2 QUESTION: The souls in the lower spheres are supposed to suffer much pain. How is it then that Lucifer, who is the worst of all evil spirits, does not seem to suffer? Is this just?
ANSWER: You human beings always think that there is nothing worse than pain. Yet there is something worse, namely the stage before a soul is able to feel pain. When you feel pain, you are already a step closer to God. I should like to explain this to you, so that you can sense the magnificence of Creation, and see how the dark forces must ultimately play into God’s hands.
I will give you this example. Lucifer has his henchmen; in his realm too there is a hierarchy of very powerful and less powerful beings. If such a powerful henchman fails to fulfill a task that has been assigned to him – possibly to deter a human being from following his path to God, because the human being used his free will to resist temptation – he will lose more and more of his power, until he himself will be tortured by his fellow evil spirits.
He who finds himself in extreme pain must come closer to God, since it is then that his need for God is greatest. Thus, the lower he sinks in the dark spheres, the higher he actually rises. The farther removed he is from pain, the greater the inner disharmony. And Lucifer is in the greatest disharmony. The greater the disharmony, the more strongly the inner currents will need to harmonize.
This continues until such beings reach the point where they can increase their inner harmony, even without pain. Later, the overcoming of various resistances will replace the pain, until eventually not even the struggle against resistance will be necessary.
All of you can get an inkling of this process when you remember how much closer to inner harmony you are when you experience clean pain than when you are not really in pain but feel upset, rebellious, and torn in many directions, possessed by very disharmonious feelings. Therefore, the more the laws of God extend their influence, the fewer henchmen will Lucifer eventually have.
11 QUESTION: I don’t understand something. You say we should be in contact with the Spirit World of God and that other spirits will harm us spiritually and even physically. But everything is God’s world. I don’t understand.
ANSWER: It is like this: there is God’s great Creation with its wonderful laws, and it includes all the spirits he has also created and to whom he has given free will. A great number of these spirits have voluntarily accepted God’s laws and his order and have thus remained happy. A great number of other spirits have broken that order, again voluntarily, and by that act they have created unhappiness and disharmony for themselves.
For happiness can lie only in the wisdom of God’s laws. All spirits who have at one time or another broken this law and have not yet found their way back to recognize this law as the only wisdom, the only right course, stand outside this order – voluntarily – just as they could voluntarily accept it. And one day they will. But as long as this does not happen by their own volition and conviction, they will remain outside the world of God.
God does not force any creature; choice has to come from the free will of each individual. Ultimately, and such is the beauty and perfection of God’s laws, every single child of God will return – return to the enlightenment and wisdom, to the happiness and freedom that can be found only in divine law.
There are almost as many human beings as spirits who fall into one or the other of these two categories: those belonging to the divine order and those outside of it. The former are perhaps helping, working, cooperating in the great Plan of Salvation. The entities in this group, among other things, find out in spiritual endeavor where they are still unconsciously deviating from the laws. And then there are those, many of them, who do not accept God’s laws, who create chaos in their surroundings and in their own selves, by wanting to follow their own very incomplete laws.
15 QUESTION: If there is a sudden feeling of happiness about us, or an occasional pleasant fragrance, does that mean that there are harmonious spirits around us?
ANSWER: Indeed. When harmonious spirits can come so close to you, there must be a reason, for instance, an inner victory. For nothing happens without cause and effect. The perception of fragrance is already more, it is a spiritual experience, a sign. This sign is given as encouragement to stay on your path, or it may be a reminder to take this Path. It is, at any rate, a sign of grace. It means that help and strength are given to make the next victory easier.
15 QUESTION: In relation to your last lecture [Lecture #15 Influence Between the Spiritual World and the Material World], when you spoke about the many spirits who are around a human being, spirits of darkness and higher spirits, I wonder if our calling for them is mainly conscious?
ANSWER: No, it is not conscious. Indeed, it is mostly unconscious. It is very, very seldom that this is done consciously, at least as far as the spirits of darkness are concerned. If someone really does that, he must himself be a very evil spirit. As far as the spirits of truth and light are concerned, you should and can consciously call them to you.
Even if you do not do so, the moment you overcome a fault, you fight against your lower self, you desire above all else to fulfill the will of God and live in accordance with divine law, you emanate a certain substance that draws spirits of light toward you. By the same token, if you give in to your lower self, if you violate divine law, you emanate a quality that draws the spirits of darkness near you, like a magnet.
For instance, when you emanate anger, you draw a spirit of anger toward you. When you emanate selfishness, you draw such a specialist toward you who will encourage you further in this fault. And so on. What comes out of you is what you draw toward you. Like attracts like.
QUESTION: Is there mutual activity in this attraction?
