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Franz Hartmann MD Magic, White and Black

The Science of Finite and Infinite Life

(1888) 4th edition

Franz Hartmann, MD

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Chapter XI - Light

"Let there be Light." -- Bible

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Form and Light

Form, personality, and sensuality are the death of spirit: the dissolution of form, loss of personality and unconsciousness of sensuous perceptions, render spirit free and restore it to life. The elementary forces of nature, bound to forms, become the prisoners of the forms. Being entombed in matter they lose their liberty of action and move only in obedience to external impulses; the more they cling to form, the more dense, compact, heavy, and dull will they become, and the less will they be self-acting and free.

Sunlight and heat are comparatively free; their elements travel from planet to planet, until they are absorbed by earthly forms. Crystallised into matter they sleep in trees and forests and fields of coal, until they are liberated by the slow decomposition of form, or forcibly restored to freedom by the god of fire.

The waves of ocean and lake play joyfully with the shore. Full of mirth they throw their spray upon the lazy rocks. The laughing waters of the wandering brook glide restlessly through forest and field, dancing and whirling and playing with the flowers that grow by the side of their road. They rush without fear over precipices, falling in cascades over the mountain sides, uniting, dividing, and uniting again, mingling with rivers and resting at last for a while in the sea.

But when winter arrives and King Frost puts his icy hand upon their faces, they crystallise into individual forms, they are then robbed of their freedom, and like the damsels and knights of the enchanted castle, they are doomed to sleep until the warm breath of youthful Spring breaks the spell of the sorcerer, and kisses them back into life.

The fundamental laws of nature are the same in all her departments, and man forms no exception to the general rule. He is a centre around which some of the intelligent as well as some of the unintelligent forces have crystallised into a form. Bound by the laws of the Karma which that centre created, they are doomed to dwell in a form, and to partake of the accidents to which forms are exposed; imprisoned in a personality, they partake of the sufferings which the tendencies of that personality have called into existence.

They may be exposed to desires whose thirst increases in proportion as they are furnished with drink, to passions whose fire burns hotter in proportion as their demand for fuel is granted, they are tempted to run after shadows that ever fly, to grasp at hopes that ever beckon and vanish as soon as they are approached, to sorrows that enter the house although the doors may be closed against them, to fears whose forms have no substance, to illusions that disappear only with the life of the form. Like Prometheus bound to a rock, the impersonal spirit is chained to a personality, until the consciousness of his herculean power awakes in him, and bursting his chains he becomes again free.

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The Spirit of Man

Not all the elements that go to make up a complete man are enclosed in his material form. The far greater part of them is beyond the limits of his physical body; the latter is merely a centre in which those invisible elements meet. The body of man does not enclose the sphere of his spirit; his soul is far greater than the circumference of his form.* The elements that exist beyond the limits of his visible organism stand in intimate relation with those that are within, although the elements within the form may not seem to be conscious of the existence of those beyond. Still they act and react upon each other.


* For this reason persons manifesting great genius have been called "great souls" or "Mahatmas," from "maha" great and "atma" the soul.


The mind of man is far more important than his physical form. Thought can create a form, but no form can produce a thought; and yet the substance of thought is invisible as long as it has not clothed itself in a form. Air exists within and beyond the physical body; it is invisible and yet it is an important element of the body, a man who could not breathe would be very incomplete. The ocean of mind in which man exists is as necessary to his soul-life as the air is to his body, he cannot breathe if deprived of air; he cannot think if deprived of mind. The outer acts upon the inner, the inner upon the outer, the above upon the below, the great upon the little, and the little upon the great. A man who could live independent of his surroundings would be self-existent, he would be a god.

The spirit is not confined by the form, it only overshadows the form; the form does not contain the spirit, it is only its outward expression; it is the instrument upon which the spirit plays, and which reacts upon its touch, while the spirit responds to its vibrations. An ancient proverb says: "Everything that exists upon the Earth has its ethereal counterpart above the Earth, and there is nothing, however insignificant it may appear in the world, which is not depending on something higher; so that, if the lower part acts, its preceding higher part reacts upon it."*


* Sohar Wajecae.


The greatest philosophers in ancient times taught that the νομς (Greek: noms) that alone recognised noumena, always remained outside the physical body of man; that it overshadowed his head, and that only the ignorant believed it existed within themselves. Modern philosophers have arrived at similar conclusions. Fichte [1] writes: "The real spirit which comes to itself in human consciousness is to be regarded as an impersonal pneuma -- universal reason -- and the good of man's whole development therefore can be no other than to substitute the universal for the individual consciousness."

