There are times in the history of mankind when man on earth feels completely abandoned by his eternal spiritual original homeland; indeed, he can no longer believe even intuitively in this original homeland.
In contrast, there are other times when many seekers throughout all mankind turn again to the spiritual with an obscure feeling that man on this earth could also attain the spiritual heritage for himself. Yet they are no longer conscious of the path leading to the essential spirit. And so they search and grope in darkness, – certainly making an effort to find this path yet blindly trusting every false path as long as it seems strange and mysterious to them.
We need to shed ‘more light’ here in the confusing darkness, for unnumbered ones are nowadays aimlessly wandering in the labyrinths of speculation or following supposed spiritual ‘leaders’ who seduce their adherents into pursuing only themselves and their own folly.
We are in the midst of such an age which seeks the spirit, even though everywhere the coarse human animal is simultaneously celebrating his easy triumphs.
It would be irresponsible to claim that simply ‘a need for sensation’, idle curiosity, and the arrogant urge to increase knowledge motivate all who strive, against the tide, to find the light of the spirit.
It would be foolish to denigrate those seekers who hope to find in the forms of ancient religions the red thread which might lead them from the dark and confusing pathways of philosophical speculation to true knowledge.
There are very many ways of escaping the darkness; those who can escape should not ask after ‘still other’ ways of reaching the exit leading to freedom if only their way could indeed lead them to the light.
Among today’s seekers, however, there are too many who have already tired of the search because every path on which they have started has turned out to be a false path, and because every self-styled spiritual ‘leader’ they blindly trusted has turned out in the end to be as lacking in knowledge and ignorant of the path as the crowd he is leading.
I am writing primarily for these countless seekers as one who only tells of things familiar to him, in a way these things can only rarely be familiar to an earthly man. That other group of seekers, however, which believes it has already found what it was looking for, will here gain a touchstone separating what is true beyond all deceit from what is illusory.
The individual treatises in this book were formed separately and so may be read separately.
In each case they were written to provide a common answer to many separate questions, for my time and energy would not have sufficed to give individual explanations to every personal question.
The themes emerged from the nature of the questions. Therefore some things have needed mentioning which I would certainly not have considered worthy of explanation without the underlying question. The inevitable repetitions are also explained by the nature of the questions put to me.
Nevertheless, all the chapters in this book are, as cannot be otherwise, most closely bound spiritually; as a whole they provide a foundation upon which every individual can continue building in his own way, with the assurance that he is always building upon firm foundations.
So there should scarcely be any readers who cannot get the utmost benefit from this book: – for whom it could not really shed ‘more light’. Yet anyone seeking insight needs to be clear that genuine insight into the mysteries of spiritual, indestructible life cannot be won through a new system of religious or philosophical teaching. Thus those who are seeking will seldom meet in my writings so-called ‘doctrines’ following on from each other systematically. Instead, I show to the seeker the spiritual he strives for from the most varied perspectives in ever fresh images, trusting in his feeling and calling upon his own judgement so that he can create for himself from this diversity the inner assurance every soul is only able to bestow upon itself. I am not interested in the slightest in gaining rational consent amongst those who accept my words. I merely want to help seekers find that inner state in which can only be revealed the things which surrounding darkness conceals from the soul!
It would be completely wrong to look for ‘doctrines’ in my teachings, – that is to say: claims which have been given form, and which are only valid in this given form. The reader will only come to the teaching I have given in these times, if he allows each individual part of the teaching to influence his own soul by seeking in each of them initially to experience only my eternal spiritual being. If the reader has finally experienced my eternal, true ‘being’, he will himself gain every ‘answer’ he seeks from it in himself, and at the same time the assurance of its incontrovertible truth as a testimony to Eternal Reality.
It is also an error to think that one might gain more insights than are to be found in my writings through personal conversation with me. Whoever speaks with me encounters my physical, transient manifestation, – not me, as for this he lacks all the organs of perception! I can of course give him an answer via the vehicle of the temporal brain I use, but it is absolutely impossible for me to create in his presence the manifestation in language through which I can enter him substantially. – This needs solitude and absolute isolation from the oscillations of other brains: – intensive concentration beyond imagining!