5 QUESTION: How and why is it possible that there are so many different religious concepts on Earth?
ANSWER: You think, “Everybody says something different, much of it is contradictory; therefore none of them can be in truth.” My dear friends, there is only one truth. Let me explain why there are differences in the human concepts and how they should be viewed – and here I exclude errors which have slipped into the concepts through faulty transmissions.
As everything has form and gestalt in spirit, so does truth, that is, the true state of things. The form is unchangeable and yet in constant flux, since everything in the spirit is in continuous, ever-vibrating, circular motion. Nothing is static, neither feelings nor circumstances, nothing at all. Imagine a wheel, unchangeable in its basic form, but constantly turning.
At various places and at different times, after fulfilling certain conditions, people occasionally lift the veil that covers it and see a small segment of the huge wheel. One person, at one particular time, sees one detail behind the veil; another, at another time or in another place, sees something quite different. Their observations may occasionally coincide, but often they do not, since the wheel is turning and whoever lifts the veil may see just then something different. What they see may sometimes appear contradictory, because the connection between the parts of the whole cannot be seen through the veil.
If the whole wheel were visible, the seemingly contradictory parts would be seen as belonging to a whole. So humanity is fighting because their various interpretations sound like contradictions. In reality this is not so. Even when a religious concept contains definite errors, one can find the grain of truth on which it is based.
People often approach this whole area with a wrong attitude. They believe that there cannot be such a thing as absolute truth, only relative truth, a conclusion they base on their various glimpses behind the veil. They purport that everything connected with God and Creation is more or less a matter of personal opinion or taste.
Each belief contains something beautiful and noble, they say, and therefore all these matters of belief are subjective and not absolute or objective. The conclusion, based on emotions, is that there is no absolute spiritual truth. Instead of trying to find the truth that can be found in each religious concept, people dismiss everything, at least emotionally, as illusion, imagination, and a matter of preference.
This means that the entire concept of the absolute, which can only exist in spirit, becomes predicated on human perception, with its errors elevating it above all else. By embracing this error, you become passive, you are unable to lift the veil and to personally experience the truth. This is only possible when a person is convinced that there must be an absolute truth above relative human truth, and when you are careful not to transpose the relative human truth onto the absolute spiritual truth. That would necessarily close the door to personally experiencing the truth.
In this respect, people can be divided into two groups. One clings dogmatically to a set of beliefs without much thinking or examining their feelings about them. They will never know what it is to have a deep personal experience of truth. The other group is the one I mentioned before. Today it is especially numerous, mostly consisting of intellectually advanced people.
They claim that their views are particularly unbiased, that they have freed themselves. But they throw the immutable, eternally moving, absolute, divine truth into one basket with human dogma, and thus they lose the solid ground from under their feet. Both groups represent extremes; both are in untruth and miss the point.
The second group is just as far away from the truth as is the first one, yes, often even more so. With all their superficial, intellectual knowledge, they are actually the ones who are the searchers. But they can find only if they first open a door within themselves, perhaps a door to their unconscious.
5 QUESTION: What is “religion?”
ANSWER: There is so much misunderstanding about this, and you are often anxious to assure yourself and others that you are not “religious.” You make the mistaken assumption that being religious means to adhere to some sect and blindly accept a set dogma.
Religion means “re-connection with God,” and everybody wants this, whether knowingly or not. All unfulfilled longing is basically nothing else but the wish to return to God, that is, to religion. The more a person is aware of this wish, the more peacefully and harmoniously the soul currents will flow. People may even find their way back to God through a sectarian community, if the instructions received there activate their soul force and open the door to self-search, and through that, to higher perception.
This is the essence of religion that people can discover also by adhering to a religious sect. Then the minor errors or deviations do not matter; in this case they are only details. Such details become important only when they hinder the individual’s progress, whether directly or indirectly. This, however, depends largely on the individual.
For other people, the way back to God does not lead through joining a religious sect; they must be shown another road. But whatever the way, everyone needs help from the outside. This outside help constitutes the material with which they must build their own house.
But religion, that is, reconnection with God, is essential for all. God is absolute, God is truth, and therefore the truth beyond human error is also absolute. Humans will receive as much of the truth as they are able to understand and assimilate, according to their development. There are many, however, to whom more could be given than what they are receiving – but they do not want it. They are too lazy, or they are not fulfilling the requirements for some other reason. But to those who truly knock, the door will be opened.
12 QUESTION: In organized churches there are priests – and I have childhood memories in mind – and when you ask them, “Is this good?” or “Is this a sin?” they would always say, “You know the answer very well yourself.” Do you think priests like that are inspired?
ANSWER: Yes, of course. People can find many answers themselves if they really want to. But aside from answers that pertain to personal development, to self-knowledge, to one’s own faults, it is necessary to gain knowledge from without.
For example, take the knowledge of spiritual laws, or knowledge how to overcome certain faults and find help in attaining purification. If that knowledge from without is not given, it is often impossible to find the right answer or to know what to do next. The more knowledge is gained from without, the more right answers one can give oneself, from within.