[1. Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814) Wikipedia ]

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The Real Self

The Bhagavad Gita says: "The Supreme Brahma is within and without all beings; motionless and yet moving. Not distributed in beings, yet constantly distributed in them. He is the light of all luminous things and in everything its perfection."* And the same truth, speaking through the mouth of Jesus of Nazareth, says: "I am the Light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life."**


* Bhagavad Gita, xiii.

** St John, viii. 12.


The greatest of all teachers, Gautama Buddha, says:

"The permanent never mingles with the impermanent, although the two are one. Only when all outward appearances are gone, is that one principle of life left, which exists independently of all external phenomena. It is the fire that burns within the external light when the fuel is expended and the flame is extinguished, for that fire is neither in the flame nor in the fuel, nor yet inside either of the two, but above, beneath, and everywhere."

This principle, in which rests the self-recognition of eternal truth is the real Ego of every human being, and he who succeeds in attaining self-knowledge of it has found the Christ. It is the true and living Christ of the real Christians, not the dead "Jesus" but the living Saviour, the Divinity, who, being born in our Humanity, remains with his followers unto the end of the world. Everyone who unites his own soul with that Christ -- no matter what his creed or confession may be -- will become as true and veritable a Christ as ever lived upon the Earth. It is the λογος (Greek: logos) of the ancients, the Adam Kadom of the Hebrews, the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Iswar of the Hindus, the way, the light, and the truth, the divine Self of every man and the Redeemer for all. ***


*** "Though Christ a thousand times in `Bethlehem' is born; If he's not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn."

-- Angelus Silesius (born 1624)


Hermes Trismegistus says of that being called Man: "Its father is the Sun (Divine Wisdom), his mother the stars (the Astral light) and his body the generations of men."

The whole of a man is not enclosed within the small circle that circumscribes his terrestrial life. He who has found the "Father" within himself knows the true insignificance of his own personal self. The life of the personality is made up of a comparatively small number of years passed among the illusions of the terrestrial plane; the experience of the inner man is made up of the essence of a great many of such lives; he has retained of them only that which is useful and grand, while the worthless materials have been rejected, but the life of the Divine man is eternal, universal, self-existent, and infinite.

He who has once realised the presence of his God laughs at the idea of having ever imagined himself to be something more than a bundle of semi-conscious elements from which the inner Self draws nutriment, if it finds anything therein compatible with its own nature.

What is all the power and glory of earthly kings compared with the divine Man, the King in the realm of the soul? What is all the science of this earth but nonsense, if compared with the self-knowledge of the regenerated? Well may he who has welcomed the Lord in his soul be willing to renounce money, power and fame, terrestrial loves and all the illusions of life, if it can be called "renunciation" to refuse to touch things upon which one looks with indifference.

How can he, who has never seen the image of the true Saviour, in his heart love him, and how can he who has once beheld his own real ideal Self cease to love and adore it with his whole mind and with all the faculties of the soul? But such things will not be understood by those who cannot yet rise above limitation; let those who know them rejoice and worship in silence.

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Regeneration

He who has succeeded in merging the higher elements of his soul with that divine Self will know its power in his own heart. This principle baptises his soul with fire, and he who receives this baptism of fire is ordained a priest and a King. He who is full of its influence is the true "vicegerent of God," because the supreme power of the universe acts through his instrumentality.

The recognition of this principle fills his heart with a peace "which passeth understanding," it attracts the affections of men to him, and sheds blessings upon every one who approaches his presence. It forgives the sins of men, by transforming them into other beings who have not sinned and need therefore not to be pardoned; it does not require to hear confession to give advice, because it understands the innermost thoughts of every being, and its admonishing voice is heard in the heart that has learned to understand the language of conscience.

The development of the power to perceive its power confirms men's faith, by enabling them to recognise that to be true which they heretofore only believed to be true; and being taught by the truth itself, they can make no mistake.

It communicates with man by being absorbed by man, and by absorbing the soul of man into itself; it brings the dying to life, because, being immortal, he who is consciously united with it enjoys its own immortality. The marriages it celebrates can never be dissolved, because in its power all humanity is bound together to one indissoluble whole; to separate from it would be death to the part that separates itself from the whole.

The world in which this principle exists is the sphere of eternal life; it is the only true and infallible "church" and its power cannot be taken away. This church is truly universal, nothing can live without its jurisdiction, because nothing can continue to exist without the authority of life. Still it has no particular name, requires no other fee for initiation but self-sacrifice, no ceremonies or rites except the "crucifixion" and death of the irrational man. "Heathens" and "Infidels" may enter it without changing their faith; opinions cease to exist where the truth is revealed.

