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Why is it that all these things were not explained with enough clarity so that they could not have been misunderstood?
The Guide: My dearest friends, as long as one’s inner growth is not sufficiently developed, there is absolutely no way of understanding a spiritual meaning, whether clearly and directly expressed so that misunderstanding can be ruled out, or conveyed allegorically and indirectly. In fact, the more direct the explanation, the more dangerous it is for those whose understanding has not reached a higher level through development.
Even today, when humankind is in many ways more developed, if my teachings were presented to people who are far away from such thinking, such concepts, such ideas, my words could not possibly be understood. The little that might make some sense to them would have a worse effect than what they do not understand at all. They would be bound to misunderstand – which is not at all the same as not understanding – and therefore abuse would be inevitable.
Some sayings in the Bible are clear even today. For instance, “Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you.” This is similar in meaning, but is much clearer.
The Guide: I can only repeat that great truth cannot be revealed to one who is not yet capable of understanding. That person is just as apt to misunderstand the “simple” explanation as the concealed one. But for those who can understand, the concealed one, hidden in symbols, has an additional meaning and revelation that cannot be found in simple statements.
Today, when the masses understand much more than they did thousands of years ago, truth can be given more directly, less veiled. But still, misunderstanding cannot be avoided, and therefore the dosage or proportion, as to how much chance can be taken, how much can be revealed, has to be well weighed. Sometimes more truth can have a worse effect and lead to greater harm than less truth. For misunderstood truth leads to half-truth which is the most dangerous of all.
Much of this has happened and is bound to happen in the future. It cannot be avoided, because the benefit for those few who derive real understanding from revealed truth will balance it out. This is why there must be a constant weighing between the benefit and the harm that truth can bring. Hiding the inner sense behind symbols is one way in which both considerations can be achieved. The symbolism protects the truth from those who would misunderstand and abuse it. And it reveals it to those who are ready for it.
But since no one is developed and fully open in all areas of their being, those who passed on the truth, who translated it, have misquoted, misunderstood and distorted the original meaning. Everyone who ever did so, did it in a different respect. But this did not happen because the truth was presented in symbols and parables, but because the person’s understanding was not sufficient. It would have been worse if the truth had been presented directly.
Truth can be a very dangerous weapon. Even the truth that I present to you can have such a result. If people are unwilling to apply it personally, in the deepest possible sense, they will assume judgment over others that may be all the more dangerous in that it would be partly true. Without recognizing their own negative tendencies people would gain an acute perception of other people’s negative tendencies, on which they then can focus out of all proportion, ignoring other factors that change the overall view.
With this outlook, they become arrogant. They judge wrongly, although what they see may be correct. And such teaching of truth may just enhance the negative outlook toward others, if they themselves do not sincerely search within themselves for what is most painful, and from what they cringe most! Truth has to be handled with care and responsibility. If people are inwardly ignorant, it is better not to feed them truth, but leave them rather in outer ignorance.
Jesus himself said, “For the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
The Guide: Yes, that is it. You will all see more and more that this holds true.