34 QUESTION:  We have now two-and-a-half billion people on this Earth. According to any reliable census, this is the maximum we can have. This must mean a rapidly increasing number on the other side. Now, probably every human being has the same allotment, or is that not so?
ANSWER: Certainly. You see, my dear friend, the Spirit World is so vast that you cannot have an idea of it. There are so many worlds, so many spheres, and so very, very many spirit beings, of all types of development. There is really enough for everyone. You can be quite sure of that. There are many, many more spirits than the number of human beings that will ever exist.
59 QUESTION:  In accordance with the teachings we receive, I wonder how it is possible that the world is now in fear of excessive growth of population, of “population explosion”?
ANSWER: If people managed the planet at their disposal better, there would be plenty of room for all to come. Perhaps the very fact that more and more people are coming is a measure to teach mankind to fully utilize all it has. If people learned to live in peace with their neighbors, they could exploit boundless resources that are now used for unnecessary and destructive purposes.
Moreover, they would discover many resources and possibilities that are still closed to them, and which would give many, many more people the possibility to live on Earth. That is the lesson to learn. If it is learned properly, it will bring benefit to all. If it is not learned, people will have to go through added hardships before they can find the solution that lies right in front of them, if they turn in the right direction.
Let me assure you that Planet Earth could nourish and accommodate many, many more people than you now have. All could live in a much happier state than now prevails.
61 QUESTION:  Since the world is getting more and more populated, I would like to know where all these additional souls come from?
ANSWER: They come from the Spirit World, as all souls do from various spheres. There is such a vast world in the universe, with so many beings waiting to start the cycle of incarnations, and so many waiting to continue it. There are those who are to begin, those who are in the middle, and those who are at the end of their Earth incarnations.
The reason for more human beings now than ever before is that, as progress continues in the entire Creation, accelerated conditions prevail. More souls can begin their Earth cycle and more souls can come back sooner; that is, they need less time in the Spirit World between incarnations.
This accounts for the many souls being born. When development takes place within an individual soul, the soul generates more strength, which remains in the reservoir of the soul; therefore, the entity is ready to start Earth life after a shorter period of time in the beyond. Does that answer your question?
QUESTION: Yes, in a way. From generation to generation there seems to be many more people on this Earth. And I wanted to know where they come from.
ANSWER: Perhaps you will get a clearer picture if I remind you of the lectures on the Creation [Lecture #20 God: The Creation]and the Fall [Lecture #21 The Fall]. Ever since the Fall, a vast number of beings have to go through their development in order to come back into light. The Earth sphere is a very important part of this development.
Whenever they are not incarnated, they live in various spheres in the Spirit World. As progress continues, more and more beings from these spiritual realms, in various stages of development, come to the Earth sphere: those who have never been incarnated before, as well as those who have. Due to increased strength, they can come back after a shorter period of time in the Spirit World.
This is a cycle that will last for a while; then a new cycle may come when fewer beings will come to Earth for a while. It is not that the spirits who are born now have been especially created for that purpose. They have been created before, they just appear on this Earth sphere now because they are ready for it. They are either ready to start incarnation, or ready to resume it faster. This may create certain Earth problems, but these very problems can be the stepping stones for further development.
QUESTION: You are talking about progress, but this applies only to a few, doesn’t it? It seems that crime and terrible things go on more than ever.
ANSWER: This is all relative. Of course, the Forces of Darkness are still very strong on the Earth sphere. But that is certainly not an indication that spiritual progress has not taken place. These Forces of Darkness do exist, of course, but they do not exist more than in earlier times, quite the contrary.
The fact that you have more crime is understandable if you consider that there are more people and therefore more difficult conditions in certain respects, and more people incarnated from lower spheres. But from the overall view, progress is tremendous.
If you had the same number of human beings in former times, the cruelty, crime and wickedness on this Earth sphere would have been so much greater that the human race would have found it almost impossible to exist. Exactly because of the spiritual progress, it has become possible for so many beings from lower spheres to go through Earth development now. You only see a very limited aspect as it appears on Earth, thus ignoring all these factors.