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The True Christ

But this true Christ is not the Christ of popular Christianism. He has long ago been driven away from the modern Christian temples, and an idol has occupied his place. The money-changers and tradesmen have again taken possession of the temple of the soul, sacrificing the life-blood of the poor at the altars of wooden gods, closing their eyes to the truth and worshipping tinsel, squandering the wealth of nations for the glorification of the illusion of self.

The true "Son of Man" is still scoffed at by his nominal followers, traduced [slandered] by his pretended friends, tormented by the lusts of the flesh, crucified by men who do not recognise in him the only scource of their life, killed by men in their own hearts, ignorantly and foolishly, because they do not know what they are doing, and that their own life-substance departs at the time when he departs from their life.

Modern hypocrisy adores the religion of selfishness and rejects the gospel of love. Humanity debases her own dignity by crouching at the feet of idols, where she should stand up in her own dignity and purity as the queen of the whole creation.

The soul of humanity is still dreaming and has not yet awakened to life. She seeks for a god whom she does not know, and cannot realise the fact that in herself is that god, and that there can be no other god besides him. Men and women clamour for the coming of a god, and yet this god is there and everywhere, and ever ready to manifest his presence as soon as he is admitted into the heart.

This unknown god is attainable to all and may be recognised by everyone. It is a principle ever ready to be born as a power in every heart where the conditions for its birth are prepared. It always begins to come to life in a "manger" between the elemental and animal forces in man. It can only be born in a lowly place, because pride and superstition are its enemies, and in a heart filled with vanity it would soon perish.

The news of its birth sends a thrill of pleasure through the physical body, and the morning stars in the soul sing together for joy, heralding the dawn of the day for the resurrection of the celestial spirit. The three magicians from the East, Spirit, Soul, and Matter, representing Love, Wisdom, and Power, appear at the manger and offer their gifts to the new-born babe. If the king of pride and ambition does not succeed in driving it out of the country, it begins to grow, and as it grows its divinity becomes manifest.

It argues with the intellectual powers in the temple of the mind and silences their sophistry by its superior knowledge. It penetrates into mysteries, which intellectuality, born of sensual perceptions, cannot explain. Grey-headed material science, superstition hoary with age, old logic based upon misconceptions of fundamental truths, give way, and are forced to acknowledge the wisdom of the half-grown god.

Living in the wilderness of material desires, it is vainly tempted by the devil of selfishness. It cannot be misled by personal considerations, because being superior to them, it has no personal claims. The "devil" can give to it nothing that it does not already possess, because being the highest it rules over all that is low.

This principle is the first emanation of The Absolute. It becomes the "only-begotten son" of its father, and is as old as the father, because the Absolute could only become a "father" at the time when the "son" was born.* It is the living Word, and every man is that Word, in whom this "son of god" becomes manifest. It is the divine self of every man, his own divine ethereal counterpart without any infirmities, because the latter only belong to the terrestrial form.


* Bible: St John i. 1; Hebrews i. 3.


It is not a personality, but it may become individualised in man and yet remain in its essence impersonal, a living being, ubiquitous, incorruptible, and immortal. This is the great mystery before which the intellect, reasoning from particulars to universals, stands hopelessly still, but which the soul, whose inner spiritual perceptions are alive, beholds with astonishment and wonder. Only that which is infinite and immortal in man can comprehend infinitude and immortality.

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True Faith

As long as the wavering intellect doubts the existence of God, it cannot become conscious of His existence, because only the steady light of unclouded reason can penetrate into the depths where divine wisdom dwells. Mere "belief" is a confession of ignorance; true faith is based upon experience. We cannot be convinced of the existence of something we do not know, and of which we are unconscious, except by becoming conscious of its existence.

Consciousness, knowledge, and realisation of the existence of something can only begin at the moment when that something begins to become conscious within ourselves. We may search for the god within us, but we cannot artificially bring him to life. We can prepare the conditions under which he may manifest his consciousness within ourselves, by divesting the mind from all predilections and prejudices; the divine principle awakes within us by the power of its own grace.

Such a grace is not a favour conferred by a partial, whimsical, and personal god, it is the effect of a free will which has the power to grant its own prayers. As well may an acorn enclosed in a stone pray to be developed into an oak, as a man whose heart is filled with desires for the low ask to become conscious of the high. To put implicit belief in the statement of bonze [monk] or priest is weakness; to keep the soul pure, so that it can be taught by wisdom itself, is strength, to arrive at conviction through the knowledge of the soul confers the only true faith.

