A hot battle rages over them, for and against.
It is not my task to say anything about its opponents and their eager denials.
That would be a waste of time, for every logical thinker needs only to read of the way the so-called tests and investigations are carried out to perceive the complete ignorance and definite incapacity of these “experimenters”.
Why? If I want to investigate the earth, I must adapt myself to its nature.
If, on the contrary, I wish to explore the sea, I have no choice but to adapt myself to the nature of water and to use such aids as conform to that.
To tackle water with spade and shovel or with drilling machines would not carry me far in my investigations.
Or should I perhaps deny the existence of water because my spade passes right through it, contrary to what happens when I place it in the more familiar solid earth?
Or because I cannot walk upon water as I do upon solid earth?
Opponents will declare: “But that is different, for I can both see and feel that water exists, and nobody can deny it!”
How long ago was it that man energetically denied the existence of myriads of colorful organisms in a drop of water, which every child now knows about?
And why was their existence denied?
Only because man could not see them!
It was not until an instrument adapted to their nature had been invented that man could recognize, see and observe this new world.
The same applies to the Ethereal World, the so-called beyond.
First learn to perceive, and then you may permit yourself to judge!
It rests with you, not with the “other world”!
Apart from your physical body you also have the substance of the other world within you, while those in the beyond no longer possess your gross material substance.
You demand and expect that those in the beyond, who no longer have gross matter at their disposal, should approach you (give signs, etc.).
You wait for them to prove their existence to you, who have at your disposal the substance of the beyond as well as your physical substance, while you yourself sit waiting with the attitude of a judge!
You should span the bridge, which you can do!
Work at last with the same substance, which is also at your command, and learn to perceive in the process!
Or keep silent if you cannot manage this, and continue to nourish gross matter, which weighs upon ethereal substance more and more!
The day will come when the ethereal part must sever itself from the gross material part and remain prostrate, because it never practiced soaring upwards, for like the physical body the ethereal body is also subject to the physical laws.
Only movement brings strength!
You do not need mediums in order to perceive ethereal substance!
Just observe the life of the ethereal part within you!
Let your will give it what it needs to grow strong!
Or do you want to dispute the existence of your will because you can neither see nor touch it?
How often do you feel the after-effects of your willing within yourselves!
You sense them, but you can neither see nor touch them, whether it be exaltation, joy or sorrow, anger or envy.
As soon as the will gets to work it must also possess the power to create a pressure, for without pressure there can be no activity, no sensing.
And where there is pressure something solid of the same substance must be active, otherwise no pressure could be exerted.
Thus there must be solid forms of a substance that you can neither see nor touch with your physical body.
And such is the substance of the beyond, which you can only perceive by means of the similar substance also dwelling within you.
The battle for and against life after physical death is extraordinary, and really verges upon the ludicrous.
He who is able to reflect and observe calmly, without prejudice and self-desires, will soon find that everything, positively everything, speaks for the probability of an existing world of other substance which the average person of today is unable to see.
There are so many happenings which repeatedly remind us of this fact and which simply cannot be heedlessly pushed aside as non-existing.
On the other hand, the only thing which favor’s an absolute cessation of life after physical death is contained in the desire of many persons who would thereby like to evade every spiritual responsibility because neither cleverness nor cunning carry any weight therein, but only genuine intuitive perception.
But to turn to the adherents of spiritism, spiritualism, etc., or whatever name they choose to give it!
In the end they all suffer from the same thing – great errors!
The adherents are often more dangerous and harmful to the truth than the adversaries!
There are only a few among the millions who will allow themselves to be told the truth.
Most of them are entangled in a huge web of small errors, which hinders them from finding the path to the plain truth.
Where does the blame lie?
In the beyond, perhaps?
Or in the mediums?
No, not there either!
Only in the individual himself’
He is not severe and stern enough with himself.
He does not want to throw over his preconceived opinions, and shrinks from destroying the self-constructed picture of the beyond which has long filled him with a sacred awe and a certain feeling of well-being, though in fact this only exists in his imagination.
And woe to him who would dare to touch upon this!
Every adherent has a stone ready to throw at him!
He clings firmly to his opinions and is quite prepared to call those in the beyond lying or teasing spirits, or to charge the mediums with deficiency, rather than calmly to examine himself and reflect whether his conception may be wrong.
Where, then, should I begin to root out the many weeds?
It would be work without end!
Therefore let what I say here be only for those who are really seriously seeking, for only such shall find!
Here is an example!
A man visits a medium, whether one of note or not is of no importance!
There are others with him, and a “sitting” begins.
The medium “fails” and nothing happens!
What are the consequences?
Some say the medium is no good.
Others declare that all spiritism amounts to nothing.
