WHOM I ACCEPT AS MY PUPILS
The fact that I am not able to recognise as such all those who call themselves my pupils should not prove an obstacle to those who have actually demonstrated that they are my pupils in deed and behaviour, or are prepared to prove themselves to be true spiritual pupils.
Every man is his own judge!
He is a judge of himself; there is no ‘appeal’ against his verdict throughout eternity!
And his judgement is not a legal finding in thought but legal confirmation through deed!
Everyone determines what he is through his own behaviour with the consequence that he can be nothing other than what this behaviour shows he is capable of being.
Although your external mannerisms or self-image can beguile your own judgement and deceive your fellow men, they have not the slightest effect on the specific position in substantial spiritual life determined by your own actions.
Those who are truly my pupils know this because they know they are acting in the way my teaching calls everybody to act.
They do not need my explicit recognition, for their actions will tell them with complete certainty if I can number them amongst my own.
I cannot turn anyone in the world into my pupil, truly bound to me in the spirit of the First Light, who is not my pupil from within himself in his thinking, feeling, willing, speaking and acting!
It has no significance at all if any of my pupils know me personally.
The transient, imperfect, corporeal man suffering from all manner of ills, which I am here on earth, in this realm of visibility, is for me nothing other than what the visible hand is for the concealed mechanism of the clock.
It is simply the mediator of the teaching I have to impart.
It is also utterly meaningless, and brings no one close to me as a pupil, for anyone to say of himself, in the embarrassing manner of one belonging to a religious sect, that he ‘is in the doctrine’ because he has ‘taken note of’ everything found in my writings.
As long as whatever has been absorbed from my words merely remains the possession of the brain it will only remain that possession as long as the brain is capable of ‘holding on’ to it.
Nothing of this kind is of endurance!
Only what has been transformed into work and living form will endure: – even when no longer any atom of the brain exists in the same form as once was needed to hold on to what was absorbed from my words. –
Being my pupil is not dependent on some kind of distinction I might have to ‘grant’.
All are my pupils who immerse themselves in the teachings I give and accept the duty, as far as they are able, to arrange their own lives in accordance with the consequences which logically ensue from my teachings.
This only concerns me since I became the fashioner in language of the messages of personal experience, and the interpreter of ancient teaching whose truth I was allowed to test.
Of course, I am talking here about areas of experience which are inaccessible to all my fellow men in the western hemisphere of this earthly orb; – but also in the other hemisphere they are in accessible but to a very few, among whom no one is appointed to communicate publicly.
I can hardly forbid one of my pupils from calling me his ‘master’, since it is known that in the lands of the rising sun men like me, or spiritual teachers of any description, are described in terms which come very close to this concept; – indeed, I could in this respect point to a basic spiritual ‘right’, – but I can only see any sense and value in such words if the person using them is able to fill those very words with his knowledge of the reality they describe.
But since this is only possible for the fewest of the few, I request that the use of the term ‘master’ be omitted; for there is no instance where using this description or mode of address will lead to someone entering into a pupil relationship with me.
It is folly indeed to believe that a purely spiritual relationship which extends beyond all earthly existence depends on some external testimony of acknowledgement!
A flawed understanding of my spiritual activity as a teacher is betrayed when some, with the inherently kind intention of pleasing me, presume to take delight in sending me every newspaper review whose author has something positive to say about my books. On the other hand, I am sent real letters of condolence if an anonymous country bumpkin working for some armchair rag whose admirers most assuredly could never be considered pupils of my teachings cannot resist exercising his perfect right to adolescent incivility in order to impress his readers.
Generally I regard book reviews in well-edited journals and daily newspapers with all the respect unconditionally due to opinions expressed by fellow men with something to say.
Generally you can tell from the first sentence ‘whose spirit’s child’ the reviewer is and the degree of respect his opinions merit, even without knowing his signature or name.
If I were writing literary works or academic treatises, reviews of my books would be of importance to me because I would feel obliged to examine the reflection of my work in the judgement of other men of discernment to see if and how it might benefit my further writing.
Since I do not present myself to the public as a poet or representative of a science or a religious community, but fashion my teachings purely from the results of my individual experiences and from the possibility of perception that has come to me which no other person in Europe possesses today, even the most benevolent reviewer has a hard task when faced with what I am beholden to write; his judgement can be of little help to me, even if his discussion of the books can make a major contribution to their falling into the hands of those who need them and have been looking for them.
Yet I think that the many serious reviewers to whom my books also owe their distribution in this way will be the first to understand that my teaching can only be judged when the judge has himself begun to follow my instructions.
For the rest it is not worth discussing quite mistaken categorisation of my writings or my own person, even though, away from public life, I encounter things which are bizarre enough: sometimes most weirdly disguised, at other times presumptuous in manner, – in some of the many letters I can never answer.