Tennyson speaks of the beginning of true faith when he says --

"We have but faith, we cannot know,
A beam in darkness, let it grow."

 [From "In Memoriam"]

When the beam has grown, it constitutes spiritual knowledge, which is identical with the living power of faith.

When the divine being becomes conscious in the personal man, the body begins to feel new sensations, the pulse begins to throb with more vigour, the animal forces stirred up in their "hells" by the arrival of the new light, become more active, pains will be experienced in various parts of his body, and the candidate for immortality will physically experience a process resembling the martyrdom of the crucified Christ.* The penetration of the mortal by the new life will necessarily cause suffering until the lower elements are entirely subjected and that which is impure eliminated.


* The pains referred to are the result of the penetrating power of the spirit, infusing a new life into the physical form.


There is no salvation except through suffering; pains accompany man's entrance into the world, pains accompany his regeneration. The low must die so that the high may live. Only he who has tasted the bitterness of evil can fully realise the sweetness of good, only he who has suffered the heat of the day can fully appreciate the cool of the evening breeze. He who has lived in darkness will know the true value of light when he enters its realm.

What is true in regard to individual man is equally true in regard to humanity as a whole, but that which may be accomplished in a few suitable individual organisms in a comparatively short time, will require ages to take place in the body of humanity as a whole.

"Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe."

-- Othello, ii. 3.

Infinite love radiating from the centre of the All, eternally descends into the hearts of mankind. Divine wisdom has no separate will of its own, but is doing the will of the Father. Christ takes upon His shoulders the sins of the world, for he who has entered into the realisation of divine truth, has stepped out of the realm of ignorance and illusions and become free, is without sin, He can gain no personal benefit by His descent into matter; being perfection itself, He needs no further perfection.*


* Bhagavad Gita, iii. 22.


As men and women become conscious of His divine presence, they become aware not merely of their own individual evils, but of the sufferings of humanity as a whole; they begin to suffer with and for each other, they recognise in the divinity in humanity the universal link that binds them all together into one harmonious whole.

Realising their high nature as sons of the eternal God, they die to all that is low, and the more they die to it the more will they become alive in the only true, real, and immortal life. The motto of the ancient Rosicrucian fraternity was: In Deo nascimur, in Jesu morimur, reviviscimus in Spiritu Sando; that is to say, they recognised that their souls were born from the universal fountain of all; they died to their lower natures by entering into the spiritual body of Christ, and gained eternal life by being penetrated, illuminated, nourished and glorified by the light of divine truth.

The temple where they worshipped was that of the "Holy Ghost," the spirit of divine wisdom, pervading the soul of the world. This they represented by the symbols of Mercury and the earth joined in one.

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Eternal Truths

These ideas are not new, they have not come into existence with the advent of modern Christianity; they are eternal truths, as old as the world, and they have been represented in various fables and allegories among the nations of this globe.

In the "Old Testament" we find the doctrine of salvation represented in the story of Noah's ark. Noah represents the spiritual man, and the ark the plane of divine self-consciousness. Only those elements of the psychic organism of man which enter this spiritual realm can be saved, while those who remain in a lower state are doomed to destruction.

Upon the waters of thought floats the ship containing many compartments; the window of knowledge is open to enable the inner man to look out upon the watery waste. The intellectual raven is sent out to discover dry land, but it can find no place to rest, and returns to the ark; the dove of spiritual knowledge alone can find solid ground in the realm of the spirit; it returns carrying the emblem of peace, the doubts recede, and the ark is turned into a temple resting upon the top of the mountain of self knowledge.

Blessed is he whose ark during his terrestrial life is guided upon this Ar-ar-at of true Faith; it will enable him patiently and with indifference to bear the ills of terrestrial life until the soul is released from its bonds, and returns to its home in the eternal kingdom, having become separated from all the attractions of earth.

How grand and sublime are the mysteries of true religion! How superior is knowledge of the soul to speculative science! How infinitely great the living spirit of Truth!

Those who cling to external forms, cling to illusion. To convert an ignorant person by substituting one form of illusion for another is useless, and the money and labour expended for such "conversions" is wasted. Ignorance exchanged for ignorance remains ignorance still; a change of opinion cannot establish self-knowledge and an imaginary knowledge does not make a man wise.