ANSWER: Oh yes.
QUESTION: On both sides?
ANSWER: On both sides, indeed! And not only this kind of mutual activity, but also learning. You see, with the spirits of darkness it goes like this: they fulfill a task in their world of darkness when they win out over a person, particularly with the people who love God. They are very keen on drawing them away from God. They do not have to worry about criminals. They have access to them anyway.
But they are particularly keen on conquering people who love God, who seek God, so that they may give in to their weaknesses. The spirits earn special rewards in their world for such work. And they know very well that they cannot accomplish anything by trying to inspire people to do any type of wickedness that is foreign to them. But they can succeed with the seemingly harmless faults that draw such a person slowly but surely further into darkness, depression, self-despising moods, and thus into separation from God.
It is not so much the fault in itself that is damaging, but rather that they become disgusted with themselves and may thus give up the fight altogether. I said often that stumbling into the same fault in itself is not bad, provided it is recognized and one learns from it by adopting the right and constructive attitude.
As a matter of fact, no progress is possible without stumbling. But when the stumbling is viewed with an attitude of hopelessness and self-disgust, then the clouds become bigger and bigger; then a person gets more and more involved with the respective dark spirits, with the world of darkness altogether.
You do not have to commit a crime in order to live in the world of darkness. There are other vibrations that can accomplish this. If, however, a person refuses to be an instrument for the powers of darkness, if you fight – and you can only do this by knowing your own faults extremely well, for only through them can you be tempted by the dark spirits – do you know what happens?
The dark spirit will rise higher in its development – it will learn. Not directly, not immediately, because it is still so much in darkness that at first it will only know defeat. This defeat will cost it its position, so that it suffers, and only this suffering will bring it nearer to God. Because only then will it turn to God, as a last resort, in complete despair.
As long as it can claim victories in its world of darkness and has power there, it will never turn to God. So each victory, even the smallest one, of each human being, causes a tremendous chain reaction in the universe among beings of whom you are not even aware.
My friends, if you could know how much you accomplish by your victory, not only as far as you yourself and your immediate surroundings are concerned, but for so many spirits as well, you would really try much harder. And not only evil spirits are affected by your victory, but also erring spirits who do not belong anywhere. They are often around you and learn from your victory in a much more direct way than those dark spirits.
So when you conquer yourself, you are in fact a vital part of the great Plan of Salvation. You are then an active soldier in the fight. You are a front line soldier. And a front line soldier needs better weapons, more strength, and better protection than one who does not fight back or one who is in the hinterland. The weapons and the strength come to you from the Spirit World of God in guidance, enlightenment, recognition.
15 QUESTION: Let us imagine that all humanity, meaning each individual, would follow the line of least resistance and give in to the lower self, and nurse it instead of fighting it. What would happen from your point of view?
ANSWER: The overlapping spheres I have described would change in appearance. Humankind would strengthen and enlarge the disharmonious spheres, which would completely overcast the harmonious spheres of light, truth, love and happiness, and push them into the background so that they could affect humans less and less.
As a result, only the influence of the disharmonious forces would have an effect. Humanity would thus constantly furnish material to the world of darkness, and its influence in turn would be that much greater on you. On the other hand, let us again imagine that all humankind – each individual person – would walk the path of perfection.
Though this path would be different for each individual, because what may be necessary for one person may be much too difficult for another, yet, if all children of God, on whatever level of development, would try their best, the spheres of darkness and disharmony, evil and envy, hatred and prejudice, war and greed, would be cast off and gradually dissolve.
Divine Creation, however, can never dissolve; it can only be pushed into the background so that it cannot affect the material world as long as the negative attitude remains in control there. Disharmony, with all its facets, can and must ultimately be destroyed and dissolved. So you can see very well not only how the Spirit World affects you, but also how you affect it.
25 QUESTION: Would you mind telling us what the spirits do for recreation?
ANSWER: Well, my friends, it is extremely difficult for humans to imagine that spirits live and laugh and enjoy themselves – and work. Spirits in the higher realms do all that, of course, in perfect harmony. What their recreation is depends entirely on their personalities, on their personal tastes, talents and inclinations.
There may be one spirit who is intensely interested in music. This one may live, at least occasionally, in a sphere where it can enjoy this particular pastime. Another may be drawn to art, another to science. Others just enjoy the beauty of Creation, and still others will express themselves perhaps in dancing, or in creating certain worlds or parts of worlds, spheres or certain forms, in accordance with their own particular individuality.
So there are all forms of recreation in the Spirit World. There is the art of interchange through conversation and play. All that you have here is only a very crude copy of what exists in the Spirit World.
