Greetings in the name of God and Jesus Christ. I bring you blessings, my dear ones, very special blessings tonight. At this time of the year, the strong forces of love, coming from the King of the Universe, touch all spheres. Whoever is open and in a state of quiet harmony can receive this force that is a blessing for your body, your soul, and your spirit.
It is often so difficult for this force to penetrate into your soul, however. Its golden ray must rebound if your emanation is not harmonious. You close yourself against it whenever you are resentful, angry, and hurt. Mostly these feelings are so superfluous, so unfounded. You know that the remedy is not to push these feelings aside as though they did not exist, but rather to take them out into the open and ask God, ask Christ, to show you where the root is in yourself, where you have built the wall that stands between you and the blessing forces. They are waiting to regenerate you with a very lasting effect. Let them flow into you, my dear ones. If you are angry at your brother or sister, try to understand both yourself and the other. Do not be more severe with the other than you are with yourself. And that, alas, happens with the best of you. Try to strengthen your love, understanding, and forgiveness so as to be able to partake of this wonderful spiritual nourishment. It could fill your heart, and every particle of your soul, cleansing it of all impurities forever.
We in the spirit world are particularly happy about this group, my friends, for most of you have made serious efforts. Your efforts have borne fruit, although you cannot always fully realize the value of your work. But some of you do understand, or begin to understand. You begin to observe in yourself a greater harmony at moments where only a little while ago you felt angry and resentful. With many of you these feelings occur now to a lesser degree and less often. The progress is indirect. You cannot make progress by forcing yourself not to feel disharmony, but you can go to the roots of your conflicts within yourself. That is the way to reach a healthy detachment, which will continue to increase until you can be touched only by love and brotherly understanding. Then you will not be blind to your shortcomings, but will face them, and they will no longer affect you negatively.
My message tonight is to tell each and everyone of you who has worked in this direction: continue by all means! Go ahead, even if the beginning is difficult. The forces of good, the strong, golden rays of Christ will fill you more and more, not only at particular times when these forces are strongest in the universe, but at all times. Until you have reached the goal, keep on trying to penetrate your own disharmony, so as to be able to take in what is waiting to bless you. If you sincerely try, you will receive great help.
Many of your dear ones in the spirit world have found their way here tonight. They have been led here. They listen and see. You too can listen, my dear ones, but you cannot see what the spirits are allowed to see at this opportunity. During such a lecture the forces build up a sphere that establishes such a communication. The spirits see a golden light and beauty, a harmony of splendor such as they have never seen before. This is their Christmas gift from the world of God. The way spirits see, and the significance of their sight, is different from human sight. When you see a beautiful landscape, or something else that looks beautiful, it may be wonderful to behold, but it has nothing to do with you personally, with your own state of mind, with your own inner peace and harmony. But when they see beauty, they realize that this is a world, a state of being, that can be theirs if they live according to these teachings. Try to visualize and to imagine that such a world is here, around you, and in you. In the spirit world you see what you hear, and you hear what you see.
My dear friends, Jesus Christ died on the cross in full knowledge of his freely chosen fate. His life and death occurred according to his will and desire. It was not fate that overtook him, as happens to human beings where an event is a matter of karma, a consequence of cause and effect. He chose this life and this death because he realized it was a necessity. His was the greatest act of love.
You all know about the Plan of Salvation. I have explained it at length. My dear friends, have you ever thought about the deed of Jesus Christ as the greatest act of courage ever? It is already an act of courage for a human being to go through a fate that is inevitable in a spirit of positive and constructive self-search, in an attitude of humble acceptance. How much more courageous it is to choose such a fate out of love hardly needs an explanation. True love, true kindness, true unselfishness is unthinkable without courage. Meditate on what courage means, my dear ones. If you lack courage, you do so because you love yourself too much in a sickly way.
There is a right and proper kind of self-love. Cowardice is nothing but self-pampering, self-pitying self-concern. Courage ascribes as much importance to a cause, to an issue, or to another person as to the self. Therefore courage and love, in the last analysis, are inseparable. Think about that, my dear ones. You will not only better understand Christ’s life and death, but you will also be able to better understand and evaluate yourself, which means that you will be more successful in the process of purification. In the light of the work you have done so far, it should not be difficult for you to see where you are courageous and where you lack courage. And where you do lack courage, you will always find that you must lack love as well.