If a man has religion, it matters little by what name he may call it, or under what form he may attempt to express that which cannot be expressed in a form. The Buddhist, who looks upon the image of Buddha as a figurative representation of a living principle, and who, in memory of a once living person in whom that principle found its fullest expression, and whose example he wishes to follow, offers flowers and fruits at his shrine, is as near the truth as the Christian who sees in the picture of Jesus of Nazareth the representation of his highest ideal. For it is not the person, however much he may be venerated, that ought to be worshipped, but Divine Wisdom itself, without whose light Gautama could not have become a Buddha, nor Jesus a Christ.

There has been a great deal of time and labour spent to prove or disprove that the founder of Christianity was a person living in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian era. To know whether or not such a person by the name of Jesus, or perhaps Jehoshua,[2] ever existed, and whether he existed at the time indicated by theologians, may be a matter of great historical interest, but it cannot be of supreme importance for our salvation; because the personality of even a God incarnate is only a mask, and the knowledge of another man is not our own.

[2. See Franz-Hartmann-The-Life-of-Jehoshua-the-Prophet-of-Nazareth at selfdefinition.org/magic/ ]

The "Light of Asia" says: [3, 4]

"Within thyself salvation must be found"

and Angelus Silesius (John Scheffler) [5] expresses the same truth, when he says:

"The cross of Golgotha can never save thy soul,
The cross in thine own heart alone can make thee whole."

[3. By Sir Edwin Arnold. Wikipedia ]

[4. Text: www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net ]

[5. 1624-1677. Wikipedia ]

The doctrines of the Jesus of the Gospel grow in sublimity in proportion as their secret meaning is understood; the tales of the Bible in regard to His deeds and the miracles which He performed, and which to the superficial observer appear incredible and absurd, represent eternal truths and psychological processes which are not merely things of the past, but which occur even now within the realm of the soul of man, and in proportion as man comes nearer to the true living Christ, veil after veil drops from his eyes.

The theory of the redemption of man does not date from the time when the historical Christ is supposed to have been born. The history of Christ finds its prototype in the history of Krishna. The Greeks taught the redemption of the soul under the allegory of Amor and Psyche.

Psyche (the human soul) enjoys the embraces of her divine lover every night (in each incarnation). She feels his divine presence and hears the voice of intuition in her heart, but she is not permitted to see the source from which that voice proceeds. At a time when the god is sleeping her curiosity awakes and she wishes to see him objectively. She lights the lamp of the intellect and proceeds to examine critically the source of her happiness; but at that moment the god disappears. Despairingly she wanders through the lower regions of her intellect and through the sphere of sensual perceptions. She cannot find her god by the power of reasoning from the material plane. Ready to die (giving up her self-will), she is saved by the power of love. Losing her "self" in love, she becomes united with him, knowing his attributes, which are now her own.

Modern Christianity has not destroyed the Olympian gods, it only destroyed the forms in which they were represented. They were allegorical representations of truths, and truths cannot be killed. The laws of nature are the same to-day as they were at the time of Tiberius; Christianism has only changed the symbols and called old things by new names. Dead heathen idols have been resurrected in the form of Roman Catholic saints.

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Faust

Modern writers have represented the same old truths in other forms, in prose and in verse. Goethe represents it beautifully in his "Faust." Dr Faust, the man of great intellect and celebrated for his learning, in spite of all his scientific accomplishments, is unable to find the truth.

"The unknown is the useful thing to know;
That which we know is useless for our purpose."

Despairing at the impotency and insufficiency of speculative research, he enters into a pact with the principle of evil. By its assistance he attains wealth, love, and power, he enjoys all that the senses are capable to enjoy, still feeling intuitively that selfish enjoyment cannot confer true happiness. Neither the splendour of the imperial court, nor the beauty of Helen of Troy, who returns from the land of shadows at his request, nor the orgies of the Blocksberg, where all human passions are let loose without restraint, can satisfy his craving.

Lord of the Earth, he sees only a single hut which is not yet his own, and he takes even that, regardless of the fate of its inhabitants. Still he is not satisfied until, after having recovered a part of land from the ocean by his labours, he contemplates the happiness which others may enjoy by reaping the benefit of his work. This is the first unselfish thought that takes root in his mind. It fills him with extreme happiness, and in the contemplation of the happiness of others his sense of self dies and his impersonal soul is saved.