As a rule, I do not like to talk about this too much, particularly because the intellectual type will not accept it easily. Such a person will say, “Oh, this is childish and primitive.” But the primitive ideas some people have may be wrong too, because they see or imagine the Spirit World in a way which is too human or too unreal.
The primitive person who tends toward superstition is not right. Neither are the intellectual people right to deny that anything they consider concrete can exist in spirit, because they accept only what is considered abstract as being part of the Spirit World. They forget that concrete and abstract are one in spirit, as everything is one in spirit, at least in the highest spheres.
So I do not like to discuss this topic because the right words do not exist to express the Spirit World in all the finer shades of its reality, and this may lead to dangerous misunderstandings. I realize that my description will not really give you an adequate picture.
30 QUESTION: In what form do spirits who are still undeveloped see higher spirits?
ANSWER: When undeveloped spirits come into contact with higher spirits, they do not see them as angels or light creatures. That would be much too easy. Again, the same law holds true here. If higher spirits go into lower spheres, which they do at certain intervals regularly and according to plan, they change their fluids and the light does not show.
For it would be much too easy for these creatures to accept God’s word because an obvious angel has spoken it. How many of you, for instance, say, “If I could see God, or if I could see an angel, I would believe.” But you do not listen to the words I speak. It is the same with these spirits. There is not an iota of difference.
They have to learn, just as you have to learn, to distinguish between right and wrong, between truth and untruth, by truth’s own merit and not because the person seems to be an authority and therefore easy to believe.
How many people accept something said by a respected authority and yet reject the very same words if spoken by someone whom they look down on! That does not mean they are developed. Development means independence, the ability to select truth from untruth.
Therefore the spirits in the lower spheres do not see the angels as they really are. Higher spirits appear to them just like one of their own kind, and they speak to them in that way. It is then left up to the spirits themselves to decide whether they want to believe what is communicated to them or not. They must accept what they hear for its own value, and therefore it is good that they believe these ideas come to them from someone on their own level.
The same holds true for humanity. Many spirits, in varying degrees of development, are incarnated on this Earth, yet human shape or outer appearance does not give an indication of the entity’s development. This is the only possible way for you to become truly free and independent.
However, there are certain exceptions in this respect too. Not that there is ever an exception to the law of the necessity of independent selection and recognition, but at certain times, light penetrates to some degree into the world of darkness. Then the angels of God show themselves. There are good reasons for that too, but it does not happen for the purpose of teaching the truth to creatures in the lower spheres.
43 QUESTION: Does everyone have the same potential for the development of each of these qualities: reason, will and emotion?
ANSWER: No. There are basic types. Each divine spirit was created perfect in one way, yet each was a distinct being, a personality in his own right with different talents and characteristics. But there was no disharmony in the distribution of currents.
The highest angel of the active forces is not disharmonious in his activity, as an unpurified human being would be with an overactive current. He is just perfect in his own way, a specialist in his activity, which excludes the possibility of a disharmonious overemphasis. It is the same with the highest representatives of the three aspects I discussed tonight [Lecture #43 Three Basic Personality Types: Reason, Will, Emotion].
The perfection of the reason personality would be the Angel of Wisdom. The perfection of the emotion personality would be the Angel of Love. The perfection of the will personality would be the Angel of Courage.
57 GUIDE COMMENT: We, in our world, can hear your souls shrieking for attention. The Earth sphere produces this loud noise for us. When we approach your plane, all souls send forth this loud calling and clamoring, inaudible to your ears. But you can imagine how noisy it is for us. The voice of the soul is a loud one. All emotions produce sounds, but the loud voice claiming self-importance does not produce a very harmonious sound.
59 QUESTION: We know that when we are asleep, often the Spirit World teaches us or communicates with us. Is there any way of remembering these communications? Is there a way of training oneself to be more open to receive them consciously?
ANSWER: I would not say that there is a particular way, other than the one you are following. This Path gradually makes you more aware of yourself and of spiritual truth as such. Increased awareness will bring out all the knowledge that is within yourself, and this includes knowledge that is given to you during sleep. Only by understanding yourself can given knowledge be fruitful.
Otherwise, at best, it will have no effect; at worst, it might even harm you. By a systematic method of increased self-awareness, a condition in which you are open to knowledge coming from within yourself is created naturally. Instruction from the Spirit World during sleep is one form – there are others.
You may not necessarily remember the instructions immediately or directly in the form they were given to you. You may not recollect having been at a certain place, receiving certain information or advice or teaching. In fact, it rarely happens that way.
The way you will remember it, without being aware as to how this new knowledge came to you, will be that sometime after the experience, you will come to insights you did not encounter before. The experience in the Spirit World is due to your past good efforts. It is a positive chain reaction.