And now I will discuss objectivity, a subject I touched upon occasionally in the past. Objectivity is essential for the free and harmonious human being. The more unpurified and disharmonious you are, the less objective you will be. Objectivity means truth. Subjectivity means colored truth, half-truth at best, complete untruth in many cases. Contrary to a conscious lie, subjectivity results in unconscious or unintended untruth. All this emanates from the emotional level of one’s being. As you do the purification work, you will first find the untruth that exists in the depths of your soul. After the untruth is ousted, you will be able to plant truth within yourself. Only a path of stringent self-search will make such discoveries and the ensuing change possible. But this additional angle from which to view the process as a whole, and yourself in particular, will help you to advance a step further.
Let us first take the common phenomenon that what you see as a grave fault in others you often do not see in yourself. It makes no difference whether the fault is exactly the same or whether it has a slightly different and modified form. Your objection to the faults you observe in others may even be correct. Yet, you are in half-truth when you judge others and fail to see where you also deviate from what is right and good in a similar way. Furthermore, the fault of the other may coexist with good qualities you yourself do not possess. Thus your judgment is colored, for you concentrate your objection on one sore point, while you leave out of sight many other facets that would complete the picture. So, my dear friends, whenever you resent their faults, please ask yourself: “Don’t I, perhaps in a different way, have a similar fault? And doesn’t the person whom I judge so harshly have some good qualities that I lack?” Then think of the good qualities the other possesses and you lack. Remember also to ask yourself whether you do not have faults that the person you judge and resent does not have. This will help you to assess your anger at other people’s faults more objectively. And, if by chance the outcome of the evaluation turns out to be that your faults are indeed so much less than the other’s, and your qualities so much superior, that is an even greater reason to cultivate your tolerance and understanding. If you do so, you are indeed in a higher state of development, which means, above all, the obligation to be understanding and forgiving. If you lack that ability, all your superior qualities, your lesser faults mean nothing! But if you make serious endeavors in that direction, God will help you to be more objective. You will thus definitely have more peace, and that which now bothers you so very much will cease to upset you.
Whenever you are upset about another person’s faults, there must be something in you that is not right either. You know this, friends, but you forget it again and again when opportunities come up to examine yourself. Again, if you truly wish to find out what is in you, God will help you! You should not be concerned with the fact that the other person may be so obviously in the wrong, so much more wrong than you are. Try to find the little grain of imperfection in yourself instead of concentrating on the mountain in the other. For it is your own unhealthy grain of untruth that robs you of peace and never the mountain of wrong in the other person!
There is another form of extreme subjectivity that comes from the same root although it manifests in a very different way. Many human beings are very severe with those who make them feel unloved and criticized, or at least insecure. Their severity is a defense. If you rest secure in your value, you will not feel insecure and you will therefore develop a natural tolerance. But most of you are still so insecure that you resort to such defective defensive measures. This behavior falls into the same category as blindly idealizing the person in whose love you feel secure. In such cases you do not see the very trends you most strenuously object to in someone else. That is dangerous too, my dear ones, especially because this tendency lends itself extremely well to deceiving yourself into believing that your idealization is love and tolerance. You try to convince yourself that you are tolerant and good when you close your eyes to the faults of those you love because they love you. No, my friends, that is not true loving. True love can see reality. If you are ready to love in the most vital and mature way, you will not try to close your eyes to the faults of the loved one, but will do the opposite.
If you do close your eyes persistently, it is for two reasons. One is pride: the one you have chosen as your loved one and the one who has chosen you as the loved one must not have faults which you do not consider acceptable. Oh, you may admit to some faults in the other, as you admit to some faults in yourself, knowing that no human being exists without weaknesses. But you continue to ignore many trends, half-consciously thinking that this attitude proves your love and tolerance, but it is done really out of pride. The second reason is that deep down in your heart you are so insecure about your own ability to love that you need an idealized version of the loved person. Your love is not true love if you are compelled to see this person in an idealized form. No, it is a weakness and often a bondage.
