8 GUIDE COMMENT: As to the greatest existential questions of Creation, you will have the right attitude if you understand that to know the answers fully is not so important. Wait with humility until the knowledge becomes accessible, until you have progressed enough to deserve it.
Simply follow the Bible: “Test everything and keep the good.” Quietly accept what serves God’s will. Accept the message with a humble and patiently detached attitude, without wanting to know everything at once.
22 QUESTION: Why was the name Lucifer, which means light-bringer, given for the satanic power? Where is its scriptural origin?
ANSWER: The name Lucifer was not given to this spirit after he became what you call Satan. That was his name when he was created as a spirit of light. And as you know, Lucifer came after Christ. He was a marvelous and beautiful spirit – the bringer of light. That name originates from that time. Where you can find it in the Scriptures is a question I am not entitled to answer, because, as you know, a spirit does not have the right to answer questions you could find out by your own endeavors.
24 QUESTION: Are the disciples of Jesus powers which do not have to reincarnate again and do they represent in a symbolic form psychological aspects of human types?
ANSWER: There are two questions here. To the first question I say: there are some among the disciples who do not have to come back anymore and some others who do, but they are very highly developed now and have great tasks to fulfill on this earth. I explicitly beg you, my friends, not to ask me which of the disciples do not have to reincarnate anymore and which of them may be alive now. I have very good reasons, particular reasons, why I do not want to discuss this. And it is not important for your development to know this.
As far as the psychological aspects are concerned, I would like to say this: the whole Bible, the Old as well as the New Testament, can be interpreted on many levels. The lowest level would be the historical one. There are, of course, many errors and many omissions, historically, which have to be expected. Then there is the level of spirituality and symbolism – the level that you might call metaphysical. And there is – and this is, perhaps, the most useful for human beings in your present state of development – the psychological level.
For everything mentioned in the Holy Scriptures also has this level, in addition to the others. One level does not exclude the validity of the other. And even though many of the personalities in the Scriptures were actual persons – not all of them, but many of them – they, at the same time, represent psychological aspects. Because of the existence of these different levels simultaneously, the Holy Scriptures are such a magnificent, outstanding and unique document.
Meaning is to be found on each of these planes. It is inconceivably “artful” – to choose this word – to have the Bible constructed in this way. You can never know how strongly and resourcefully God’s Spirit World has actively helped to create this marvel, already foreseeing the many human errors that inevitably must slip in, in the course of time.
Despite these errors, the Bible is something that has never been duplicated. But there are extremely few people, indeed, who understand the Bible from this point of view. Many perceive one level, perhaps a few even two levels, but there is hardly a person who can grasp all the levels contained in it.
25 QUESTION: I would like to ask something in connection with the fall of the angels. In Isaiah it is said that God created good and evil. Did God create the evil forces and the Luciferic powers too?
ANSWER: That is a great error, and you will readily understand it now when I remind you of one of the last lectures, The Fall [Lecture #21 The Fall], that explains how this error could have happened. You will remember my explaining that God created the power which he then gave to each of his created spirits. This power could be used in any way depending on the individual spirit’s free will.
Now that explains why or how this error could have occurred. It is technically correct to say that God created evil, but it would be more correct to say that God created the possibility for evil if with their free will people – or spirits – use this power against divine law.
34 GUIDE COMMENT: Let us talk first about the physical aspects of the human being to be incarnated. The parental genes are made to correspond to and affect the physical shell. In the meantime, the entity to be born is growing in the body of the mother in such a way that its physical karmic necessities can be fulfilled.
There is no coincidence possible. Nothing is left to itself. And when it says in the Bible that God has counted every single hair on your head, it is no exaggeration, my friends. You should understand it in this sense.
For every smallest detail has to correspond, because it has a meaning – a much deeper meaning and significance than you can possibly imagine. Symbolism does not work the way humanity thinks it does. It is mostly the other way around. Your bodies are often symbols in one way or another of your spiritual development, psychological trends, and so forth. But beware of rules and generalizations here. There are none.
49 QUESTION: My question is about Job. For what failures or shortcomings in his life was he made to suffer so much?
ANSWER: For lack of self-recognition and for self-deception out of pride and fear. There was in him an impatience to be already perfect – an impatience connected with spiritual pride. He used his desire for good to suppress basic instincts rather than facing them with courage and sincerity.
QUESTION: Is it true, as some interpreters have it, that he played himself up as the patriarch who deserved all the grace of God – in other words, that he was self-righteous?
ANSWER: Yes, that is pride. There was pride in this respect, but also in other respects. And he manifested extreme self-will. His self-will wanted to be already at a point that only hard labor and the humility of self-recognition can attain.
