Let us take a closer look at all those people who today are seeking a spiritual leader with special eagerness, and who, inwardly uplifted, are awaiting him. In their opinion they themselves are already thoroughly spiritually prepared to recognize him and to hear his word!
On calm observation we notice a great many factions. Christ’s Mission, for instance, affected so many people in a strange way. They formed a false picture of it. As usual, this was due to their wrong self-assessment, their hubris.
The former veneration and preservation of a natural gulf and sharp demarcation towards their God have been replaced on the one hand by plaintive begging, and always wanting only to receive without contributing any kind of effort of their own. Although they accepted the “pray” part, they refused to acknowledge the “and work”, “work on yourself” part.
On the other hand, people imagine they are so self-reliant, so independent, that they can do everything themselves, and with a little effort even become Divine.
There are also many people who only demand and expect God to run after them. Inasmuch as He had already once sent His Son, He proved thereby how greatly concerned He is that mankind should draw near to Him, indeed that He probably even needs them!
Wherever one turns there is nothing but presumption to be found in all things, but no humility. Proper self-assessment is lacking. —
It is first of all necessary for man to descend from his artificial height in order to really be a human being, and as such to begin his ascent.
Today, spiritually puffed up, he is sitting in a tree at the foot of the mountain, instead of standing with both feet firmly and securely on the ground. Therefore he will never be able to climb the mountain unless he first climbs down or falls from the tree.
Meanwhile, however, all those who went their way calmly and sensibly on the ground beneath his tree, and upon whom he looked down so haughtily, have probably arrived at the summit.
But events will come to his aid; for in the very near future the tree will tumble. When he is so roughly shaken down from his precarious perch, perhaps man will then once again come to his senses. But for him it will then be high time. He has not a single hour left to waste.
Many now think that life can continue in the same old way, as it has done for thousands of years.
Stretched out comfortably in their armchairs, they are awaiting a strong leader.
But how do they imagine this leader to be! It is really pathetic.
In the first place they expect or, correctly put, demand that he should prepare the way upward to the Light for each individual! He must exert himself to build bridges to the path of the Truth for the adherents of every religious faith! He must make it so easily comprehensible that everyone can understand it without effort. His words must be so chosen that their rightness will immediately convince one and all.
As soon as man must exert himself and think for himself, then the leader is not a proper leader. For if he is called to lead and to show the right way through his word, he must naturally also exert himself for men. It is his duty to convince men, to awaken them! After all, Christ even gave His life.
Those who think in this way today, and there are many who do, need not begin to trouble themselves, for they are like the foolish virgins, they face the “too late!”
The leader will surely not awaken them, but will let them sleep quietly on until the gate is closed and they can find no entrance into the Light, because they cannot free themselves in time from the sphere of matter, for which the word of the leader showed them the way.
For man is not as valuable as he has imagined himself to be: God does not need him, but he needs his God!
Since in their so-called progress mankind today no longer know what they really want, they will at last have to experience what they shall do!
These types of people will pass by seeking or arrogantly criticizing, just as at that time so many passed Him by for whose coming everything had already been prepared through the revelations.
How can one possibly envisage a spiritual leader thus!
He will concede not one inch of concession to mankind, and will demand wherever he is expected to give!
He who is capable of serious reflection, however, will immediately recognize that just this strict and uncompromising demand for careful thinking contains what is best and what mankind, already so deeply entangled in spiritual indolence, need for their salvation! By demanding spiritual alertness right from the beginning, together with an earnest volition and self-exertion for the understanding of his words, a leader easily separates the grain from the chaff already at the outset. An automatic working lies in this, as it does in the Divine Laws. Here, too, men receive exactly according to their actual volition. — —
But there is yet another class of people who fancy themselves particularly alert!
Naturally these have formed an entirely different picture of a leader, as can be gleaned from reports. It is no less grotesque, however, for they expect him to be... a spiritual acrobat!
There are thousands who assume at any rate that clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc., indicate great progress, which in reality they do not. Such learned and cultivated skills, or even such a natural gift, can never rise above this terrestrial globe, and thus they operate only within low limits, can never lay claim to any height, and are therefore almost worthless.
Is that the way to help man to ascend, by showing them, or teaching them to see and hear ethereal things which are on the same level as they are?