QUESTION: Why are there more births now in the colored races or in Asia and China, and in all the backward countries where people are so undeveloped, than in the Western hemisphere?
ANSWER: Because it is exactly in those conditions that certain souls can find the conditions more favorable for their present incarnation and development – not favorable from a point of view of earthly comfort, but favorable for what they need at this time in order to grow and develop.
All this is neither coincidence nor arbitrary; it happens all according to a very wonderful law which constantly regulates itself, balancing itself. As I said before, you on this Earth sphere cannot see the balance and harmonization that take place constantly. In fact, it appears to you as the very opposite.
Imagine that you want to build a beautiful house where an old and dilapidated one is standing now. First you have to tear down the old building and clear the foundations before you can build the beautiful new structure. In order to do that, the time has to be ripe. You have to have the necessary material, all the essentials you need for the new structure, before you can set out to do the work.
A person not knowing all these circumstances, just seeing a building being torn down, may think this is destruction, chaos and imbalance. Only with the knowledge of the complete picture will he realize that the momentary destruction is an integral part of construction. This is what constantly takes place in Creation, in the entire universe, as an effect of the Fall. It also takes place in the individual soul.
In personal development, you often have to go through the process of destroying something: the old and obsolete and illusory. This will give you the sense of things getting worse, feeling more depressed, more confused. In reality it is part of the growth that can take place after this painful procedure.
By the same token, when souls are incarnated into conditions more difficult than other conditions, it may seem to you that this disadvantage is unjust and unbalanced and therefore a step backward in development. But in the overall picture it is not at all that way.
Souls incarnated into these circumstances are, for the most part, spirits who find through these very difficulties the conditions most adequate for their present stage of development, affording them the greatest chance to grow out of the particular inner obstacles they have to face. There are also very evolved souls – the minority – born into these conditions.
They come to help spread love and truth. They do not only set an example, but also have a particular strength with which they can influence general conditions. They are, each in their own way, leaders of humankind. They are not necessarily famous.
Whatever appears like a negative aspect, a disadvantage, indicating lack of progress, is often just the opposite. But you could only grasp this if you had the overall view, knowing what is at stake from the point of view of Creation. The temporary earthly disadvantages would be recognized for what they are, namely stepping stones to real progress – the progress of the soul, not of the temporary human personality.
QUESTION: In the previous question the word “backward countries” was used, implying that we are forward. Does it seem that way to you?
ANSWER: Not in all respects. In some respects, yes, but “backward” would certainly apply to earthly human advantages. Spiritually speaking, it is hard to generalize. There are so many aspects of the human personality. In most cases you cannot compare the development of one individual with another. One person may be more developed in one way, the other person in another way. Of course, there also exist definite and crass cases of difference in development. But in many cases this is not so. The same applies to groups, races and nationalities.
QUESTION: Is the total number of spirits incarnated and discarnated finite, and if so, does that number remain constant or are there additions and subtractions?
ANSWER: Certainly no destruction of any created spirit exists, therefore there can be no subtraction. But the creation of new spirits is going on.
63 QUESTION: I would like to ask about a discrepancy. In the last Question and Answer session the question was: “Is the total number of spirits incarnated and discarnated finite and if so, does the number remain constant or are there additions and subtractions?” The answer was: “There certainly does not exist a destruction of any created spirits; therefore, there can be no subtraction. But the creation of new spirits is going on.” The question was: “Constantly?” The answer was: “Indeed.”
Now, I would like to read from the lecture of February, 1958, in which one of the questions was: “Are there any new spirit beings created?” And the answer was: “New spirits are not being created for the time being – not as long as the Plan of Salvation has not found its conclusion.”
ANSWER: There is no contradiction, although I can easily see that it appears that way. You will see it in a moment. I can see that it would have been clearer if a different terminology had been used, however. Let us distinguish between a spirit entity and the spirit quality or substance. These two are the same in essence and not quite the same in manifestation. The latter is pure consciousness, it is alive, thinking, feeling, willing, and endowed with all the qualities of life as such.
