Greetings, I bring you blessings, my dearest friends. Blessed is this evening. This day on your earth sphere indicates a very special day. It marks a particular high point when the highest of all created spirits performed the greatest act of love. Let us think of Him with all our love. We cannot honor Him better than pursuing this work in which we all have the privilege to participate — you on your side, and we on our side. In this way, Jesus Christ, who showed the way, will have done this greatest act of love truly for all of you. For only by the path of purification will you be able to benefit from His love, His truth, His presence. Only in this way will you follow Him in His footsteps. You should not do so because of a “must,” but the recognition should grow in you that love and truth make one free. Love should always be the key word. May it penetrate the deepest region of your soul.
And now, my friends, I am ready to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
QUESTION: Here we are taught that salvation comes through work, through self-search, through effort and through the finding of images to be cast off. Today, a man who calls himself a “twice-born Christian” asked me whether I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and that unless I did, I would not find salvation. My question is: how are we to reconcile this Church-proclaimed doctrine of faith in salvation through another with our work on the path? And further, is this faith in a heavenly being who had become man sufficient for a mortal to share, through mysterious rites, in His divine life? Is this faith plus the sacraments sufficient to redeem us from the bonds of earthly guilt and earthly death and to awaken us to a new life which would mean eternal existence and blessedness?
ANSWER: First of all, let me emphasize that it is a complete misunderstanding on the part of many human beings to think that any act, even the greatest act of love, could be sufficient for them to be liberated from their inner bonds. Those who like to believe that often do so because it would be very comfortable, indeed. Of course it is not so and Jesus’ words were never meant that way.
I explained at length in what way the act of Jesus Christ constituted salvation for all the fallen beings, what His contribution was and how it opened the door and showed the way. I do not have to repeat that now, for it is all on record and it is useless to take the available time for repetition. By rereading it, you will see that it was never implied or stated that the coming of Christ exempted the individual from personal work and effort. Quite the contrary is true.
It is very possible that people reach salvation, inner freedom, liberation from untruth even though they do not accept Christ. This does not change the facts, however. The facts are that Jesus Christ is the highest of all created beings, that He came to earth and that His coming was the turning point in the general development of the fallen spirits. When personal development reaches the optimum point, one is open for the truth in every respect. One is capable of freeing oneself of prejudices and preconceived ideas and nothing will stand in the way of experiencing truth on all levels.
In other words, a person can start on the path of self-development and still harbor certain ideas which are not in accord with truth, whether it concerns this subject or any other. At one time, however, truth will penetrate as the result of an inner experience, and not by any outward acceptance of a doctrine or a belief. And it is equally possible that people believe and accept this truth — or any other — and still retain in their souls the very obstructions that will not let them liberate themselves. People hold on to certain prejudices according to their upbringing, environment, and their personal inner misconceptions or images. Inner resistance blocks the way to truth. Also, one may have very distorted emotions and embrace a truth by coincidence, so to speak. This truth, then, will be ineffective because the motives are wrong, the underlying feelings are unhealthy. One may even resist an untruth out of inner blocks and subjectivity rather than out of freedom and objectivity. In short, you can resist an untruth out of unhealthy emotions, as well as accept a truth out of unhealthy emotions. The requirement always and foremost should be the purification of the emotions. The right intent is what matters, and not what one outwardly accepts and believes. Why and how a belief has come about, on what inner motives it is based — that is what matters in the final analysis.
This path you are taking is bound to bring to the fore all distorted motives, no matter how deeply hidden and unconscious. Thereby, your soul will become healthy and free. This, in turn, will enable you to experience the truth you need to have and to know, rather than accepting it with your intellect only.
The truth of Jesus Christ will eventually be part of the inner experience for all people who develop their souls. With some, this truth comes sooner and other truths come later. With other people it is the other way round. But to say, “You have to accept Jesus Christ,” is just as wrong as saying, “You have to believe in God.” It only creates harmful reactions, such as compulsion, guilt, resistance or rebellion. All “musts” create situations which set up resistance to truth. Truth is abused by making it a tool for the rulership principle in man. The other person senses it and then projects his or her resistance on the divine instead of the person. Often the resistance is as wrong as that against which one resists. Both alternatives are wrong.
