In order to follow this explanation it is necessary to know that man on earth does not live in Primordial Creation but in a subsequent Creation. Primordial Creation is solely and exclusively the independently existing Spiritual Realm known to men as Paradise. The summit of the spiritual realm is formed by the Grail Castle, with the gate to the Divine that lies outside of Creation. Subsequent Creation, on the other hand, is the so-called “world”, eternally rotating below Primordial Creation, the various solar systems of which are subject to evolution, that is, they ripen, grow old and decay, because they were not created by Divinity directly as was the imperishable eternal Primordial Creation, Paradise. Subsequent Creation came into existence through the volition of the Primordial Beings and is subject to the influence of the developing human spirits, whose path of development leads through this Subsequent Creation. This is the reason for the imperfection therein, such as is not found in Primordial Creation, which is subject to the direct influence of the Divine Holy Spirit.
To comfort the Primordial Beings, who were extremely perturbed about the ever-increasing and more noticeable imperfection of Subsequent Creation, a Voice from Divinity called out to them: “Wait for Him Whom I have chosen... to bring you help!” — which, to a certain extent, is accurately rendered in the Grail legend, as passed on from the Primordial Creation.
Now to the subject at hand: Every earthly action can only be considered as the outward expression of an inward process, “Inward process” meaning a spiritual intuitive volition. Each intuitive volition is a spiritual action which becomes decisive for man’s existence, because it brings about ascent or descent. In no case may it be put on the same level with thought volition. Intuitive volition impacts the core of man proper, while thought volition merely impacts a weaker outer circle. It is not always necessary for either of these to become visible on earth, despite their unfailing effect. An earthly, gross-material action is not needed for the development of a karmic burden. On the other hand, there is no earthly gross material activity that does not have to be preceded by a thought volition or an intuitive volition. Thus, the earthly visible activity is dependent upon either a thought volition or an intuitive volition, but not vice versa.
However, what is really decisive for the existence of a human spirit, for his ascent or for his descent, is most strongly anchored in the intuitive volition, to which man pays the least attention, and yet from the absolute and never-failing effects of which there is no escape, nor is there any glossing over or falsification. This alone provides the real “experiencing” for the human spirit; for the intuitive volition is the sole lever for the release of the spiritual power currents which rest in the work of the Creator, waiting only for an impulse from the intuitive volition of the human spirits, in order to immediately and greatly intensify the effect. Yet, up till now mankind have hardly paid any attention to this so important, even most important, process.
For this reason I will again and again draw attention to an apparently simple but essential point which contains everything: The spiritual power permeating the work of Creation can make contact only with the intuitive volition of the human spirits, all else being excluded from making such contact!
Even the thought volition cannot make any such connection, much less can any products of the thought volition. This fact excludes any hope that the actual principal power in Creation could ever be associated with any kind of “invention”! Against this possibility, an immovable bolt has been installed. Man does not know this principal power or its effects, although he stands in it. It is not what this or that thinker and inventor imagines the Primordial Power to be! It is invariably a matter of a far subordinate form of energy only, of which it is possible to find many more forms having astonishing effects, without mankind coming even one step closer to the actual power which the human spirit uses daily without being conscious of it. Unfortunately man trifles with this power, without being aware of the dreadful consequences of his boundless carelessness! And in his limitless ignorance he always wantonly tries to divert responsibility for the consequences onto God. This, however, does not free him from the great guilt he burdens himself with by his... not wanting to know.
I will try to give a clear picture here. For example a man has an intuitive feeling of envy. Usually it is said: “Envy rises up in him!” At first this is a general intuitive feeling, of which quite often the human spirit is not even clearly conscious. This intuitive perception, however, which as yet is not clad in definite thoughts, that is, which has not as yet “risen” up to the brain, carries within it the key which alone has the capacity for establishing contact with the “Living Power”, for building a bridge to it. Immediately, as much of the “Living Power” contained in Creation passes into this particular intuitive perception as this latter is capable of absorbing. This in turn, depends upon the particular strength of the perception. It is only through this that the human or “spiritualized” intuitive perception comes alive within itself and receives the enormous capacity to generate (not the power to generate) in the Ethereal World, making man lord among all creatures, the highest of all creatures in Creation. However, this process also permits him to exert an immense influence upon the entire Subsequent Creation, and thereby also... invests him with personal responsibility which no other creature besides him can have in Subsequent Creation; for only man possesses the appropriate ability which rests in the nature of the spirit.