Perhaps this is the place to point out explicitly that it is impossible for me to take on the commitment of corresponding even with my genuine and tested pupils; my not answering letters addressed to me should never be understood as an expression of my assessment of the letter or even its writer, as the familiar saying has it: ‘No answer is also an answer’.
A letter may arouse my passionate interest or compel my ardent empathy, – I may have a great deal to say about its contents, – and yet I must forbid myself from answering, for it has long been the case that my circle of correspondents cannot be extended any more, indeed, it can hardly be maintained unless I harm the essential tasks of my life by dissipating powers which require innermost concentration. –
My closest pupils know and respect this from their own consideration; yet even those further removed from me show the same insight. This emerges from the many letters which seek only to pass on a heartfelt greeting; the senders for the most part do not even give their addresses.
My special thanks are passed on to all of them here!
On the other hand, I must explicitly oppose an understanding of the pupil’s duties found on occasions even in otherwise most admirable and well advanced pupils! –
I mean here the attempt to proselytise: – the attempt to develop a kind of ‘missionary activity’ for the reception of the teachings I represent, and the wish to be distinguished as ‘apostles’ of what I teach.
Nothing can be more embarrassing to me; nothing stands more in the way of the quietly dignified and sober acceptance of what I have to say, – indeed, nothing else has come even close to obstructing my work than this false zeal among loyal pupils!
I do indeed understand the good intentions, and I know all the considerations which lead to such regrettable zealousness; but unfortunately I can not keep back the bitter truth from this impatient will to proclaim: – it frightens far more people away from an unprejudiced consideration of the content of my books than drawing readers to them. –
Moreover, in this impatience is revealed a small, if forgivable overestimation of one’s own power to convince, and simultaneously a gross underestimation of the eternal spiritual forces on which alone the fulfilment of my life’s task depends.
Experience shows me quite clearly that among all those I am able to recognise today as my real spiritual pupils there is but a tiny number who heard of my books through a ‘proselytising pupil’. The books themselves ‘came’ to all others by some route or other, – possibly in the strangest way, and at times people were involved who lacked every intention of absorbing anything spiritual.
Some of my pupils evidently neglect the difference between their well intended missionary work and the commercial work necessary in publishing.
Here we are talking about something essential!
Whereas in all personal individual recruitment the random choice of those recruited is prioritised by the recruiter, the publisher recruits the general public and leaves it to the spiritual guidance of each individual to determine whom it wants to introduce to the books and whom not yet.
All publishing work is based upon the conviction that there are many who might urgently need my books but do not yet know of them. The publisher directs his recruitment at every one reading his advertising and avoids making a choice. The selection of those who approach my books through the work of the publisher remains entrusted to the unerring spiritually directed selection of souls.
In comparison, private individual recruitment carried out with the best of intentions is – with rare exceptions – a crude invasion of the lawful sphere of the soul of another person.
Such an unsought and generally premature invasion can result, in those rashly prepared, for whom my books might not appear at a convenient moment despite the different views of my enthusiastic pupils, – in developing a real aversion to what has been so urgently recommended. This is particularly the case with those many who only accept as true the things they have found for themselves.
Yet someone who has been put off my books might have discovered them for himself in a matter of days or weeks; now he keeps them deliberately at arm’s length because of the overzealousness of my pupil, – until, after a number of years, he will perhaps eventually find them in the way appropriate to him.
Unfortunately I can cite many cases where zealous pupils tried to win others over to my writings and only achieved the most vehement resistance. Eventually, those who had been held back in this manner did in fact find their way to me; they then told me about what had previously befallen them.
Let those therefore who wish to behave properly in these matters leave it to spiritual powers, under whose protection my books stand, as to who shall receive them.
This is far from saying that all discussion of my books must be avoided! I only want to prevent ‘missionary’ treatment and the ‘persuasion’ of others!
But since it is mostly tried and tested pupils who feel the urge to intervene with others on behalf of what brought them light and illumination, I see this instruction as being particularly appropriate here.
At the same time I must warn each one of my pupils here against asking too much of himself or of the fellow pupils he knows.
As an industrious custodian of the way, I have cleared the path leading the pupil to the substantial spirit and thereby to attainment of assured awareness of his own belonging to the spirit, from very many obstacles which once needed almost superhuman exertion to overcome.
But I am not able to clear every slope which is to be overcome with perseverance alone, for the path has, since time immemorial, passed over established rocks!
I cannot spare any of my pupils from the effort of the climb – I cannot carry any on my shoulders to the peak!
Yet that steep ascent will be conquered most quickly if the wanderer does not press and hurry but always expends his energies in a wisely measured way to avoid falling prey to exhaustion. –
Calm confidence and alert belief in their own powers will bring those who strive to their elevated goal much sooner than the cramped will to which the impatient so readily succumb!