Some time ago, I gave a lecture explaining that all beings who have reached the highest state of development, or who have never participated in the Fall, can exist – for lack of a better word – in the state of being in which they are spirit quality or substance; or they can retract their fluids at will and become a spirit entity, similar in shape and form to the human form which is a reproduction of the form of a spirit entity.
They will then be in an active state. This does not mean, however, that the state of being is entirely inactive; the activity, however, is of a different kind. This is extremely difficult to convey and to understand. When the spirit entity decides to let go of the fluids, expanding them, letting them flow out, so to speak, the state of being will be achieved again and their spirit substance becomes part of the great cosmic force.
What is so often misunderstood about this state is the thought that consciousness ceases, individual will ceases. This is not so. And yet, the spirit substance of the being in question is part of the great reservoir, being truly in union with the universe.
If you distinguish between these two forms of existence, you will see that there is no contradiction. It is true that as long as the Plan of Salvation has not come to its conclusion, the spirits created remain in the state of being and are therefore not spiritual entities assuming the form the human being has been shaped in – although the matter is an infinitely more subtle quality, and its frequency rate infinitely higher.
Only after the Plan of Salvation is completed, will it be possible to retract their fluids at will and, for certain purposes, become entities, spirit beings, when they so choose, at least for a while. For none of them desires to remain in that state all the time.
So it is true that spirit entities, in form and shape as you can conceive of them, are not created until after the completion of the Plan of Salvation. And it is also true that new spirits – spirit substance, spirit quality, spirits in the state of being – are constantly being created. It could not be any other way.
For, the spiritual world is the world of life. Where there is life, there must be creation. Spirit is life and life is creation. Only what is dead does not create. Life can only create life; it cannot create something that is not alive. Everything that is alive is spirit, and everything that is spirit creates. It is a constant process. It cannot be stopped, because non-creation is basically foreign and opposed to spirit and life.
However, this created life will remain in the flowing state of being for purposes of balance until after the Plan of Salvation has found its fulfillment. The newly-created spirit life will not actively affect and participate in the Plan of Salvation. Indirectly yes, but not in the capacity of a closed and retracted entity. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Yes, thank you. Was the same terminology used in both cases only to simplify matters?
ANSWER: You must realize that we have many difficulties to overcome. The limitation of human language is a tremendous obstruction in itself. There are far fewer words available in the human language than we would need in order to convey the truth of Creation. Add to that the obstructions in the human instrument – not necessarily or solely because of blocks in the subconscious, but also because the words which might have been more suitable on a particular occasion were absent in the instrument’s subconscious.
Had I gone into all that at the time, it would have been too long and at the time perhaps even more confusing, because knowledge you now have was then still lacking. It was not too important for you to understand these difficult questions then. We would have used up available strength on matters which might possibly have created misunderstanding. Such matters get easily cleared up at a later period when you have gathered more understanding.
Then there is something else: the possibility that you may not remember the material I give. Had you retained the lecture about the state of being of a spirit and its possibility to retract its fluids, thus becoming an entity, you would have seen that there is no contradiction. You might have understood it clearly by thinking about it, or at least vaguely sensed it.
We certainly do not blame any of you. We realize that that is human. Many things will appear as contradictions – and yet they are not. In fact, I often speak about the apparent contradictions in psychological currents and how they lead to extremes on which various religions base their doctrines. This represents one of the main difficulties for the human being.
Only inner health and objectivity, self-honesty and the removal of one’s personal deviations will enable the human being to find the truth between two extremes – or between two truths which apparently cancel out one another, and yet are both true. The matter you brought up here is only one of many examples. This does not happen to be important for you now. But there are many other seeming contradictions, in connection with soul trends, where such misunderstandings can be really confusing for a person, at least for a while. Only the path of self-search will eliminate such temporary, harmful confusions.