If your entire attitude and life direction is geared to self-development, knowledge will come to you at certain periods of your life. But it has to come out of your own psyche, whether due to spirit instruction during sleep, or because now your higher self can penetrate better and manifest into your consciousness. In a way, the two kinds of knowledge interact and ultimately amount to the same thing.
Often, an inventor or artist wakes up with a new idea or conclusion. The idea is there; he does not recollect clearly how he came by it. He has that new knowledge simply because, in this one direction at least, his soul is open to tap the vast universal cosmic knowledge at everyone’s disposal, provided the necessary inner conditions are met. It comes out of the depth of his being. In the depth of being is the whole universe.
The adoption of a method to recollect instructions would limit, would cast aside, what should be accomplished inwardly. This would not be healthy. Concentrate on your endeavors to develop yourself. In your prayers, concentrate on finding the truth about yourself, on realizing what you need to know in any given stage of your path. Everything else takes care of itself.
Help may be given by strengthening your power to recollect your spiritual experiences during sleep, although you will rarely remember them as incidents. As I have said, the knowledge will simply be there. Or help may be given at times by making your Pathwork a little easier. Or, something another person says may lead you to a crucial new insight. There are many ways in which increased self-awareness can come.
The concept of approaching contact with the Spirit World outwardly, or in the form you have mentioned, expecting the Spirit World to hand out knowledge that should be gained from within, is a great misunderstanding. Such given knowledge must lead finally, always, to your own contact with divine truth. Any help, instruction or teaching which does not have this clearly as its aim is unhealthy. This should be understood by all who seek such contact in any way.
Contact with the Spirit World is often also sought with the aim of avoiding certain human difficulties that other, less privileged people, do not avoid. This approach is also very wrong. It must not be taken. The privilege you can gain, however, provided the contact is a divine one, is having access to a more vigorous and constructive help showing you the way out of your prison.
You will earn this privilege by your own efforts in this direction, for as you well know, this work is not always easy. But contact with the Spirit World must not and cannot be a shortcut to save you from the labor and pain of self-development.
QA130 QUESTION: Sometimes I become conscious of an entity near me. How can I tell if this is true or not?
ANSWER: It is not necessary that you know. I would advise that to dwell on this may – especially at certain periods of one’s development – take the emphasis away from yourself. I do not mean that I advocate self-centeredness. I mean that, if the alienation you feel is negative, there must be something in yourself. If it is positive, be grateful and appreciate it, and that is all. But do not try to find if it is true. It is very likely so, because all human beings are surrounded by those who do not have a body, in that sense.
QUESTION: Sometimes it’s frightening.
ANSWER: Well, in that case, I say find your own fears and do not attach it to another entity. Even if such an outer entity does exist, it is of secondary importance. Pinpoint your own fears and your own misconceptions within yourself, toward yourself, and toward life. To the degree you do that, you will get rid of such fear and disturbances. This is my advice, very, very definitely.
QA138 QUESTION: I believe that I have been receiving help from persons no longer on this plane. One of them, I think, is my father who disinherited me. If this is possible, how can I be more receptive?
ANSWER: Yes, you have received help, but you see, the important thing is not who gives the help. The important thing, in the last analysis, must always be that if you receive help, there must be something in you that calls it forth. You must realize that real help can only come from within yourself, for you own the greatest treasure – namely, the whole universal strength and power and wisdom and resourcefulness. That power is within you.
In order to activate it, sometimes outer help is often an incentive. But even that outer help could not penetrate you if there would not be somewhere an opening in you that makes you receptive for it. So give credit to yourself too, if you have felt help.
Now, the next thing to do would be to explore and know yourself totally. For as I said at the beginning of this session, nothing else matters. Whatever happens in a lifetime, outwardly, will be completely unimportant. Important is only to what degree have you done your best to uncover this treasure within yourself, to find the security and the truth within that makes you always secure and always able to cope.
To what degree can you acknowledge, in the meantime, where you stand in relation to deviations, aspects of conflict, destructive and negative elements? To what extent can you learn to do this without feeling crushed about it? For that must come first. You cannot uncover the treasure if there is not, first of all, the ability to see a negativity without losing a sense of proportion, and remaining in a state in which you can still believe that there is value in you, that you are a worthy individual, and yet see something that is not perfect. This must be learned first.
To the extent this can be learned, to the extent you accomplish the art of acknowledging something negative without losing yourself and being crushed – but rather therefore coming into the position where you will like yourself all the better just because you can do that – to that extent you liberate the treasure in you. And that must be the meaning of life. Whoever does this will never feel life is meaningless and empty. Whoever does that cannot ever feel life is a burden.