52 GUIDE COMMENT: In the Bible it is said that you should not create an image of God. Most people believe this statement means that you should not draw a picture or make a statue of God. But this is by no means the entire sense.
If you think about this statement a little more deeply, you will come to the conclusion that this could not be all that is implied in this commandment. You must now perceive that this refers to the inner image. You are still so involved in your own wrong conclusions and your irrational impressions that you are bound to have an inner image about God, as well as on all other subjects that are most important in your life.
Children experience their first conflict with authority at an early age. I have talked at length about this. They also learn that God is the highest authority. Therefore it is not surprising that children project their subjective experiences with authority on their imaginings about God. An image is formed, and whatever the child’s – and later the adult’s – relationship to authority is, his or her attitude toward God will, most probably, be colored and influenced by it.
72 QUESTION: The word “fear” has come up a number of times this evening. And you used the words “irrational and unfounded fear.” This leads me to believe that there must be a rational and a founded fear. We are taught here, for example, that fear has a negative connotation and stands for a destructive emotion. And then we read in Scripture that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” And also, in the Zohar (Book of Splendor) there is a comparison of “love and fear of God to the wings of the bird.” I wonder if you could speak a little about these two kinds of fear?
ANSWER: These are two distinct questions. The answer to the first, about the rational versus the irrational fear is this: if you are in some kind of danger, your reaction to fear is healthy. It is like a signal, giving you the opportunity to do something about it, to save yourself from danger. In other words, it is constructive rather than destructive. Without this danger signal you would be destroyed. This is decidedly different from the psychological, unhealthy, destructive fears we generally discuss in our work.
As to the fear of God, this has absolutely nothing to do with the healthy protective fear we just discussed. Any reference to fear of God in Scripture is due to translations on a wrong and superficial level. But the deeper reasons, why such wrong translations could occur in this particular connection, have very much to do with the God-image, as well as with the fear of the unknown.
On the one hand, people need the strong authority who upholds the fixed rule because then they do not have to be self-responsible. On the other hand, an unhealthy fear is generated, which always happens when maturity and self-responsibility are not attained. Whether you fear an avenging God, life, other human beings, or yourself, it is all the same.
Outwardly, there is simply a misunderstanding about certain terms in the Bible; in reality the word “fear” means something quite different, perhaps best described by the words “honor” or “respect.” The respect paid to the highest intelligence, wisdom and love is beyond words.
In the presence of such unlimited greatness, all beings must be in awe – but never in fear! In coming across such wonder, one cannot help being in awe. It surpasses all understanding. That idea is conveyed in the word that was erroneously translated as “fear.” But it is not meant that way. Is that clear?
QUESTION: It is clear. I should like to add a thought that is related and which supports what you have said. In the Kabbalistic teachings pertaining to the word given to us as “fear,” the Hebrew word is Y(I)R(A)H. This word ties in with the ninth of the Ten Sephirot (Emanations) which is indicated as “foundation.” This is the turning point where involution ends and evolution begins. Here is the start of the upward turn toward God. The awareness of God is the beginning of wisdom.
ANSWER: Yes, that is very true.
90 QUESTION: What is the difference between moralizing and righteousness?
ANSWER: It depends how the words are used. It is a matter of interpretation. “Righteousness” is often used, for instance, in Scripture as doing the right thing and being good. But in more recent times, this word has taken on a different meaning for many people. When they use it, they think of self-righteousness, of the very moralizing character I have discussed.
In fact, this usage is appropriate because righteousness is often actually self-righteousness because it stems from the wrong attitude we have just discussed in detail. It is a different way of saying that a false goodness, a forceful, insincere one, produces a moralizing that many people rebel against. Genuine goodness, coming out of real growth, will never have this effect on others.
102 QUESTION: The conquest of fear in Matthew is by way of faith in God. How would you relate that to our teachings?
ANSWER: As you all know by now, faith in God, in a genuine, secure, profound and sincere way, can only exist if you first have faith in yourself. To the degree that you lack faith in yourself, you cannot have faith in God. Yes, you can superimpose it and deceive yourself about it, out of a need to cling to a loving authority. But it cannot be true faith unless you have gained the maturity of faith in yourself.
Now, how can you have faith in yourself, unless you understand yourself as much as possible? As long as you are puzzled and grope in the dark about what effect you have on others and the effect life and others have on you, you ignore some vital information about your own psychic life. Ignorance is a result of your inner unwillingness to discover the truth, an unwillingness that is often unconscious. Overcoming the hidden resistance will make you understand yourself better and have increasing faith in yourself, and thus in God. Only in this way can you conquer fear.
QUESTION: It seems to me that the seven cardinal sins are a subtler explanation of the Ten Commandments, which are definitely based on fear, or create fear in their application.