Investigators boastfully assert: “The frequently tested mediumistic qualities of the medium were all a swindle, for as soon as we come the medium does not dare to do anything and the ‘spirits’ are silent!”
Believers and those who are convinced, however, go away depressed.
The reputation of the medium suffers and, if there are repeated “failures”, it is ruined.
If the medium has a sort of manager and money is charged, the manager will nervously urge the medium to make greater efforts when people pay money for it, etc.
In short there will be doubt, derision and discontent and, in a new attempt, the medium will make convulsive efforts to get himself into a trance and, in a sort of nervous self-delusion, perhaps unconsciously say something he imagines he has heard, or simply resort to direct deception which, in fact, is not very difficult for a speaking medium.
The sentence passed is: All a swindle, and a denial of spiritism altogether because some mediums, due to the circumstances mentioned above, may have resorted to deception to avoid the increasing animosity!
Here are a few questions:
1. Is there any class of society where no swindlers are to be found?
Does one in other cases immediately condemn the ability of honest
workers on account of a few swindlers?
2. Why just in these matters and actually nowhere else?
Everyone can easily answer these questions for himself!
But who is principally to blame for such unworthy conditions?
Not the medium, but most certainly the people themselves!
Through their extremely one-sided views, and particularly through their utter ignorance, they force the medium to choose between suffering from unjust animosity or practicing deception.
Mankind does not easily leave a middle course open to a medium!
I am here speaking only of a medium who can be taken seriously, not of the numerous would-be mediums who try to push their insignificant abilities into the foreground.
It is also far from my desire in any way to take the part of the great number of followers of mediums because the spiritists who throng round mediums have real value only in very rare cases, with the exception of serious investigators who approach this unexplored region in order to learn and not ignorantly to pronounce judgment.
To the greater number of the so-called believers these visits or “seances” bring no progress, but rather standstill or retrogression.
They become so dependent that they cannot decide anything themselves, but always want to get the advice of “those in the beyond”, often about the most ridiculous things, and mostly for earthly trivialities.
A serious investigator or an honest seeker will always be indignant at the incredible narrow-mindedness of those who for years have been constant visitors to mediums, with whom they feel quite “at home”.
With an exceedingly shrewd and superior air they talk the greatest nonsense and then sit with hypocritical devotion enjoying the agreeable tickling of the nerves, which they imagine to be due to intercourse with invisible powers.
Many mediums sun themselves in the flattering talk of such visitors who, in reality, are only expressing a selfish wish to “experience” as much as possible themselves.
The “experiencing” in their case, however, is only the same as hearing or seeing, in other words, being entertained.
Nothing ever comes to “real experience” within them!
What should a serious person take into consideration in such matters?
1. That a medium can contribute nothing whatever to ensure “success” apart from inwardly opening himself, that is, surrendering himself, and then waiting.
A medium is a tool who is used, an instrument which of itself cannot give forth any sound until it is played upon.
Therefore there can be no question of what is termed as a failure!
He who talks in this way only shows his narrow-mindedness, and he should keep his hands off!
Nor should he express any opinion because he cannot judge in the matter, just as he who finds learning arduous should avoid the university!
A medium is therefore simply a bridge or a means to an end.
2. It is the visitors who play a great role in this, not by their outward standing or even by their social standing, but by their inner life!
The inner life, as the greatest scoffers also realize, is a world of itself.
Naturally their intuitions, with their generative and nourishing thoughts, cannot be just “nothing”, but there must logically be ethereal bodies or things which through pressure or influence awaken intuitive feelings, which could not otherwise arise.
Neither could pictures be seen in spirit where there is nothing.
Just such a conception would indicate the greatest gap in the laws of the exact sciences.
Thus something must be there, and something is there, for the generative thought immediately creates in the Ethereal World (in the beyond) corresponding forms, the density and vitality of which depend on the intuitive power of the generative thought concerned.
Therefore what is called the “inner life” of a man produces a corresponding and similarly formed environment around him.
And it is this surrounding which must affect a medium, who is more open and sensitive to the Ethereal World, either in a pleasant or disagreeable, if not painful, way.
Thus it may happen that genuine messages from the Ethereal World are not transmitted so correctly if the medium is hindered, oppressed or confused by the presence of people who have an ethereally or spiritually impure inner life.
But it goes still further.
This impurity constitutes a barrier to purer ethereal matter, so that no message can be transmitted save one of an equally impure ethereal nature.
With visitors who have a pure inner life, contact with a correspondingly pure ethereal environment is naturally possible.
But everything different to that forms an unbridgeable gap!
That is why such differences exist in the so-called seances, often bringing about complete failure or causing confusion.
This all rests on inexorable, purely physical laws which operate in exactly the same way in the beyond as they do in this world.