26 QUESTION: How do the different main religions continue their activities in the spiritual world? Do they fight each other? And how far can they influence human beings?
ANSWER: In all the spheres and in every gradation within them, from the highest to the lowest, the different main religions are represented. It is self-explanatory that they work differently in each sphere, according to the height of their development. Let us begin with the highest spheres. There the different religious denominations also have their own organization, but in a very different way from what is often imagined by human beings.
Those in the highest sphere know the real truth of the unity of all, as well as the falsehoods and truths of both their own religious groups and the others. They continue to work for the Plan of Salvation within their own group because they have their tasks to fulfill. If spirits of the highest spheres did not also come to Earth within the different religious organizations via certain people of a particular church, the Plan of Salvation could not function properly or efficiently.
By the same token, very high spirits also work and inspire groups, nations and individuals who are not bound to any religion. There is so much to be fulfilled in this great plan that often has to be done through and around existing conditions and blindnesses. Without such incarnations in different churches and groups, it would be impossible to tear down falsehoods.
Truth has to grow slowly. Any religion on Earth, therefore, will have emissaries born into it from all spheres who belong to this particular denomination. They are ranged according to the development and the desire of the individual in question, and also according to their openness to truth. Thus, the measure of inspiration always depends on the person.
You are always inspired according to your aims and attitudes. In the highest spheres, the spirits plan with a long view, knowing that their inspiration has an ultimate purpose that can rarely be understood by human beings. The spirits cannot overcome the human dogmas. Unless those people heard the truth from highly developed incarnated spirits of their own religion, they would not be open for any inspiration, because their minds are too strongly set.
Whenever this is the case, the doors are closed to inspiration coming from the Spirit World. Nevertheless, enough sincere goodwill may be present to enable the Spirit World to do good. God’s Spirit World needs workers in all groups, in all religions, to attain the one great aim of final unity.
We know that this unity cannot be accomplished as yet, but we work best for this goal not by trying to destroy, but by building upon that which counts. In God’s world, therefore, the different religions certainly do not fight. They all have the same goal. They know the limitations of spirits of lower development, and they try to slowly eliminate these limitations by building upon what is constructive.
However, in the spheres that do not belong to the world of God as yet, conditions are different. There the various religions do not fight either, because they do not have an opportunity to do so for the most part. There may be an exception in an individual case that is too complicated to explain here, but as groups they have their own spheres and remain there.
I have often told you that in the Spirit World, you live among spirits of your own kind. That diminishes friction, but also the possibility to advance. Let us take the case of human beings who have fervently believed in one particular religion. In many ways, they are still imperfect and therefore cannot reach higher spheres after shedding their bodies.
When they enter the Spirit World they will always be surrounded by spirits, both higher and lower, who are compatible with them and therefore belong to this religious group. The higher spirits may be trying to give certain advice or hints about personal errors, as well as about the errors of their convictions.
But if these happen to be stubborn people, very much indoctrinated with their own beliefs, they will not be open for such words and will reject all advice and hints as untrue. Since free will is never violated, these people are free to go with those spirits who have not changed their own beliefs.
They would do so even less in the Spirit World than on Earth. In the latter case, they at least had the knowledge and opportunity of seeing other means of reaching God and of learning something from that. But in the beyond, they live in their own world, and it may take a very, very long time to change their views, particularly if, due to their personal convictions, they are incarnated again into the same surroundings.
Some spirits in these spheres may be a little disappointed that their world is not more beautiful; but then they may also realize, and rightly so, that this is due to their own imperfection and has nothing to do with their religious belief. Only at a later state of purification does it occur to them that stubbornness and narrow-mindedness are at the core of their lower self, and these traits, among other things, were responsible for their one-sidedness.
As long as this stubbornness exists, no one of you can receive inspiration for something that may be contradictory to your own stubborn convictions, unless it is through an act of God’s grace that may only come in rare instances. Such grace has to be earned in other ways.
As I have often said, it is possible for a person or spirit to develop in every religion. Only if a certain point of development is reached, will the realization dawn that all truth meets finally in one universal form. When you have reached this awareness, you will see that there is no division among religions; there is no longer any attitude of “only this way is right and all others are wrong.” You will then see the many errors of particular religions, and still work with the truth.
27 QUESTION: I read in the papers about the Pope objecting to delve into the subconscious, that it can be harmful.
ANSWER: Well, it can be harmful if it is done by people who do not understand how to handle it. Certainly. A lot of harm has been done also by qualified doctors; I have mentioned that too. If the subconscious is taken apart without the realization of the existence of spiritual law and certain spiritual facts and truths, a person can have a breakdown.
It is as though you took a machine apart and you do not know how to put it together again. It can be the most useful, the most wonderful thing, but it can also be a very dangerous thing, as it is true with so many other things. Take, for instance, mediumship: it can be the most precious jewel, and it can be very harmful. It is the same here. It just depends on how it is done.
54 QUESTION: This question is from someone who is not here. It concerns the Holy Ghost. It reads: May I ask the cosmic sense and the human meaning attributed to the power of the Holy Ghost? In some religions and philosophies, the Holy Ghost is considered as a future leader and messenger to humanity. In our life and work, can we or should we be so devoted to and helped by the Holy Ghost as we are supposed to be devoted to and helped by Jesus?
