Can you explain the how the concept of free will fits into this?
The Guide: Since one of the most important divine aspects is free will or freedom of choice, this had to turn into its opposite too. The spirit who was the first to succumb to the temptation of abusing this power, the one who is sometimes referred to as Lucifer, Satan, or the devil, who influenced others to follow him, would naturally have been the first one to inhabit the new world that came into existence.
This spirit had complete power over all those who followed him, and, contrary to God, he used this power. God gives the freedom of choice and this has deeper significance than most of you realize. With that freedom necessarily comes the possibility to abuse the given power and to use it contrary to the divine laws.
If no choice were available, there would be no freedom and no power. There can be no divine happiness, in fact, no divinity at all, if it cannot be attained or maintained by free choice. By the same token, the opposite of God and his laws must be the prohibition of free choice and the domination of the stronger over the weaker ones.
This state of affairs would seem to make the salvation of the fallen beings impossible. For even should they have come to the point of desiring to go back to God, they would not have had the power to do so since they were under the dominion and power of the one who reigns in the world of darkness.
On the other hand, how could God not break his own laws and still save those beings who longed for him? If he were to use his infinite power by overruling the free will and the choice of those who decided to use the given power in their own way, he would actually be acting from the same principle as Lucifer.
Here, more than in anything else, maintaining the divine principle was of utmost importance. For only if God remained true to himself and his laws would there be a fundamental difference between the ways of God and the ways of Lucifer.
Since it is God’s plan that every creature should recognize him and at one time come back to him out of free choice and re-attain divinity, it was imperative that he not use the same means of force as his opponent, even though his purpose might be a good one. It is not the end alone that counts, but very much the means too!
Only by remaining true to these principles would the most stubborn of the fallen beings one day see the vast difference between these two ways of being and understand the dignity that lies in the divine principles, even though it means a path of suffering for those who wish to get out of the self-created miserable circumstances.
Since life in spirit is in direct relationship to the inner harmony, enlightenment, and general attitude, spirits who have become disharmonious cannot be simply put into a world of harmony as you might travel into a beautiful country. In the world of spirit, the country is both you and your product.
Therefore, the once fallen spirits had and still have to attain a state where again they naturally produce harmonious worlds. That this can only be accomplished through the same slow process of development as the Fall with its degeneration is natural enough. You will readily understand now that this must happen in free choice, too, so that questions like, “Why has God not done away with evil?” need not come up any more in your deliberations.
On the other hand, means had to be found so that the creatures who desired to return to God and to keep his laws instead of Lucifer’s could do so within the framework of the laws of God. Thus the free will of no one would be broken, not even of Lucifer himself. This is the great Plan of Salvation in which Christ played a major role.
How did our journey to this planet called Earth begin?
The Guide: The spheres of darkness first came into existence where the spirits lived under the dominion of Lucifer. In the beginning, there was no longing for or sense of the light they had once possessed. Only after tasting the self-chosen medicine for a considerable time – that is, experiencing a state of desolation – did a vague longing for something else – they did not quite know for what – take hold of some of these beings.
It goes without saying that the memory of God and his worlds was extinguished to the degree that disharmony had set in, but it was revived again as attitudes changed. The latter could only occur as an exceedingly slow process, however. Spiritual darkness annuls knowledge, which is spiritual light.
Just as with human beings, if you have no spiritual enlightenment, you have to work spiritually to regain glimpses of this light. The vague longing that first some and later more creatures felt was sufficient to bring a glimmer of light into their world, as though a faraway dawn changed the contours of their world a little bit. The cold would not be quite so cold any more; the fire not so hot anymore; the filth not quite so filthy any more; and the loneliness not quite so unbearable and hopeless any more.
When enough spirits came into the state of longing and the longing increased, the time was ripe for the material world as you know it to come into existence. You may say that God created the material world, and this is true, for nothing can be created without the creative divine force. However, it is equally true that the material world was also created by the longing of enough spirits for something higher.
The world in which you are now living is the product of the desire to strive higher. Here conditions exist in which spiritual development can proceed, and in which a free choice for God can be made – which is impossible in the worlds of darkness.
In other words, this earth sphere is a product of the longing of the fallen spirits. And it is equally a product of the longing of all those beings who remained with God and whose deepest desire was always, and is always, to bring their brothers and sisters back to God. Therefore, both the divine worlds and the worlds of darkness helped in the creation of this earth sphere.
The influence of both worlds exists and will manifest itself according to the attitude of each individual being on this plane possessing the power of free choice. Conditions and circumstances on this earth sphere are different, of course, due to the new form of matter, but then, circumstances vary in all spheres.
Long before the fallen spirits developed far enough to be born as men and women, the spiritual life force first acted to create other forms of life. The original life force that works and manifests itself in each created being not only produced animals, plants, and minerals, but also other substances which were at first without self-awareness.
Just as a plant is without self-awareness, so too were these substances. As time went on, more and more beings came into a state of longing for light. This would perhaps constitute the only feeling these beings had at that time.
Very gradually, human beings came into existence in material form through various intermediate states. When this happened, a major phase was accomplished. This was the time when the first glimmer of self-awareness was born, or reborn, or re-awakened.
More and more people came to live on earth. Only with self-awareness, which includes thinking and deciding, can development take place. All the forms of life which existed before human beings have been leading up to this point.