The unfavorable reports of “investigators” are now seen in a different light.
And he who is able to observe the ethereal happenings must smile at many an investigator who, in his report, pronounces judgment on himself, exposing his own inner life and only criticizing the state of his own soul.
Here is a second example!
A man visits a medium.
It happens that a departed relative speaks to him through the medium.
He asks his advice perhaps on quite an important earthly matter.
The departed one gives him a few directions which the visitor looks upon as gospel truth, as a revelation from the beyond, which he obeys minutely, with the result that he is taken in and often suffers heavy damage.
What is the result?
The visitor will first of all doubt the medium.
In his disappointment and perhaps annoyance at his loss he may work against the medium.
In some cases he will even feel obliged to proceed publicly against him in order to save others from similar loss and deception.
In connection with this I should now explain life in the beyond, how by doing this such a person opens himself to similar ethereal currents through the attraction of what is spiritually homogeneous, and how, as a tool of such counter-currents, he may then develop into a fanatic in the proud consciousness of standing up for the truth, thereby rendering a great service to mankind!
In reality, however, he makes himself a slave to impurity and burdens himself with a karma which it will take a lifetime and more to redeem.
New threads will continue to emerge from this, weaving a net in which he will entangle himself, until finally he can no longer find his way about and, in his antagonism, becomes increasingly furious.
Or, if the disappointed visitor does not regard the medium as a swindler, he will at least have grave doubts about the entire beyond, or may take the usual easy road as thousands do, and say: “What concern of mine is the other world? Let others rack their brains about it!
I have better things to do!” The “better things”, however, are serving the physical body by acquiring wealth and thus withdrawing still further from ethereal things.
Where, then, does the actual guilt lie?
Again only with man himself!
He had formed a false picture when he accepted what was said as gospel truth.
That was his fault alone, nobody else was to blame!
He took it for granted that a departed spirit, by virtue of its ethereal nature, became at the same time partly omniscient, or at least possessed greater knowledge.
Many hundreds of thousands make this mistake.
The only additional knowledge that a departed being possesses following his transformation is that he has not really ceased to exist after so-called death.
But that is all – so long as he makes no use of the opportunity to advance in the Ethereal World, which also depends on his own free decision, as well as on his honest and diligent efforts!
Therefore, when he is questioned about worldly matters, he will give his opinion with the good intention of fulfilling the wish of the questioner, convinced that he is giving the best advice.
But he himself is not conscious of the fact that he is in no position to judge material matters and conditions as clearly as a man still living there in flesh and blood, because he lacks the gross material substance which is absolutely necessary to form a proper judgment.
His view of the matter, therefore, must be quite a different one.
Still he gives what he can and, with the best intention, the best he knows.
Thus neither he nor the medium can be blamed.
Nor is he a “lying spirit”.
In fact we should only distinguish between “knowing” and “unknowing” spirits, for as soon as a spirit sinks, i.e., becomes more impure and dense, his horizon simultaneously and automatically narrows.
He gives and expresses only what he feels; he lives only with his intuition, not with his calculating intellect, which he no longer possesses, since this was bound to his earthly brain and thereby limited to space and time.
As soon as that fell away at death, there was no more thinking and reflecting for him, but solely intuitive perception, an immediate and continuous experiencing!
The fault lies with those who still ask about earthly matters bound to space and time from those who are no longer so limited and who therefore cannot understand.
Those in the beyond are in a position to discern what is the right or wrong course in any matter, but then man must weigh and consider with his earthly aids, i.e., with his intellect and experience, how best to follow the right course.
He must bring it into accord with earthly possibilities!
That is his work!
Even when a spirit who has fallen deeply gets the opportunity of influencing and speaking, nobody can say that he lies or tries to mislead, for he only reflects what he lives and tries to convince others of it as well.
He cannot give anything else!
Thus there are innumerable errors in the conceptions of spiritists.
“Spiritism” has come into great disrepute, not of itself, but through the majority of its adherents, who after only a few and often very meagre experiences, enthusiastically imagine that the veil has been drawn aside for them.
Then they eagerly try to make others happy with a picture of ethereal life which they thought out themselves, which was created by an unbridled imagination, and which, above all, completely satisfies their own wishes.
But these pictures are seldom in complete accord with the Truth!
* * *
ASTROLOGY IS CALLED the royal art, and not without reason. Not that it is the most exalted of arts, nor reserved only for earthly monarchs; but whoever proved really capable of practicing it could take royal rank in the spiritual sense, since he would be able to guide the course of events in many respects!...
There have been many enquiries about the meaning of my expressions “gross matter” and “ethereal matter”. Gross matter comprises everything that man can see with his physical eyes, and what he can feel and hear physically. To this also belongs what he can see with the help of material aids, such as everything to be...
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