Faith in God, faith in Christ, faith as such is, of course, a major key. But it cannot be commanded. Faith comes naturally when obstructions are removed. All human beings possess an inner storehouse of faith, love, truth, wisdom, but these are locked away by the obstructions and deviations. All these divine attributes are automatically released in the measure that the inner deviations straighten themselves out through the work on the path. This comes always as an effect. It is a natural growth that can never be forced directly. When your earthly religious teachers drum into you that you must have faith, they do not accomplish anything. At best, it will be a superimposed faith. And the stronger the superimposition, the stronger the inner, unconscious rebellion against one’s own superimposed faith — adopted merely because it was expected and demanded. It is the same with love. You cannot command yourself to love, but in this in-depth work, you eventually learn and understand why you have no faith or no love and what the inner wrong conclusions are that make you close the door to your inner wells of faith and love — unconsciously in most cases. However, before you get to this point, you often have to become aware of the fact that you have no faith and no love under superimposed levels of pseudo-faith and pseudo-love.
Only after fully understanding the inner causes, misconceptions and deviations with all their ramifications and chain reactions, will real faith, real love, real truth, real wisdom, and whatever all the other divine attributes are, become part of your being.
Of course, faith is a key, just as love is a key, as truth is a key. Each of them, in its undiluted essence, contains all the other attributes. One is all, and all is one. The question is not whether or not you should have it. There can be no doubt about this. The question is how you can get it, why you lack it, what in you blocks the way. Then the divine in you will be able to unfold. Then it is a key — the key to life, the key to the universe.
QUESTION: There still is the one portion of my question which is unanswered which has to do with whether or not a person can be saved through the medium of a Savior or through a person’s own efforts?
ANSWER: I answered that. I said it cannot be. You have to do the work yourself.
QUESTION: You said that when the obstructions are removed, faith follows. But I know people who have faith and still have a lot of obstructions.
ANSWER: In the first place, as far as any divine attributes are concerned, it is always a question of degree for any human being. It cannot be said of any human being that he or she has complete faith or complete love. The lack is often hidden in the unconscious. On the conscious level, the greater part of the personality may indeed be healthy, while the missing portion remains in the unconscious. On this path, the hidden lacks as well as the wrong conclusions are always brought to the fore. One person may have a quite healthy faith, but other divine attributes are afflicted and affect the personality predominantly. One can never oversimplify. Sometimes it is complicated because of the possibility that someone’s faith is compulsive or escapist, and then it is not real faith, but pseudo-faith. It may be a mixture of partly healthy faith, partly unconscious lack of faith, and pseudo-faith. All that has to be found out, investigated and honestly understood. Only then can you put order into your soul.
QUESTION: I would like to ask something about self-responsibility. Would not self-responsibility lead to irresponsibility toward others? If I am responsible for just myself, how then am I my brother’s keeper? Wouldn’t it lead to selfishness, being responsible only for my own life and well-being? I would look for that which is best and most suitable for me first, and only then consider the other person. Although I would give the other equal rights, I would consider myself first.
ANSWER: My dear, your question is based on so many wrong premises that it is hard to even begin answering it. Self-responsibility is not only completely incompatible with irresponsibility, but it is the very opposite. By asking this question, it is evident that for you there are only two alternatives: “Either I am responsible for myself, or for the other person.” This is not so. If and when you are or should be responsible for another person, you can truly fulfill this responsibility only if you have at least grasped the real meaning of self-responsibility. Otherwise, your responsibility toward others will always fall short. It will be a farce and a self-deception.
It is often the case that people feel themselves overly responsible for others, thus deceiving themselves about their own lack of self-responsibility. And now we come to the part of selfishness. This is an important subject in itself to which I will devote part of a lecture in the near future. It touches a mass image which says, “Selfishness is pleasant. One must not have it because it is considered wrong, but actually one would be happier to be able to be selfish. On the other hand, unselfishness is considered virtuous, but is really a burden and does not make one happy.” This is a very common mass image, and to some degree it is part of almost every human being. It is extremely important to become aware of this part, no matter how “small” it may be. The existence of this mass image is bound to cause compulsions, rebellion, and guilt for the rebellion. It causes all sorts of inner deviations and errors. It leads people into confusion.