Real love is freedom, dear friends. It can stand the test of truth as it prevails in the other person at this moment of his or her development. When you reach that stage, you will be able to see the one who is dear to your heart as he or she really is and not the way you want to. As long as you close your eyes to the real picture of the other, you are not capable of love. Indeed, you are so aware of your incapacity, though on a rather superficial subconscious level, that you keep busily closing your eyes, afraid that if you saw the truth, you could not go on loving. Pride, and your present inability to truly love, make you go from one extreme to the other. Either you refuse to see the person who is close and dear to you as he or she truly is, or else you judge too harshly, even though the criticism in itself may be justified. The isolated fact that you object to may be valid, but not your evaluation of the whole person who has so many facets that you have no way of knowing.
When you persist in being blind to the faults of your loved ones, a crisis, a shakeup, and a painful awakening that will hurt deeply is often unavoidable. Actually, it is not the other person who will then have disappointed and hurt you, but your own past deliberate blindness. In such a crisis, the blindness is what deep down you resent most of all. Avoid such a crisis, my dear ones. If you learn to see and love other people as they really are, you can do so.
I would like to give the following advice to you, my friends: Think of the people you love most in the world, and then make a list of their good qualities and of their faults, just as you are currently doing for yourself. Then ask some mutual friends: “Please tell me, what do you think? Am I right? I would appreciate your opinion about this person’s qualities and faults, whether or not you see them as I do, so that I can check out whether I am objective or not. I ask this for the purpose of my development.” If they are on the path, all the better. Then compare how you and how others, who are perhaps more detached and objective, see the same person.
Observe your reactions on hearing of faults you either could not, or would not, conceive of in those whom you idealize. When you become angry and hurt inside, this should be a sign that you are not objective, that you fear the truth, most probably because of the two reasons already stated: pride, and your inability to love the other as he or she really is. Otherwise you would remain calm, even if your beloved is accused of a fault he or she does not possess. Considering the faults of their beloveds might be very healthy for some of my friends. You will learn to evaluate the people you love, and your love will mature and grow in stature. Thus you will grow out of the immature state in which you love like a frightened child who cannot see the truth.
In the last lecture I spoke about the childish mentality that continues to exist in your images. The child knows only extremes: good or bad, perfection or imperfection, omnipotence that promises security, or utter weakness it must avoid. The child can accept only the first of these alternatives. When it discovers that an adored parent has faults and is not omnipotent, it either turns away from the parent and begins to hate and resent, feels let down and disappointed, or else hides the discovery in the unconscious, feeling guilty about having found something unworthy in the parent. These reactions continue to live in the soul of the adult and color his or her reactions and behavior patterns throughout life or until they have been reviewed and reevaluated in the light of mature judgment and reality. When you look at your present relationships from this point of view, the process will be painful at first, but not half as bad as your unconscious resistance would have you believe. Do not heed it. Go on in your search for truth. I can promise that you will evolve a much happier, freer and securer person. This is the only cure, my dear ones, for many of you.
I beg you not to say offhand that you do see the faults of your loved ones. Yes, you may see some of their faults, but perhaps only those you can tolerate; the others you may not allow yourself to see. Thus you have no conception of his or her entire personality. You see a picture that is just as distorted as when you are too severe and intolerant. The picture is out of focus in both instances; both are mirrors that do not reflect reality. Each mirror distorts in a different way. You are so scared to approach the truth because the emotion of the child, for whom seeing an unpleasant truth in the beloved person is unbearable, still lives within you, and this emotion forces you to withdraw your love. But that is not the truth at all. If you approach this particular search with the knowledge that your love, instead of weakening, must grow and mature, you can overcome your resistance to finding out the reality.
You must know which one of the two extremes of subjectivity is more important for you to tackle first. Both alternatives will apply to all of you, but one of them always stands in the foreground. Start by concentrating on that one.
Objectivity needs courage too, my friends. Many of you are still too weak and too cowardly to see the truth in others, as well as in yourselves. Mature love means to love others in spite of their faults, knowing them, seeing them, not closing one’s eyes to them and then to build on the good that is already there. Immature love means viewing the other person in terms of an absolute either/or, though you may have moderated this attitude somewhat as your intellect has matured. You may now admit to certain faults which do not violate your personal standards and concepts.