And he alone in the entire Subsequent Creation bears spirit in his innermost core, and as such he alone receives connection with the Supreme Living Power resting in Subsequent Creation. The Primordial Beings in Paradise are of a species of spirit different from that of the world wanderers, the so-called earth-men. Their capacity for connection is therefore directed towards another, a higher and far stronger wave of power, which they use consciously. Naturally they are able to use it for the creation of things far greater than those of the world wanderers to whom the earth-men belong. The highest wave of power of earth-men is but a lower level of the power resting in Primordial Creation, just as they themselves are but a lower level of the Primordial Beings.
What human knowledge has been lacking so far is primarily the knowledge of the many progressively weaker levels downwards of everything contained in Primordial Creation and the recognition that men themselves belong to these lower levels only. Once this understanding has really penetrated, their hitherto existing pride will fall away and clear the path for ascent.
The stupid presumption of being the highest, of even carrying Divinity within themselves, will collapse miserably, leaving behind only liberating shame. The Primordial Beings, who stand so much higher and who are of much greater value, are not possessed of such conceit. They only smile indulgently at these earthworms gone astray, just as many parents smile at the fantastic chatter of their children.
But let us return to the intuitive perception. A man’s intuitive perception thus strengthened, now immediately and automatically produces a form in a further gradation which exactly embodies the nature of the intuition! In this case then, envy. In the beginning the form stands within its creator and later beside him, connected to him by a cord through which it receives nourishment. At the same time, however, in obedience to the Law of the Attraction of Homogeneous Species, it immediately and automatically makes contact with the gathering point of the same species of forms from where it receives strong reinforcements, which, together with this young form, fashion the ethereal environment of that particular person.
Meanwhile this intuitive perception rises higher and finally reaches the brain, stimulating thoughts of a like nature, which define the goal sharply. Thus the thoughts become channels or roads upon which these forms travel towards a very definite goal, there to do harm if they find the proper soil. However, if the man who is to be the target of these forms has within himself only pure soil, i.e. pure volition, he offers no point of attack for these forms, no anchorage. Still, they are not rendered harmless thereby. Instead they continue to wander about individually, or unite themselves with their homogeneous species in gathering centers which may be called “planes”, because they are subject to the law of their spiritual gravity and therefore must form definite planes which can only admit and hold the same species. Thus they definitely remain dangerous to all those human spirits who do not have sufficient purity of a strong volition for the good. Finally they also bring destruction upon their originators, since they constantly remain connected with them, and these continually return new flows of envy energies through the feeding cord. The forms themselves receive these from the accumulations of the collection centers. This makes it difficult for such an originator to give himself over to purer intuitions again, because he remains severely handicapped by the return flow of envy-energies which continually pull him back. He is forced to expend far greater efforts for his ascent than would a human spirit not so hampered. And it is only through constant pure volition that such a feeding cord of evil gradually decays, until it finally dries up and falls limply away. This means the liberation of the originator of such evil, provided that his construct has meanwhile done no harm; for if it has, new ties are then immediately formed which must also be redeemed.
To effect the release of such threads it is absolutely necessary for the originator again to cross paths, either on this earth or in the beyond, with any person harmed by the evil, so that recognition and forgiveness can be obtained. Consequently the ascent of the originator of such forms cannot take place before those persons who have suffered injury have made their ascent. The connecting thread or threads of fate hold him back for as long as there is no redemption through making amends and obtaining forgiveness.
But this is not all! This intuitive volition, under the intensified “Living Power”, has a far greater effect; for it not only populates the Ethereal World, but it also directs the fate of the entire Subsequent Creation, of which the earth and all the surrounding stars are a part! Thus it also influences the World of Gross Matter, in ways that are either upbuilding or destructive! This should make man recognize at last the absurdities which he has already wrought, instead of fulfilling his duties which were given to him through the abilities of his spirit for the benefit of Subsequent Creation and of all creatures. Man often asks why strife manifests in nature. Yet, with the exception of Primordial Elemental Beings, the animistic in Subsequent Creation conforms... to the nature of man! But let us go further:
The products of the intuitive volition of the human spirit, the forms mentioned above, do not cease to exist after detachment from their originator, but they continue to exist independently as long as they receive nourishment from like-minded human spirits ! It need not be the originator himself. They seek an opportunity to attach themselves to this or that person who is open to their influence, or whose power of resistance is weak. If evil, they are the demons born of envy, hatred and all that is similar. If good, they are benevolent beings which lovingly only promote peace and foster ascent.