It is not selfish to have the right to be what you are. This does not mean giving in to your lower nature. The real you will not desire harmful acts. This work will bring out the real person, hidden behind the layers of pseudo-protection which are always wrong solutions to life. Once the real person is out, it will understand that unconstructive deeds, thoughts or tendencies are unconstructive as such. If you harm someone else through selfishness, you are bound to harm yourself too. This is truth, and the real self is capable of understanding truth, this or any other. With this insight, unselfishness will no longer be a compulsive burden one unconsciously struggles against, sacrificing one’s “happiness,” in the belief that it constitutes unselfishness. If you are happy, you will make others happy. In fact, only then can you really bring happiness, help, or any other constructive contribution to your fellow-creatures. If you are “good” or “unselfish” because of the compulsion based on this misconception, you can never contribute constructively to others, at least not in the long run.
It is not true that self-responsibility has anything to do with selfishness. If you find the real you and are true to it, you will unfold all that which is constructive in you, based on healthy motives, rather than on unhealthy ones. Other people are bound to benefit from that. You yourself benefit by becoming a happier person and enjoy the right to be yourself without standing in the way of your surroundings. If, on the other hand, you become a martyr and sacrifice your innermost and rightful desires — not the crude, undeveloped and destructive desires — and subordinate them because of such misconceptions, you act from erroneous and unhealthy motives from which no one can truly benefit. With many a human being, it would be valuable to explore good and unselfish acts in this light. On the surface these acts certainly appear to be unselfish, yet they bring nothing but dissatisfaction. This is a telling sign that erroneous motives underlie such acts, possibly based on this common misconception, of responding compulsively rather than out of free choice.
If you are true to yourself, you cannot be selfish, but you will be unselfish in the healthy and free sense, reserving for yourself the consideration that you have a right to.
COMMENT: May I add something? There is a phrase in the Talmud that says, “If not I for myself, who then for me? If I am for myself alone, what then am I?”
COMMENT: And self-responsibility means only that we are responsible for our own choice and also for the consequences. It has nothing to do with selfishness or unselfishness.
ANSWER: I know, but I also know what our friend meant. She meant it in a different way, but of course you are right. Self-responsibility does not mean that you just go ahead without considering anyone. As was pointed out now, it means, foremost, finding out how you caused certain effects in your life and taking the responsibility for them upon yourself.
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, 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.
QUESTION: How does one go about increasing one’s creativity?
ANSWER: There is only one answer: by finding the inner obstacles, that is, by taking the path of self-recognition. Creativity is blocked by inner errors. Many of my friends who have taken this path for some time have experienced that, in some cases gradually, in some cases even quite suddenly, a new talent or an increased creativity in a known talent, has unfolded. The path of self-search brings inner liberation. Among many other assets, it also brings increased creativity. It means the maximum unfoldment a person is capable of. There is no magic key and no shortcut. All that, if it exists at all, would not really work, not in the long run. The only durable and real answer is finding that in the soul which is petrified, which is stuck, so to speak. And there is such matter in every human soul, without exception.
QUESTION: Would it be possible for a biological scientist to experiment and apply scientific methods in understanding the medium so that he can relate the relative truths of the material world to the spiritual world?
ANSWER: Yes, that is indeed possible. But here again I must, at the danger of being monotonous, give the same answer: the key, strange as it may seem in this particular case, again lies in self-unfoldment. If all participants did that, very strange and wonderful insights would come about through an approach that might not always be the kind that is commonly known among humankind, particularly in the field of science. Though sometimes different, these new approaches will eventually be understood and accepted by science and will no longer be deemed unscientific. Then very wonderful discoveries can be made. You will then be able to relate more and more the relative truths of the material world to the absolute truth of spiritual reality. An integration will take place in this respect.
QUESTION: May I ask something that refers to the question on creativity? I myself have experienced the sudden appearance of a new talent and creativity, as you know. But there are so many artists, especially painters, who have not overcome any psychological obstructions and yet they paint beautifully.
