CONVERSATION AT THE GATE
For man on this earth directed solely by observations conditional on the human brain and the conclusions in thought derived from them, almost everything which is ‘eternal’ about him – that is, all which is not subjected to any imagined conclusion or dissolution – is truly a ‘hortus conclusus’: – an enclosed garden! The presence of such a realm, inaccessible to the physical senses and to all thought, is at times intuited, at other times felt, and within large groups of people believed; yet he who intuits, feels or believes remains outside the wall separating the enclosed garden of being conscious of his own eternity: – the ‘lost paradise’ – from those areas open to the possibilities of earthly knowledge. Those individuals who find themselves not yet satisfied with everything they intuit, feel and believe, wander ceaselessly along the insurmountable wall of separation in order to discover a hidden gap they can enlarge and squeeze through. To their surprise, the most fortunate amongst these seekers come across the only narrow gate, found only with great difficulty, which could give access to the ‘enclosed garden’ if they only knew how to open it. But instead of waiting with patience and trust for the door to be opened to them one day from within, nearly all of those fortunate enough to find this gate seek to acquire wondrous duplicate keys from the slyest locksmiths. They waste their time on earth in ever novel and unsuccessful attempts to break open the lock from outside which can only be opened from the inside of the ‘enclosed garden’. This is a waste of effort and a fatal self-deception!
Only one who is himself aware of the eternal, being through his own spiritual nature at home in the garden firmly sealed against all earthly insistence, can open the mysterious doorway from within. Yet, even when opened in this way, no one is admitted who has not cast off from himself all burdens resulting from rational speculation, and every disguise with which he has covered himself; so he may enter as naked and exposed as when he left his mother’s womb.
The whole of my life’s work has always been to open anew this gate from within; from there I guide along many different paths all those who would take nothing else with them than what belongs to their eternal life, leading them to the temples of teaching I have erected, with columns clearly inscribed with words of eternally true teaching.
Every teaching imparted by me to my fellow men is enclosed within the wall of this ‘hortus conclusus’, so that I am completely justified in bequeathing the whole of my teaching under this name which integrates myself and which seems to me for good reasons to be a fitting name with which to describe symbolically this final work. This book also makes answers imparted to individuals privately over the decades, accessible to many. As with the book ‘Letters to One and Many’, it is intended to open the eyes of those introduced to and trusting in my teachings, to the fact that the collection of books and writings containing what I have to impart from the eternal, must be seen as a whole which is rooted within the eternal and can be accessible if those conditions are fulfilled which the eternal requires. I have spoken often enough of these conditions and I have described their nature once more in the previous lines.
The places within this garden, ever sealed from all curiosity, to which I seek to guide those called again through this book, give many orientations from its sacred groves by which the architectural structure of the temple of teaching I have erected can be recognised in the clearest perspective. Many tablets and inscribed columns, still undiscovered in their unintentional hiding places, will also no longer escape the attentive eye.
I really know how strange the teaching imparted in my writings must seem to the vast majority of my fellow men. I also understand all too well that people today, to whom experience of the eternal is foreign, are at the outset incapable of absorbing within their acquired capacity for conceptual understanding the proper meaning of the things I, unfortunately, also have to impart to them about myself if I am to avoid leaving them facing gaps they cannot fill from their own insight. I am no less aware of the many different forms of suspicion, disguised psychologically, which in an irresponsible rush are applied to any teaching which appears inexplicable to it, as the easiest way of concealing its own impotent judgement. In view of the abundance of rational speculation regarding the eternal, it is also completely understandable to me if one doubts whether any person is capable, whilst safeguarded against any self-deception, of experiencing himself vividly within what is undoubtedly the eternal.
Furthermore, all proper understanding is rendered difficult by many primitive religious ideas which have not only been accepted in most mature religions, but strangely have also gained a stranglehold, derived from conceptual fields of theology, in the brains of those who consider themselves to be highly beyond all dogmatism. No less significant are the rational obstacles which, like those gigantic creepers nourished on decay found in tropical jungles, within the realms of philosophical systems render all recognition of the truly eternal impossible.
In these circumstances, indicated here only summarily, it is a most painful task to make known, as man amongst men, that one is – along with a few other fellow men belonging to non European cultural circles staying in strictest seclusion – oneself an exponent of the eternal within the realm of mankind on earth; moreover, that one is irrevocably designated from within the eternal to convey, as the only translator into the language of earthly man, things which can only become known in wordless experience. – One must indeed have learnt to mock every form of human self-assertion, hidden or open, if one is not to despair at the possibility of fulfilling the task during one’s limited life time on earth! Only unlimited love for everything eternally worthy of love which is seen existing in each of one’s fellow men, even if most of them are scarcely aware of it, provides the strength to open up oneself again and again from within the eternal, despite knowing that for the vast majority of one’s fellowmen one will never the less remain a ‘hortus conclusus’