With all these processes a visible earthly action by humans is not in the least bit necessary; such an act only adds further chains or threads which must be redeemed on the gross material plane, and require a reincarnation if redemption cannot be attained in one lifetime on earth.
These constructs of the human intuitive volition have inherent power because they come into being through spiritual volition in combination with the “neutral principal power” and, what is most important, because thereby during the process of their formation they also absorb animistic substantiality, which is that species from which gnomes etc. develop. The volition of an animal cannot achieve this because the animal soul contains nothing spiritual, but is animistic only. Thus this process takes place only with the forms of human intuitive volition; it must therefore bring great blessings if the volition is good, but incalculable harm if the volition is evil, since the animistic core of such forms carries its own motive power, combined with the ability to influence all that is gross material. And thereby the responsibility of the human spirit becomes enormous. Depending on its nature, its intuitive volition creates benevolent entities as well as animated demons.
Both are merely products of man’s spiritual abilities in Subsequent Creation. Their cores, self-motivated and thus unpredictable in their influence, do not originate in that part of Animistic Substantiality which has the capacity to will, and where animal souls originate, but issue from a lower gradation thereof which does not possess the personal ability to will. In the World of Animistic Substantiality, as well as in the Spiritual Sphere above it, there are also many gradations and special species, about which I have to speak separately.*(Lecture Nr. 49: The difference in origin of man and animal)
Let me add as a further explanation that animistic substantiality also has contact with a living power resting in Creation which, however, is not the same as the Living Power with which the volition of the human spirit is connected, but only a lower gradation thereof.
It is just these possibilities and impossibilities of combinations which are the strictest maintainers of order in Subsequent Creation and bring about a firm, immutable organization in all coming into being and decaying.
So far-reaching, then, is the activity of the human spirit. Now look closely and observe properly men today, and you can imagine what havoc they have already wreaked, especially when you consider the further consequences of the activity of these living forms which are let loose upon all creatures! It is the same as with a stone which, once it has left the hand, is no longer subject to the control and will of the thrower.
Besides these forms, the far-reaching activity and influence of which it would take a whole book to describe, there is another species which is next to and closely connected with them, but which forms a weaker section. Yet this section is still just dangerous enough to molest many people, to hinder them and even cause them to fall. They are the formations created by thoughts, that is to say, thought-forms or phantoms.
As the product of the earthly brain, thought volition, in contrast to the volition of the intuitive perception, does not have the ability to make direct contact with the neutral principal power resting in Creation. Therefore these forms lack the self-acting core of the intuitive forms, which in comparison to animal souls can only be called “animistic soul shadows”. Thought-forms remain absolutely dependent upon their creator, with whom they are connected in a similar way as the forms of the intuitive volition, that is, through a feeding cord which simultaneously constitutes the road for the returning reciprocal actions. However, I have already spoken about this species in the lecture on “Thought-forms”*(Lecture Nr. 22), and therefore I need not repeat it here.
In the Law of Reciprocal Action thought-forms are the weakest gradation. Despite this their effects are still disastrous enough, and can not only bring about the doom of individual human spirits, but even that of great masses, and can even contribute to the devastation of whole parts of the world as soon as they are over-nourished and over-cultivated by men, thus receiving undreamt of power, as has happened in the last few thousand years.
Thus the whole of this evil has been brought about by men alone, due to their uninhibited and false intuitive volition and thought volition, as well as through their carelessness in these matters! —
These two realms, the realm of the forms of the human intuitive volition and the realm of the forms of the human thought volition, in which naturally real human spirits are also forced to live, alone formed the fields of action and the vision of the greatest “magicians” and “masters” of all time, who became entangled in them and who finally are retained there when they pass over. And today?
