earthly body. This alone holds the prospect of being able to participate in earthly pleasures or passions, after the physical body has fallen away. Whoever strives after such things must sink according to the Law of Gravitation.
It is different with people whose minds are mainly directed towards higher and nobler things. Here the volition automatically makes the ethereal body lighter and thus more luminous, so that it can draw near to the goal of their earnest aspirations! That is, to the purity of the Luminous Height.
Expressed in other words, the particular goal of the human spirit at the same time so equips the ethereal body in earthman that, after the death of the physical body, it can strive towards this goal, whatever kind of goal this may be. Here the spirit really forms the body; for its volition, being spiritual, also bears within it the power to make use of ethereal substance. The spirit can never evade this natural process. It happens with every volition, whether he likes it or not. And these forms remain clinging to the spirit as long as it nourishes them through its volition and intuitive sense. They advance or retard the spirit according to their nature, which is subject to the Law of Gravitation. Yet, the moment the spirit changes its volition and intuition, new forms will immediately arise thereby, whereas the old ones, no longer receiving nourishment because of this change, must die off and dissolve. In this way man also changes his fate.
As soon as the earthly anchorage falls away through the death of the physical body, the ethereal body which is thereby released either sinks down or floats up like a cork in the Ethereal World, which is called the beyond. Through the Law of Gravitation it will be held fast exactly in that place which corresponds with its own weight; for then it cannot move further, neither up nor down. Here it will naturally find all that is of homogeneous species or of like mind; for like nature implies like weight, and like weight of course implies like nature. According to the way he himself was, so will a man have to suffer or enjoy himself among those of like nature, until he changes anew inwardly, and with him his ethereal body, which under the effect of the altered weight must either lead him further upwards or downwards.
Therefore man can neither complain nor need he give thanks; for if he is raised towards the Light it is his own condition that inevitably causes him to be raised; if he falls into the Darkness, it is again his condition that forces him to do so.
But every human being has reason to glorify and praise the Creator for the perfection that lies in the working of these three Laws. The human spirit is thereby unreservedly made the absolute master of its own fate! For its true volition, its genuine inner condition, must cause it either to rise or to sink.
If you try to get a true picture of the effect of these Laws, singly and as they work together, you will find that they contain reward and punishment, mercy or damnation, minutely weighed for everyone according to his inner state. It is a most simple process, and shows the lifeline provided by every serious volition of a human being, which can never break and never fail. It is the greatness of such simplicity that forces him who recognizes this to his knees before the infinite Sublimity of the Creator!
In every happening and in all my explanations we always meet clearly and distinctly, again and again, the effect of these simple Laws, whose wonderful interaction I must yet describe specifically.
Once man knows this interaction he holds the step-ladder to the Luminous Realm of the Spirit, to Paradise. But then he also sees the road that leads down to the Darkness!
He need not even tread these steps himself, but the automatic mechanism raises him on high or drags him down, entirely according to how he adjusts the mechanism for himself through his inner life.
It is always left to his decision, on which course he wishes to let himself be carried.
Man must not allow himself to be deterred by scoffers.
Rightly viewed, doubt and derision are nothing but the expression of desires. Quite unconsciously, every doubter expresses what he desires for himself, thus exposing his inner self to a scrutinizing eye. For denial and defense also harbor deeply hidden desires which can be easily recognized. It is sad or even shocking to see what negligence or poverty is thus sometimes revealed, for it is precisely through this that a man often drags himself down inwardly; below the level of any ignorant animal. One should have pity on such people, without however, being indulgent; for indulgence would indeed mean preferring indolence to serious investigation. He who seeks earnestly must use indulgence sparingly; otherwise he will ultimately harm himself without helping the other.
With growing recognition, however, man will stand jubilantly before the wonder of such a Creation, and consciously let himself be borne upward to the Luminous Heights which he may call his home!