How foolish you are continually to ask whether strife in Creation is right, to perceive it only as cruel. Do you not realize that you thereby brand yourselves as weaklings, who are harmful for any present day possibility of ascent?
Rouse yourselves at last out of this outrageous weakness, which only allows both body and spirit gradually to sink, but never to rise!
Look around you, see and recognize, and you must bless the great motivating power which urges to fight and thus to defend, to be cautious, to be alert and alive! It protects all creatures from the deadly embrace of lethargy!
Can an artist ever reach the peak of his skill and maintain it unless he continually practices and struggles for it? This holds true regardless of the nature of his activity, or how great his abilities are. The voice of a singer would soon diminish in power and sureness, if he did not force himself constantly to practice and learn afresh.
An arm can only grow strong with constant exercise. Any slackening must lead to weakening. And so it is with every body and every spirit! However, no man can be induced to do this voluntarily. There must be some kind of compulsion present!
If you wish to be healthy, then take care of your body and your spirit. In other words, keep them in strict activity!
But what men today mean and have always meant by “taking care of” is not the right thing. By "taking care of“ they either mean indulging in sweet idleness, which as such already holds a weakening and paralysis, or they practice this “taking care of” only one-sidedly, as with any sport. In other words, they make the taking care of into a “sport” a one-sided exaggeration, and thereby into frivolous and ambitious excesses utterly unworthy of serious human beings. True humanity must have the final goal in view, which cannot be reached by high jumping, swimming, running, riding or by senseless driving. Mankind and the entire Creation derive no benefit from such individual accomplishments, for which many a man often sacrifices the greatest part of his thoughts, his time and his life on earth!
The fact that such excesses could develop at all shows how wrong the path of mankind is. It also shows how men divert this great motive power in Creation only into wrong channels, thereby frittering it away in useless play, or even using it to their detriment by hindering their healthy progress, for which all means are provided in Creation.
In their human conceit men so distort the course of the strong currents of the spirit, which are meant to provide support for ascent, that instead of the intended support congestions occur. These congestions act as obstructions which in turn increase the fighting instinct, eventually bursting and pulling everything along into the depth.
It is with such hollow would-be scientific games and ambitions that man of today primarily occupies himself. A trouble-maker in any Creation-harmony!
He would long since have fallen into the lazy sleep of idleness which must lead to decay, had it not been for the fighting instinct that fortunately rests in Creation, forcing him to bestir himself in any case! Otherwise he would long ago have arrogantly presumed that God must care for him through His Creation, just as in the dream of a fool’s paradise. And if in return he offers his thanks in a spiritless prayer, then that is more than enough reward for his God. Indeed there are many who never thank Him at all!
Such is man, and in reality not otherwise!
He talks of cruelty in Nature, but it never occurs to him to examine himself first! He only wants to criticize.
In the fighting among animals there lies only blessing, not cruelty.
One only needs to observe some animal closely. As an example let us take a dog. The more considerately a dog is treated the more slack and sluggish it will become. If a dog is in the study of its master and the latter always carefully refrains from stepping upon or pushing the animal, even if it lies down in places where it is in constant danger of being hurt unintentionally, as for instance near a door, then this is to the detriment of the animal.
Within a very short period of time the dog will lose its alertness. “Kind-hearted” people will say with benign affection, perhaps even moved by the wonderful “trust” the dog shows by this! It knows nobody will hurt it! In reality, however, this is nothing but a gross decline in its capacity to “be alert,” a marked regression in the activity of its soul.
If, on the other hand, an animal needs to be constantly on the alert and ready to defend itself, not only will its soul become and remain awake, but its intelligence will steadily grow keener and it will gain in every way. It remains alive in all respects, which means progress! It is the same with every creature! Otherwise it will perish, because its body gradually weakens and becomes less resistant, more susceptible to disease.
The fact that men’s attitude towards the animal is in many ways completely wrong as well will not surprise a keen observer. For man has maladapted himself completely towards everything, towards himself and towards the entire Creation, doing spiritual harm everywhere instead of bringing benefit.
If today the fighting instinct which so many people call cruel no longer existed in Creation, the World of Matter would already long since have been in a state of decay and disintegration. This instinct has a preservative effect for the body and for the soul. It is by no means destructive; although it may appear so, on the surface. Otherwise there would no longer be anything left to maintain movement, restoration and vigor for this sluggish World of Gross Matter, since man, through his errors, has so shamefully diverted the quickening effects of the all-pervading spiritual power actually intended for this purpose, so that it cannot act in the way it really should! (See earlier lectures)
If man had not failed so miserably to carry out his intended purpose, then much, everything would look different today! The so-called “fight” would not manifest in that form in which it shows itself at present.