The “great masters of occultism”, the “enlightened ones” of so many different sects and lodges... are no better off! They are masters only in these realms. They live amid forms of their own making. Only there can they be “masters”, but not in the real life of the beyond! Their power and mastery never extend so far.
Unfortunate people, regardless of whether they have pledged themselves to the black or the white art, according to their evil or good volition... they imagined and still believe themselves mighty in their spiritual power, whereas in reality they are less than a man ignorant in these matters. In his childlike simplicity such a man stands far above these actually low fields of activity of such ignorant “spiritual princes”, that is, he stands higher spiritually than they do.
All would be well if the reciprocal effects of the work of such eminent ones could fall back upon themselves only, but such “masters” through their efforts and activities agitate these nether regions, which are of no particular importance in themselves, stirring them up unnecessarily and thereby increasing their strength, so that they become a danger to all whose resistance is weak. For others, happily, they hold no danger; because a harmless human spirit, one who enjoys his life like a child, rises without any difficulty above these nether regions, into which the pseudo-scientists burrow and probe, finally being retained there by the forms and images which they themselves have strengthened. Although this should all be taken seriously, yet seen from above it makes an unspeakably ridiculous and sad impression, entirely unworthy of the human spirit. For inwardly bloated with false conceit they busily creep and crawl about, embellished with frills, endeavoring to animate such a realm. A shadowy realm in the truest sense, an entire world of sham, capable of simulating all kinds of things. And he who first called it into existence can in the end no longer exorcise it, but must succumb to it! Eagerly many dig and delve into these nether regions, priding themselves on the tremendous height they have reached thereby. A clear and ordinary human spirit, however, can readily and without worry pass through these nether regions, not having to pause there for any reason.
What else shall I say about such “great ones”? Not one of them would listen, because in their sham world they can for a time pretend to be what, in the real existence of the living spirit, they could never hope to become; for there they must “serve” and their presumption to be masters would quickly come to an end. For this reason they fight against it, because much is taken from them through the Truth! And they lack the courage to bear this. Who likes to have the entire structure of his imagination and vanity overthrown? He would indeed have to be a true and really great human being! This kind of person would never have fallen into such snares laid by vanity.
One thing in all this is very distressing: how many or, better said, how few human beings are so clear and firm within themselves, how few still command such childlike, cheerful simplicity that would allow them to safely traverse these planes, which are so wantonly created and constantly reinforced by man’s volition. For all others, however, it evokes a continually increasing danger.
If only men could at last become really seeing in these things! How much harm could be avoided. A purer intuitive perception and pure thinking on the part of every human being would soon so weaken the dark and dismal planes of the beyond that even the struggling human spirits retained there would gain faster release, because they would be able to fight to free themselves more easily from their ever weakening surroundings. —
Just as many great “masters” here on earth experience everything as real so do human spirits in the various environments, forms and constructs in the beyond experience everything as real, regardless of whether it be in the lower or darker regions or in ethereally higher and friendlier regions... fear as well as joy, despair and also liberating redemption... and yet they are not in the realm of real life at all, rather only they themselves are really alive! All else, their quite diversified and changing surroundings, can only exist through them and through those on earth who are like-minded.
Even hell itself is but a product of human spirits, existing, it is true, and also holding serious dangers and causing terrible suffering, but it is completely dependent on the volition of all those human beings whose intuitive perceptions enable the existence of hell by supplying it with power from the neutral Divine Power which rests in Creation for the use of human spirits. Thus hell is not a Divine institution, but the work of man!
He who recognizes this aright, and then consciously makes use of this knowledge, will help many, and he himself will also ascend more easily towards the Light, in which alone all real Life lies.
If men would for once open themselves far enough to be able to get a sense of what treasure rests in Creation for them! A treasure which should be discovered and picked up by every human spirit, which means consciously made use of: and this is the neutral principal power I have mentioned so often. It makes no distinction between good or evil, but stands outside these conceptions, it is simply the “Living Power”.
Every intuitive volition, good or evil, of a human being is like a key to this treasure chamber and makes contact with this sublime power. Both are reinforced and animated by this “power” because it immediately reacts upon the intuitive volition of the human spirit. Only upon this volition, nothing else. Man determines the nature of the volition; this lies in his hand alone. The power as such brings neither good nor evil, but is simply “power”, and it animates what man has willed.