This has nothing to do with the actual ascent of the spirit. And just as little to do with earthly happenings! They are spiritual stunts, nothing more, interesting to the individual, but utterly useless to mankind as a whole!
It is easy to understand that all such people wish for a leader who is like them, only more skilled. —
Yet there are a great many that carry matters much further in this respect, even to the point of absurdity while being perfectly serious about it.
For example to these, a basic requirement for proof of leadership is that a leader must possess... immunity from catching cold! Someone who catches cold is per se disqualified; for in their opinion this does not befit an ideal leader. A strong leader must definitely and first of all be completely above such mundane trifles with his spirit.
This may sound contrived and ridiculous; but it is only based on facts, and suggests a faint repetition of the former cry: “If Thou be the Son of God, save Thyself and come down from the cross.” — — They are already calling out the same today, before such a leader is even in sight!
Poor, ignorant men! He who trains his body so one-sidedly that it is rendered temporarily insensitive under the power of the spirit is by no means great or outstanding. Those who admire him are like the children of former times, who watched with open mouth and shining eyes the antics of traveling clowns, and were filled with a burning desire to emulate them.
And a great many so-called spiritual seekers or God-seekers of today are no further advanced in the spiritual field than the children of bygone days were in this quite earthly field!
Let us consider a little further: The vagrants of olden times, of whom I have just spoken, developed themselves increasingly and became acrobats in circuses and variety shows. Their skill grew tremendously, and even now thousands of sophisticated people watch such performances every day with ever renewed amazement, inwardly thrilled.
Yet, do they gain anything for themselves from it? Although many an acrobat even risks his life during his performances, what do they take away from such hours? Nothing whatever. For even at the peak of perfection all these things will always remain strictly limited to the scope of variety shows and circuses. They will always serve only to amuse, but never lead to any advantage for mankind.
Yet people now look for such acrobatic feats in the spiritual field as the standard by which to measure the great leader!
Let such people keep their spiritual clowns! They will soon enough experience where this leads! They have in reality no idea what they are actually pursuing thereby. They imagine: only he is great whose spirit so controls his body that it no longer suffers illness!
All such training is one-sided, and one-sidedness produces only what is unhealthy and diseased! These things do not strengthen the spirit, but only weaken the body! The balance necessary for healthy harmony between body and spirit is disturbed, and as a result such a spirit finally severs itself much sooner from the maltreated body, which can no longer provide the strong healthy resonance needed for earthly experiencing. But the spirit then lacks this experience, and enters the beyond while still immature. It will have to live its earth-life once again. These are spiritual stunts, nothing more, performed at the expense of the earthly body, which should in reality help the spirit. For a time the body is a necessary part of the development of the spirit. But if it is weakened and suppressed it cannot be of much use to the spirit; for its radiations are too feeble to provide the full power that the spirit needs in the World of Matter.
If a man wishes to suppress an illness he must spiritually produce the pressure of an ecstasy on the body, as in a similar way, fear of the dentist can suppress pain. The body may be able to withstand unharmed such intense stimulation once, perhaps even several times, but not in the long run without suffering serious damage.
And if this is what a leader does or advises to do, he is not worthy of being a leader; for he is thereby transgressing the Natural Laws in Creation. Man on earth is to cherish his body as a possession entrusted to him, and he must strive to achieve a healthy harmony between spirit and body. To disturb this through one-sided suppression is neither progress nor ascent, but an absolutely incisive obstacle to the fulfillment of his task on earth, as in the World of Matter in general. The full power of the spirit as regards its effectiveness in the World of Matter is thereby lost, since he definitely needs the strength of a physical body which is not suppressed but in harmony with the spirit! He who is called master on such grounds is less than a pupil who knows nothing whatever of the tasks of the human spirit, or of what is required for its development! He is even a detriment to the spirit.
They will come soon enough to the painful recognition of their folly.
Every false leader, however, will have to undergo bitter experiences! His ascent in the beyond can only begin when the very last of all those whom he has held back or even led astray by spiritual trifling has come to recognition. As long as his books and writings continue to influence men on earth, he will be held fast in the next world, even if in the meantime he has come to a better understanding there.
He who recommends occult training gives men stones instead of bread, thereby proving that he doesn’t have even the faintest idea of what actually takes place in the beyond, still less of the complete world mechanism! — —