The fighting instinct would be ennobled, spiritualized by the aspiring will of man. Its original coarse effect, instead of intensifying as it does now, would gradually have changed under the right spiritual influence and become a united, joyful incentive for mutual support, which would require the same energy as the most violent fight. The difference is that a fight is followed by exhaustion, while mutual support is followed, in reciprocal action, by a great increase in energy. Consequently, in the end and for all creatures, the replica of Creation wherein the spiritual will of man is the strongest influence, would have experienced the paradisiacal state of the original Creation where there is no longer any need for fight and apparent cruelty! This Paradise-like condition, by no means consists of idleness, but is equivalent to most energetically bestirring oneself to true, fully personally conscious life!
The fact that this could not happen is to be blamed on the human spirit! Again and again I must refer to the decisive fall of man, which I describe in detail in the lecture “Once upon a time..!”*(Lecture Nr. 80)
Only the complete failure of the human spirit in Creation through the misuse of the spiritual power entrusted to it by diverting its effects downwards instead of upwards to Luminous Heights, has brought about the present flawed outgrowths!
Already man has gambled away and lost even the ability to recognize his mistake! Thus I would only be preaching to deaf ears if I wanted to say more about it. He who really wishes to “listen” and is able to seek earnestly will find all he needs in my Message. And everywhere will he find explanations about the great failure which has wrought such unspeakably grave consequences in so many and varied forms. He, however, who is spiritually deaf, as so many are, has only the meaningless laugh of lack of understanding, a laugh that is meant to simulate knowledge, but which in reality merely indicates a flippant superficiality, and is the same as the grossest narrow-mindedness. And those who are still today impressed in any way by the idiotic laugh of such spiritually limited human beings are themselves worthless! It is here that Christ’s words are applicable: “Let the dead bury their dead,” for he who is spiritually deaf and blind is spiritually dead!
Through his abilities, the human spirit could have made the earth, which is a replica of Creation, into paradise! He has not done so, and therefore he now sees the world before him as he has distorted it through his false actions. Everything lies therein! Therefore do not, out of false sentimentality, disdain such an important matter as the strife in Nature, for it restores the necessary balance which man neglected to carry out! Do not be so presumptuous as to call your sultry-sweet sentimentality “love,” with which man likes to label his weaknesses! Such falseness and hypocrisy must be paid for dearly!
Therefore, woe unto you, man, you rotten product of your conceit! You caricature of what you should be!
Try to observe calmly what you call Nature: the mountains, lakes, woods, and the meadows, at all seasons: The eye is drunk with the beauty it beholds! And now reflect: That which gives you so much pleasure and enjoyment is the fruit of the working of all animistic substantiality, which is below the spiritual in Creation, the power of which became your own!
Then seek out the fruits of your work, you who are spiritual and thereby call many more capabilities your own. For this reason however, you should also have to accomplish higher things than animistic substantiality which precedes you.
And what do you find? Only feeble imitations of what animistic substantiality has already achieved, but no progress towards ideal heights in all that is alive and thus in Creation! With nothing but withered creative instincts mankind try lifelessly to imitate existing forms of the lowest kind, whereas with a free and conscious spirit, and their eyes uplifted to the Divine, they would be capable of producing very different and much more sublime things!
Men have wantonly cut themselves off from the greatness which is born only of a free spirit, and besides childish imitations they can therefore produce nothing but machines, constructions, and technology in general. All earth-bound, on a lowly plane, hollow and lifeless: just like themselves!
These are the fruits which men, as spiritual beings, have to offer in contrast to the activity of the elemental beings. This is how they have fulfilled the spiritual task in the Subsequent Creation given to them for that purpose!
How do they expect to pass when the reckoning comes? Is it any wonder if the sublime Paradise must remain closed to men with such base proclivities? And is it any surprise if now in the end the elementals, in reciprocal action, will completely destroy the work so wrongly led by the human spirit? —
When now, because of the lack of ability you showed, everything collapses upon you, then cover your face and acknowledge with shame the terrible guilt with which you have burdened yourselves! Do not again try to accuse your Creator, or call Him cruel and unjust!
You who are seeking, however, examine yourselves seriously and unsparingly, and then try to readjust your whole thinking and intuitive perception, indeed your whole being, upon a spiritual foundation, which will no longer waver like the intellectual and thus very limited foundation of the past! He who is not capable of doing so will be cast away for all eternity! —