It is important, however, to know that man does not bear this life-giving power within himself, but only possesses the key to it in the capacity of his intuitive faculty. Thus he is the steward of this creative formative power which works in accordance with his volition. For this reason he has to render account of his stewardship, which he exercises at all times. But unwittingly he plays with fire in these matters like an ignorant child, thus causing great damage, as does such a child. Yet he need not be ignorant! This is his fault! Through parables and teachings all the prophets and finally the Son of God Himself tried to enlighten men on this point, to show men what path to take, how they must intuitively perceive, think and act in order to tread the right path!
But it was in vain. Men continued to play with this tremendous power entrusted to them only as they saw fit, without listening to the warnings and advice from the Light. Ultimately, therefore, they will bring about the collapse, the destruction of their works and also of themselves; for this power works in a completely neutral manner, reinforcing the good as well as the evil volition of the human spirit, and thus will not hesitate coldly to wreck the car and its driver, just as happens with any motor vehicle that is driven badly. Surely the picture has now been made clear enough. Through their volition and thoughts men direct the destiny of the entire Subsequent Creation as well as their own, without knowing anything about it. They promote either growth or death; they can achieve either upbuilding in fullest harmony or that wild chaos which we now have! Instead of building up in a reasonable manner they waste their time and energy unnecessarily in a great deal of futile trivialities. Insightful people call this punishment and judgment, which in a certain sense is correct, yet it is men themselves who have forcibly brought about everything that must now happen.
There have been thinkers and observers who already sensed all of this, but they erred when they falsely assumed that this power of the human spirit is a manifestation of personal divinity. This is an error which only arises from a one-sided observation of appearances. The human spirit is neither God nor Divine. Such wiseacres see only the outer shell of the happening, but not the inner core. They confuse the effect with the cause. Unfortunately many false doctrines and much presumption originated from this inadequacy. Therefore let me stress it one more time: The Divine Power which always permeates and rests in Creation is given to all human spirits only on loan. As they use it they can direct it, but they do not have it within themselves. It is not inherently theirs! This power is inherent in Divinity alone. The Divine, however, uses it only for the good, because It does not know Darkness at all. The human spirits, however, to whom it is on loan, only turn it into a den of thieves!
Therefore once more I urgently call out to everyone: Keep the hearth of your volition and your thoughts pure, and you will become peacemakers and be happy! Then at last Subsequent Creation will begin to resemble Primordial Creation, where all is Light and Joy. All this lies in the hands of man, in the capacity of every self-conscious human spirit, who will no longer remain a stranger in this Subsequent Creation! — —
Many of my readers and listeners will quietly wish that in addition to my explanations, I might add a fitting picture of such a happening, a lifelike view to improve understanding. Others again might find this distracting. There may also be some who think that I would thereby weaken the seriousness of what was said, because the rendering of a living happening in these planes might easily be construed as a flight of fancy or clairvoyance. I already heard similar remarks when I published my lectures: “The Holy Grail” and “Lucifer”. Those who investigate deeply, however, and whose spiritual ears are not closed, will intuitively perceive the purpose of what I describe. The picture I wish to give about this is meant for these persons alone, for they will know that it is neither fantasy nor clairvoyance, but more.
Therefore let us take an example: A mother has taken her life by drowning herself, and in so doing has carried her two-year-old child to its earthly death along with her. Upon awakening in the beyond she finds herself sinking in a dismal, muddy body of water; for the soul’s last terrible moment has come to life in the Ethereal World. This is the place where, together with her, all homogenous species suffer continual torment. She has the child in her arms, and it clings to its mother in mortal fear, even though in her earthly act she had flung it into the water before throwing herself in. Depending on her psychic condition, she has to live through these agonizing moments for a shorter or longer period of time, that is, she must always be on the verge of drowning without ever coming to an end, and never losing consciousness. It may take decades and even longer before a genuine cry for help, uttered in pure humility, awakens in her soul. This is not so easily done; for everything around her is only of homogeneous species, there is no light. She hears only ghastly swearing and cursing, brutish words, and she sees nothing but callous ruthlessness.
In time there may gradually awaken within her the urge at least to protect her child from this, or to remove it from such dreadful surroundings and their perpetual danger and torment. Trembling with fear, while still on the verge of drowning, she therefore holds her child above the stinking, slimy surface, while many another being in her vicinity clings to her and tries to drag her down into the depths.