ANSWER: Yes. Every teaching, if misapplied and misunderstood, will create fear. A rigid commandment, if pronounced without the possibility of finding the underlying obstructions to following such commandments, will produce fear and guilt, and therefore hate.
Today it is no longer possible and even constructive for human beings to merely obey a commandment in their actions. Since this is not good enough, your innermost self will be fearful, even if your actions are entirely proper and conform to the commandments. The final authority is not outside of yourself, but embedded in your own psyche. There is a vast difference between the perfectionistic demands of your idealized self, and the productive life that your real self wants you to lead.
QA135 QUESTION: Is evil a condition which results from an actual fall from grace? And what is its relationship to Lucifer in the Old and New Testaments?
ANSWER: I have discussed many factors, particularly in the last few lectures in the last season, of what constitutes evil. The word “grace” can, of course, be interpreted in many ways. The way I would interpret it would be that grace is the true state of being in which all the universal good, all the forces and powers in the most abundant of ways are each individual’s property.
Falling from grace means no more and no less than not knowing this, ignoring this fact, and searching for the solution and for salvation in a faraway manner, while the truth is there all the time.
The blindness lies in making it more complicated and ignoring the truth, which is: it is all yours. You do not have to beg for it; you do not have even to struggle for it. All you have to struggle against is your own blindness and your own distortions, which make you afraid of the truth and make you cling to unhappiness and untruth. This would be the falling from grace. Once this is clearly understood, many further errors can be avoided.
Now, as to your question of Luciferic powers and personification and the allegory and all that. This, of course, is entirely a matter of comprehension and consciousness. He who is still deeply involved in his separateness, in a dualistic concept of life, cannot conceive of the unity of being, which means that everything is in him. This means, not only what I said before – namely, that all the good is in man – but it also means that the bad that befalls on man from the outside is also in him.
The more man is on such a path, the more he comprehends this fact. You, for instance, my friends, learn gradually, and little by little, that what disturbs you from the outside is really a reflection of something that is within you. You have no more difficulty with anything else but with this, for no matter how much you hear these words, you always and continuously forget them, and ascribe misery and strife to factors outside yourself, to something that is wrong outside of you.
Nothing could ever disturb you, no matter how much it appears to come from the outside, other than what is in you. The outside is only a reflection activated by your own corresponding powers. The same applies to the pleasurable. Man’s inability to understand that, separates himself from the universe, from life, from Creation, from events and experience. Therefore he personalizes outer factors and even gives these outer factors a name. The more he develops, the less man will be tempted to do such a thing.
QA244 GUIDE COMMENT: As I promised you, tonight I will answer your questions regarding the Bible. First, however, I would like to discuss some aspects of this topic. The New Testament brings mostly the accounts of the people who were then called disciples and apostles. Many of these accounts confirm the same events, without contradictions. This is important for you to fully comprehend. It is indeed very significant that these accounts are confirmations of real historical events, regardless of what some sources claim today.
It is also interesting to note that in typical human fashion, people observe, tune in to and have different opinions as to what is relevant. Therefore some of the Gospels concentrate more on certain events than others. It is, of course, also true that not all the witnesses were present at all occasions.
Many of Jesus’ injunctions may appear today totally contradictory to spiritual laws as you learn them. Quite apart from unavoidable occasional mistranslations based on the translator’s own misconceptions and limited vision, at the time society’s laws and rules safeguarded inner spiritual truths. These very same rules and laws are no longer necessary today because mankind as a whole has evolved considerably, at least in certain areas. When such questions come up – as they surely will – I shall explain them more specifically.
Many sayings in the Scriptures also seem contradictory to spiritual truths today because of mankind’s total externalization of reality. Everything was separated and outward, nothing internalized. This is why cause and effect were seen in a distorted way, as if effect were an arbitrary, often punitive act by a separated deity.
This is a particular importance for you to comprehend, my friends. Our next lecture [Lecture #245 Cause and Effect on Various Levels of Consciousness] will deal with some very deep reaching aspects of cause and effect on various levels of reality. In this particular context, the forthcoming lecture will prevent you from rejecting the Bible as you often do, in its totality. I venture to guess that a number of questions will deal with this aspect of human changes in outlook and perception of reality and Creation.
The benefit of understanding the Bible in a new light and with new insight is immeasurable. It will convey to you the immense love that Jesus gave to all of humanity. It will help you to experience him with more reality and aid you to make contact with him now. It will also give you a more comprehensive overall vision of evolution of consciousness.
It will connect many of my teachings in this respect with the actual historical events and thus open to you a deeper vision of God’s constant presence in all of humanity’s life. It will reveal the ongoing process of evolution, which will strengthen your faith and correct your distortions.