To judge people harshly, as though all human beings were on the same level of development, is equally immature. The other person may not even be less developed than you; he or she may simply be developed in another respect. Therefore you cannot compare or judge. Simply see! If you cannot see without anger, you need to realize that this reaction stems from the same origin as the other extreme, namely, that you cannot accept imperfection and are thus, emotionally, still a child.
So follow in the footsteps of Christ in this respect, too. Crucify your illusions which you build up for your ego, for your vanity, for your pride because of your still existing inability to love. Upon this truth you can then erect true love.
And now, my dear ones, let us turn to your questions.
QUESTION: Is silent prayer, without uttering words, sufficient, or does formulation and verbalization in loud words make prayer more effective?
ANSWER: Silent prayer, if the words are concisely thought, is, of course, just as effective. There is no doubt about it. For the thought is a form, just as much as the spoken word. In fact, if a spoken word is expressed lightly, without the impact of emotion and meaning, it has much less power and effect, and therefore is a much weaker form than the word that is thought and deeply felt. However, if in a group gathering a person finds it difficult to pray in front of others, that is something to look into, for that means a block. What does the block mean? It often indicates pride. Yes, my friends, this might seem strange to some of you, for you may have so beautifully explained away that your inability to pray in front of others is modesty. Still, when you analyze your feelings about why it is so embarrassing to say a prayer in front of your friends, you will discover that your embarrassment comes from a feeling of humiliation.
When you pray to God you quite naturally feel humble. And to appear so humble in front of others makes you feel as though you were humiliated. To be humble is what a part of your emotions wants to avoid. In the presence of other people you want to appear secure, on top of the world. You do not want to show yourself to others as you really are, as you must show yourself to God: groping, insecure, uncertain. In other words, to show your true face, as you show it to God, gives you the impression of humiliating yourself, and that is pride. For the truly humble person does not fear to show himself as he really is. She has the courage to be herself. Therefore, in this one small symptom of having difficulty praying in front of others lies a very significant factor of your emotional state that needs looking into. If you cannot pray from your heart in front of others, this inability is the very thing you should overcome—not necessarily by forcing yourself to do so, although that may help, but by looking into your psychological reactions and evaluating them in the light of your present truth. It is always good to approach the goal from two sides, the outside and the inside.
QUESTION: Couldn’t it be shyness too?
ANSWER: You can rationalize and cover up your feelings with many explanations. What is shyness anyway? What is an inferiority complex for that matter? It is nothing else but a form of pride. For he who is so afraid of how he will appear to others, he who is so much concerned with the impression he makes is proud, or, if you prefer, vain. It is the same thing. Shyness is one manifestation of an inferiority complex. Brashness is another. It is a question of individual temperament and character. All inferiority complexes have the common denominator of pride and self-will. Self-will: because you crave the gratification of your pride so much that you either act more secure than you feel, thus being untrue to yourself, or else it is the strength of your self-will that paralyzes you and makes you shy. And where pride and self-will exist, fear too must exist. If you were entirely unconcerned with what other people think, and rested secure in yourself, being true to yourself as you now are, and if you had the courage to be what you are, no fear could touch you. You are unconsciously afraid that others will see that you are not what your outward actions pretend. You fear that your pride and self-will would not be gratified. No inferiority complex would exist if this were not the case and you could not be shy. An inferiority complex is not determined by one’s actual worth and value. It exists solely because one wants to be more than one is. So if my friends examine their inferiority feelings from that point of view, they will get much further along toward liberation from their fears and anxieties.
QUESTION: Do animals killed for the purpose of being eaten go into the same sphere as a deceased pet?
ANSWER: It does not make any difference for what reason an animal dies. It is the same as with a human being. The sphere of a human being, coming into the spirit world, is not determined by the kind of death the soul has gone through. The sphere is determined by the development and fulfillment of each existence.
QUESTION: Could you please tell me what it is like for an animal to wake up after it has died? How do they wake up? I don’t understand this “group-soul” that you mentioned. How is this with the group souls?