ANSWER: Of course. That has nothing to do with it. I did not say or wish to imply that creativity exists only in the healthy, or relatively healthy person. Many people have a great talent and yet they are deeply troubled human beings. They just happen to have freed one particular part of the soul — perhaps in previous incarnations — so that creativity in one special direction is flowing out. It still does not mean that the removal of their obstructions would not increase their creativity. It might bring forth an additional talent, too, that enhances and completes the one that has manifested already, or it may harmonize and elevate the manifest talent to new heights. In fact, it is often the case that the troubled soul who has on the other hand a great creative talent is particularly imbalanced by this disharmony. What I said before should not lead you to deduce that creative talent is possible only within the healthy soul. I merely wish to state that the healthier a soul is, the more a hidden creativity can come to the surface, and also that the way in which a talent manifests is dependent on inner freedom.
QUESTION: I was wondering about one’s attitude toward sickness. We learn that in sickness we should try to find the right doctors and the right treatments. One fights to get well, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. How do we reconcile that with the thought that sickness is the result of our breaking some spiritual law and in that sense is punishment. Shouldn’t we say to ourselves, it is right for me to suffer?
ANSWER: No, oh no, no! Of course not. It is not at all to be taken that way, that you are punished because you have broken a law. It is to be approached in a completely different way. I would say the healthiest approach is to find an emotion in you that was at one time or another really, or almost, conscious. This emotion is that you desired to be sick. True, you did not desire the negative consequences — you received much more than you bargained for. You did, however, desire sickness as the solution of a problem. Needless to say that it is no real solution, but you thought or felt that it was. You chose sickness as a way out. Then this desire got lost in the subconscious, and the unpleasantness became predominant. Then came the recognition that the solution proved to be false and the conscious wish for health remained on the surface. But actually two conflicting desires battle with one another deep within: the conscious wish for health and the unconscious wish for sickness. In this part of your psyche you still hope that what you want can happen through your illness, or that you can escape certain unpleasant facets of life by unconsciously choosing to be ill. Or you punish yourself for various guilts by using sickness as a way out, thinking thus to ward off greater punishment, to be inflicted upon you by others and not by yourself.
The best approach is to find and make conscious that part in you which chooses sickness as a solution to something that troubles you. When you find it, you can come to terms with it. If you can reconstruct the past and endeavor to remember the moment when the desire for sickness was almost conscious, you will have accomplished a major part of this portion of the work. At the same time, you will then be able to remove the inner reason for your sickness. But you must find this contrary desire to your conscious one, and become aware of it. That is the first step and the only constructive approach. It is not true that you are the victim of intangible forces inside or outside of yourself that you have no control over. On the contrary, you can always find that part in you where you wished sickness as a solution, although you did not wish for the problems that the sickness brought along and which the child in you could not foresee.
QUESTION: Then it is correct to seek help through whatever means possible?
ANSWER: Absolutely. You should seek all the physical help possible — and the mental, spiritual and psychological help as well. All work hand in hand. One level is interwoven and connected with another. One should combat it from all sides.
QUESTION: Will you explain the meaning of keeping the Sabbath holy in the face of our present-day obligations?
ANSWER: This statement has many meanings on many levels. When it was said originally, the outer level had a very different meaning than it could possible have today. At the time this statement was made, people were generally much cruder in their development. If not made aware of the existence of God to whom thought and feeling should be devoted, at least to some degree, their lower nature would have taken more control over them than happened anyway. Any outer law is a must and therefore not real spirituality. But outer law is a necessity for those whose instincts are still crude.
On a deeper level, this commandment means a balance of one’s activities. Part of one’s life must be devoted to one’s duties, one’s livelihood and responsibilities, whatever they may be. Part of one’s life should be devoted to spiritual unfoldment. And part of it to pleasure and relaxation. In other words, your life should be harmonious also in the attempt to distribute your activities evenly, not to become one-sided. This is healthy for body and soul.
Today, this law cannot have the same meaning. “I must keep the Sabbath” would be a compulsion. It would be an unfree act and nothing would be accomplished. You should all be able to manage your lives in the most reasonable way from this point of view. You are now capable of using your judgment and common sense to find the proper balance between work, spiritual unfoldment, rest and pleasure. You should all be able to arrange this balance individually and not stick to rules and regulations — no rigidity in any direction, but free choice used wisely. One can overwork and yet keep the Sabbath. One may not keep the Sabbath in the inner sense and fall short on one’s obligations. God is not to be thought of only on one particular day. Nothing must be a “must,” least of all God.