ANSWER: Whether the Holy Ghost is in some teachings represented as part of the Trinity; whether it is represented as a whole body of the Divine World comprising all the holy or purified spirits; or whether the Holy Ghost is interpreted as the divine spark in every living being – and all three interpretations are right, without canceling each other out – the essential is that your devotion to God and to Christ, who has contributed such great work in the entire Plan of Salvation, can only be determined by finding the Holy Ghost within yourself.
How this is done, I have been showing you all the time, my friends. There is no other way than penetrating your own darkness and obstructions. I am afraid I have to repeat again and again: whenever human beings try to seek salvation and union with God, with the divine, by outer means, by religious theories, theological interpretations – thereby forcing themselves to live by misunderstood dogma – they are living in error. Something is wrong.
For the only way to find the true answer is by penetrating your own blocks, by overcoming your resistance, by knowing yourself in the deeper levels of your personality. Only then will you know the meaning of God. Then you will find him, find union with him. Then you will know what Christ means. Then your own Holy Spirit will manifest, at least occasionally. This is the only truthful way I can answer this question.
59 QUESTION: I have a question from a friend who wanted to know about the newly discovered Gospel According to St. Thomas. Are you willing to answer that question? He wants to know whether it is genuine, whether it is a real Logos Jesu, or whether it is any kind of apocryphal copy?
ANSWER: I would say, from our vantage point, this does not make any difference. This would be interesting only from a historical point of view. With that we are not concerned. Our aim is to further light and life. Your determination and judgement should be governed as to its truth, its value, regardless of who said it.
There are many who have and have had access to divine wisdom. You should question rather whether the sayings are in the spirit of Jesus Christ. It is not necessary that it be actually said by him. This would be important only historically and possibly for the scholar, but spiritually it has no importance. From a point of view of growth and personal independence, what should be encouraged is to learn to evaluate something as to what was said, rather than who said it.
89 QUESTION: I would like to ask, how about the prophets or other holy people? Were they grown emotionally? Wasn’t it just love they gave?
ANSWER: Just love they gave? Could love be given without emotional maturity?
QUESTION: Is a faith in God and love, without emotional maturity, possible?
ANSWER: That is impossible, if we speak about real love, the willingness to be personally involved, and not about the childish need to be loved and cherished, which is so often confused with love. For real love and real, genuine faith to exist, emotional maturity is a necessary basis. Love and faith and emotional immaturity are mutually exclusive, my child.
The ability to love is a direct outcome of emotional maturity and growth. True faith in God, in the sense of true religion as opposed to false religion [Lecture #88 Religion: True and False], is again a matter of emotional maturity, because true religion is self-dependent. It does not cling to a father-authority out of the need to be protected. False faith and false love always have the strong emotional connotation of need.
True love and true faith come out of strength, self-reliance and self-responsibility. All these are attributes of emotional maturity. Only with strength, self-reliance and self-responsibility are true love, involvement and faith possible. Anyone who ever attained spiritual growth, known or unknown in history, had to have emotional maturity.
QA166 QUESTION: Would you explain further about the state of being and how to achieve it?
ANSWER: Well, how to achieve the state of being – that is this Path. This is this Pathwork. It is the inner being – the real self or divine self, as we call it – where you are eternally in a state of Now. I said that so many times. I discussed it. I described it in all the lectures. I show the way how to get there.
The way is essentially not to fight yourself, not to be against yourself, but rather, first of all, as I said, to comprehend yourself. Because when man is in a state of fighting himself, which he constantly is, this inner dissension with himself makes man incapable of being what he really is, and that is in the state of eternal being.
Now, in some way, man’s organized religion in general, on the one hand, contains some aspects of this truth. And yet it is completely distorted and, in fact, puts man in a further state of dissension with himself. For here he is between what is taught as good and evil, two opposite forces.
The evil force is really the undeveloped instinctual side, which is not evil in itself, as you know. It is a distortion and an arrestment of development. And there is, on the other hand, a supposedly good force, which is really nothing but an obedience to a stern, pedantic, childish authority.
So man thinks himself to be good if he obeys and submits and is a good little child, which has nothing to do with his divinity. This is the fight that goes on in him. It is a very destructive thing. Of course, this concept of religion, as it is so widespread, is really a projection of man’s inner state.
His inner state is actually not a result of these teachings and what these teachings imply. Actually they also explicitly say so, but even more so implicitly. But it is the other way around. Man’s general religion is a reflection of this state where he battles himself with a pseudo-goodness that is really nothing but a helpless little obedient child that submits for the sake of being approved of.
This part battles the instinctual side, which is still raw in many instances and unformed in many instances. Actually, this instinctual side is so much closer to the God self, to the state of being, even if in its present form it is not advisable to express it in acting it out.
But it is closer because it is more real and it contains the real energy of life. And if man does not battle this side, but sees it, accepts it, comprehends it, and learns not to impulsively act it out, he will be nearer the state of being than when he fights it and denies it.