This leaden, heavy water is composed of the thoughts of those who have committed suicide by drowning, thoughts which have come to life ethereally but which are not yet sharply defined, as well as of the thoughts of all those still on earth who harbor similar ideas. These thoughts have contact with one another and, in the process of mutual attraction, constantly reinforce each other, whereby the torment is endlessly renewed. These waters would have to dry up if, instead of receiving homogeneous reinforcements, waves of fresh, happy and joyful thoughts would stream forth from the earth.
Worry about the child, which, as a natural maternal instinct, may gradually develop into anxious and caring love, receives enough strength to form for the mother the first saving step towards the stairway leading out of the agony, which she herself created by bringing her life on earth to a premature end. In trying to save the child from the horror into which she herself has plunged it in the first place, she nourishes within herself more noble qualities which can ultimately lift her into the next, less dismal environment.
The child in her arms, however, is not the living soul of the child she murdered when she dragged it into the water with herself. Such an injustice would be impossible. In most cases the living soul of the child frolics in sunny meadows, whereas the child in the arms of the struggling mother is only... a phantom, a living form of the intuitive perception of the murderess and also... of the intuitive perception of the child! This may be a guilt-form, i.e. arising from the pressure of a guilty conscience, or it may be a despair-form, a hatred-form, a love-form, no matter, the mother imagines it to be the living child itself, because the form exactly resembles the child, moves like it, cries like it, etc. I do not wish to go into such details nor into their many variations.
Countless happenings could be depicted, the nature of which is always bound precisely to the deeds which preceded them.
But I wish to mention one more thing as an example of how the transition from this world into the beyond occurs.
Take the case of a woman or girl who is facing an unwanted pregnancy and who has, as unfortunately very often happens, done something against it. Even if in especially favorable cases all went well without causing any bodily harm, it is not thereby simultaneously atoned for. The Ethereal World, as the environment in which the soul lives after physical death, records everything exactly and impartially. From the moment it happened an ethereal body of the developing child has fastened itself to the ethereal neck of the unnatural mother, where it remains clinging until the deed is atoned for. Naturally the woman or girl concerned does not notice this as long as she lives in her physical body here on earth. She may perhaps have an uneasy feeling now and then as a reaction, for the small ethereal body of the child is as light as a feather in comparison with the physical body, and today most girls are much too callous to be able to feel this little burden. This callousness however, is not in the least a sign of progress, nor of robust health, but indicates retrogression; it is a sign of the soul being buried.
But at the moment of physical death the weight and density of the clinging child’s body become homogeneous with that of the ethereal body of the mother, which has now left its earthly vessel, and it is thus an absolute burden. It will immediately cause as much discomfort to the ethereal body of the mother as would a gross-material child’s body on earth clinging to her neck. Depending on the nature of the preceding happening, it may well increase to a breath-taking agony. The mother must drag the child’s body around with her in the beyond, and she does not become free of it until maternal love awakens within her and, setting aside her own comfort, she faithfully and laboriously tries to provide care and relief to the little body. Very often a long and thorny path has to be traversed to reach that point!
These happenings are naturally not without a certain tragicomic aspect. One need only imagine someone from whom the wall between this world and the beyond has been removed, entering a family gathering or a party. Perhaps a group of ladies is sitting there in lively conversation. One of the women or “virgins”, in a tone of moral indignation, voices a disdainful opinion of her fellow-men, and all the while the visitor sees one or even several little children’s bodies hanging from the neck of this ranting zealot or proud woman. Not only that, but every other person also has the works of his real volition hanging on to him, distinctly visible, and often in the most grotesque contrast to his words and to how he wishes to appear and assert himself before the world.
Many a judge sits with a much larger burden before the person condemned by him. How quickly his few years on earth will be over and then he will stand before his Judge where other laws pertain. What then?
Unfortunately, in most cases man is easily able to deceive the Gross Material World, while in the Ethereal World this is impossible to do. Fortunately there a man must really reap what he has sown. Therefore no one need despair if here on earth injustice temporarily has the upper hand. Not one single evil thought will remain unatoned for, even when it has not developed into a physical deed.