ANSWER: The group soul is to be understood in the sense that an animal is a particle of a whole soul, just as a human being is one half of a complete spirit. The other half, what is called a “double,” may or may not be incarnated. With animals the split goes further. One entire being consists of many particles which are incarnated in different forms of existence. The lower the development, the further goes the split. As these separated particles develop, they unite and form a whole.
The waking-up process of an animal is very similar to that of the human being. According to the severity of a disease, or of a sudden accident where shock occurs, there may be a longer or shorter period of rest or unconsciousness for the animal. In other cases, the moment the animal slips out of its physical body, it is awake and free. It is happy. It feels light. And it may live for a while in a special animals’ sphere before it is reincarnated. It may visit its former masters. At any rate, it is much happier in the beyond, as a rule, than on earth. We cannot generalize about animals either. Each case may be a little different, but all animals are taken care of. There are spirits whose task it is to help animals.
QUESTION: In connection with what you have just said about the inferiority complex, you gave a different explanation on another occasion. I wonder what the connection is. I am sure there must be one. That was that an inferiority complex is really a guilt complex, which is the wrong reaction to one’s faults.
ANSWER: You are quite right. The connection is this: isn’t it natural that when you are proud—which is a fault—you feel guilty? The unconscious of the personality will say: “I am proud, I know it is not good to be proud, I do not want to have this pride, therefore I hide it from myself.” Your concern about other people’s opinions makes you violate your personality. You are not true to yourself, and that, perhaps, is one of the greatest sins, out of which many other sins come. And that makes you feel guilty.
QUESTION: What is the connection, and the difference, between fearing disapproval and wanting approval, as against fearing public opinion?
ANSWER: There isn’t necessarily any difference here, but there might be one. If a person is so very much concerned with public opinion, it is certainly because he wants the approval of public opinion. Then he feels safe, because he is not criticized. Also, he does not like to be separate. A child suffers whenever it feels different from other children. For the child, being different means being inferior. When he grows up this trend sometimes remains and manifests in an over-adherence to the standards of the masses, to the opinion of the majority, be it right or wrong. Public opinion may be right in many instances, but if a person adheres to it without first examining his or her own opinion, it becomes a bondage. A free person, unconcerned with the opinions of others, resting securely in the self, accounting to his own conscience and to God, will examine each issue separately and then will freely choose his or her conduct. He or she may adhere to public opinion in some instances, yet this adherence is entirely different from that of the person who is in bondage. In other instances the person will forsake public opinion because he would not be true to himself. He is willing to pay the price. That is the healthy attitude. Is that clear?
QUESTIONER: Yes, it is clear so far, but in what way is it different from wanting approval?
ANSWER: It is not different. I would say it is a facet of it. In some personality types the strong desire to be approved by others will manifest in dependence on public opinion. With other types, approval is sought by the opposite behavior. Such a person may always act against public opinion from the same motive as the one who is bound to it. Either way may be unhealthy. Either way may also be mature and harmonious. With the mature and harmonious person, however, there is no pattern. In one instance he will go with public opinion, in another instance against it. But the one who acts preponderantly either with or against can safely be suspected of having sickly motives. Why one person chooses to manifest his insecurity and dependency one way and another person the opposite way, depends on many factors. It is a question of development, environment, influence, and most of all, of course, personality traits and individual character. Often, no two people will react the same way to the same occurrence under the same conditions.
My dear, dear friends, angels of God are here in this room tonight to bless you. The blessing extends also to all friends who are absent, to all those who follow these teachings. Continue on this path, my dear ones. So much has been accomplished in so short a time, due to your very real efforts. Do not let up. By all means continue, and you will gain the strength of love and understanding that can be yours only when you go into the depths of your being to face yourself in truth. For the sake of God, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who has accomplished the greatest act of love and courage for you personally, trust that success cannot help but come if you overcome the initial difficulties. Indeed, it is the only endeavor on your part that can truly, lastingly be successful. Receive these special forces, all of you. Let the golden rays penetrate your heart, your soul, your spirit to sustain you. The light of Christ is shining upon you. Be in peace, be in God!