QUESTION: What does your world think about man going to the moon and other planets?
ANSWER: As applicable to so many things, it is rarely the thing in itself that is good or bad, advisable or not advisable. The questions remain always: How is it done? What are the motives? In what way will it be used, if it is successful? What is the direction humankind takes with the new knowledge that is acquired? Everything is contained in the answers to these questions. We cannot say it is good or bad. The answer always lies in the direction, the motives, the aim, the whys and the hows.
QUESTION: How do you feel about our continuing with atomic energy tests?
ANSWER: We, in our world, are very much against that, of course. It is a clear indication that humankind has not yet learned to put these discoveries to constructive use. They are still preoccupied with using them destructively. As long as this is the case, their very success will be their own undoing. If the same resourcefulness, powers of intelligence and material were used to unfold this energy in a constructive direction, it could become of tremendous benefit for humankind; but not this way.
QUESTION: I have been wondering if physical pain has spiritual value and what kind of value it may have otherwise, especially with people who die in agony. Can they apply this experience in their spirit form toward further development?
ANSWER: Of course it is possible for the spirit of a human being to use an earth experience in the realm of the spirit world. It happens constantly in every respect. As to pain in particular, it depends on the attitude. Pain in itself is not necessarily beneficial if the attitude is unconstructive, at least not while the unconstructive attitude prevails. When one changes one’s attitude, the past experience will then become valuable retrospectively. If a person has a healthy and constructive approach to pain — or any other unpleasant experience — the value is a tremendous one. The experience will be the medicine, as I have stated so often. It will give you understanding of the inner causes of this experience. It will thereby make you free and further your growth, independence and happiness.
QUESTION: Might I ask, how much can be asked of you spirits concerning thoughts in other human beings? There is someone I would love to know more about, I would love to understand. Could the spirits see what is going on and tell us about it so that we understand better?
ANSWER: We can see all right, but it would be entirely against spiritual law to tell you about it. One reason is that it would be violating the other person’s privacy and free will. That person may not want to be understood by another human being and may decide to hide behind a wall. This may not be a wise decision, but it has to be respected. Another reason is that it would not add to your own growth. You can unfold your intuition, sensitivity, and your ability to understand only by developing yourself. This is the only healthy and good way to gain access to understanding other people, to bridge the wall of separation. It must happen through your own efforts. If the spirits were to do what you suggest, they would not only be unethical, but they would also weaken you. There are certain exceptions, but how, when and why these exceptions occur is too complicated to go into now. But if it ever happens, there is a good and valid reason for it. That then would be entirely constructive.
QUESTION: There are two theories in the world today. They are in a quandary. In the scientific world they say that man is an evolved animal, evolved from the fish through the amphibian and reptilian to the mammalian stage of today, and here is the human race today after two billion years of developing life on earth. The other theory, which is still held by orthodox religious people, is that God created each species in itself on the earth.
ANSWER: The way of evolution is correct. Evolution goes through mineral, lower animal, plant, higher animal, human being, spirit being. I explained that many times to my friends. Since the Fall, the created beings split into many parts. The further the split, the lower the development. The more development progresses, the less remains of the split of the original being; the soul particles melt together. But there is spirit in all created beings. There is just less of spirit-matter in the lower forms. In this respect, science is closer to the truth, although science interprets it a little differently. It leaves out many important angles.
COMMENT: May I add perhaps that in this connection it is true that originally, before the Fall, each spirit was created separately. But incarnated humans are evolving in a slow re-climbing from the Fall?
ANSWER: That is correct.
My dearest friends, be all of you blessed on this day in the Name of our holy Lord, Jesus Christ. Follow in His footsteps the way it is rightly understood, by finding your inner truth, by facing your innermost self, by freeing yourself of untruth, so that you will evolve a free and happy being, capable of giving freedom, happiness and love to others. For that is the way God wants you to be, not suffering, not in pain, but in true happiness. Be blessed, my dearest friends, be in God!