The soul knows that it is, but it cannot intellectually and critically examine itself unless it steps out of itself, and, stepping out of itself, it ceases to be one. The eye cannot see itself without the aid of a mirror; good becomes only known to us after we have experienced evil, to become wise we must first become foolish and gain experience by eating of the forbidden fruit. A spiritual power not having been embodied in a form, would not know the nature of freedom. To learn the conditions of existence man becomes embodied in form and acquires knowledge; having gained that knowledge, form is no longer required.

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Liberation

The selfish desire for existence imprisons the inner man into a mortal form; he who during his life on Earth conquers all selfish desire for existence becomes free.

The divine Buddha, resting under the Boddhi-tree of wisdom, and having his mind fixed on the chain of causation, said: "Ignorance is the source of all evil. From ignorance spring the Sankharas (tendencies) of threefold nature-productions of body, of speech, and thought (during the previous life); from the Sankharas originates (relative) consciousness, from consciousness spring name and form, from this the six regions (the six senses); from this springs desire, from desire attachment, from attachment existence, birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, suffering, dejection, and despair. [5]

[5. The 12 Links of Dependent Arising. See: /buddhism/twelve-links-of-dependent-arising.htm ]

"By the destruction of ignorance the Sankharas are destroyed, and their consciousness, name, and form, the six regions, contact, sensation, desire, attachment, existence, and its consequent evils. From ignorance spring all evils, from self-knowledge comes cessation of this mass of misery. The truly enlightened one stands, dispelling the hosts of illusions like the sun that illuminates the sky." [6]

[6. See "Chain of Causation" from Buddhist Scriptures by E.J. Thomas, 1913 at sacred-texts.com ]

The power which destroys selfishness and the sense of personality is the same which caused the existence of man; it is the power of universal love, and the more the love of a person expands over all others the more will the consciousness of personality be diffused.

We esteem a person according to the degree in which he prefers common interests to the interests of his own personality. We admire generosity, and unselfishness, and benevolence, and yet such qualities are absurd and useless, if we believe that the highest object of man's existence is his own personal happiness on the physical plane; because the highest happiness in that plane consists in the greatest amount of possessions pertaining to that plane.

To give is to experience a personal loss. But if man strives for spiritual power, to sacrifice personal possessions will be his gain, because the less he is attracted by personal possessions the more will his soul become free. To give with the view of expecting some benefit in return is useless for such a purpose, because a person having such an object in view simply gives up one personal possession for another. He is a tradesman that clings to his goods, and is only willing to part with something good provided he can get something better in exchange.

According to the unselfishness and the spiritual power of a person his individual influence may extend over a family, a village, a town, a country, or over the whole Earth.

Every one desires influence, and seeks to obtain power by obtaining wealth and position. But the influence gained by such possessions is not spiritual power. A fool may be a pope, a king, or a millionary, and people bow in obedience before him on account of his position and wealth. They may despise his person and adore his possessions, which he himself adores, and to which his person is as subject as the lowest one of his slaves.

Such a person is not a commander; it is his wealth that commands him and the others. His wealth and not he is, in such a case, the object of the world's admiration. When his wealth is squandered, those who used to crouch at his feet spurn him away from their table.

The spiritual power of a person is independent of such external conditions, a virtuous person is esteemed in proportion as his qualities become known, and the spiritually strong exerts a powerful invisible influence over all his surroundings.

Man may be compared with a planet revolving around its own centre and circling around an invisible sun. Above the orbit in which he turns is light, and below is the darkness. The light above and the darkness below attract him. The farther he travels from the invisible sun, from which the light proceeds, the more will he approach the shadow; and having reached a certain point at which either one or the other attraction ceases, he will either rise up to the source of light or sink into the darkness.

A change from darkness to light, from evil to good, is only possible as long as man, in his revolutions around the centre of his own self, has transcended the orbit where the attractions of light and shadows are equal. Having transcended that orbit, no return is possible.

Only he who has attained the knowledge of self will be able to choose free, because he will know the nature of that which he chooses; the blind have no freedom of choice. The unpardonable sin is to knowingly and wilfully reject spiritual truth when it becomes manifest in the heart. In a certain sense all sins are "unpardonable," because they all cause effects, which have to become exhausted before they can cease; but if a person knowingly and wilfully rejects the truth revealed to him by his own inner self-consciousness, it proves that he loves evil better than good, and that his nature is evil.

He who is ignorant is not responsible for his acts. But he who knows the truth by its interior self-revelation his own consciousness and rejects it, condemns himself. Truth alone will survive in the end while evil will perish in evil. It is therefore dangerous for men to seek for occult spiritual knowledge for the gratification of scientific curiosity, before they have become sufficiently wise to select only that which is true.

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