WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
In the three books ‘On the Living God’, ‘On the Life Beyond’ and ‘On Man’, I have given the first detailed description of the inner path everyone must take who is serious in his heart about wanting to find his spiritual nature within himself.
I have shown what the person who walks this path must do and not do.
Despite this I am repeatedly asked: “What shall we do now?” – “How shall we begin?”
It is clear to see from the formulation and motivation of all these questions that precise instructions are expected to carry out every day repetitive practices, as mysterious as possible in character, which would lead to the goal, if pursued more or less ‘mechanically’.
I feel the same towards my questioner as does as many a doctor when recommending the simplest, natural medicines and leave his patients dissatisfied because he has not filled out a ‘prescription’…
The majority of those who ask these questions, or who are always ready to ask, had previously taken paths into the labyrinth of modern ‘theosophical’ or ‘occult’ literature and only thanks to their healthy instincts, they had found their way out again, however, not without considerable effort.
Nonetheless, this wandering had in a certain sense moved them forwards; for there is no error which could not lead indirectly to the truth after all.
For this reason no man should ‘curse’ the time he has spent wandering, for he perhaps has no idea what he owes to this. –
So, groping one’s way through the labyrinth of ‘theosophical’, ‘anthroposophical’ or ‘occult’ teachings has not been entirely useless for any of those who were eventually freed.
Their groping search gave many the conviction that concealed behind all the errors in the teaching they heard there had to be some truth.
Others began to suspect that the legend of the so-called ‘Mahâtmas’, – those mysterious, presumed founders of modern ‘Theosophy’ – could only have arisen because the Orient knows of the existence of men united with the spirit who do not practise all sorts of magic tricks ascribed to the afore-mentioned fakirs born from fantasy, but who are conscious and at home in the spirit even while alive on earth.
However, most searchers took with them from those labyrinthine mazes the foolish belief that they only needed to know an esoteric and doubtlessly very mysterious ‘technique’, the practising of which would lift them from an ordinary person into a ‘higher ranking seer’, an ‘initiate’ or even a ‘master’ of spiritual works.
As correct as the first two suppositions are, the latter belief is, of course, completely false!
But unscrupulous charlatans and clever fishers for souls exploit this belief. They have given their pupils all sorts of more or less dubious instructions from ancient mystic texts where as the ‘teachers of the occult’ have for the most part no idea what effects conscientious pursuit of these instructions could bring about.
The pupil, however, believes he is on the right path, for he sees that following the instructions he was given actually leads to certain results beyond the dreams of current psychology, – despite all the research and exploration into the human ‘subconscious’.
Many ‘teachers of the occult’ may merely gratify their own vanity when passing on instructions supposedly meant to ‘open up inner senses’, dug out of some ancient parchment, revealing nothing other than dank, decaying vaults where nothing thrives but an active form of spiritualist mediumship, their cultivation should far better be left to certain Asiatic charlatans. –
The honourable ‘teacher of the occult’ has absolutely no need to believe in the efficacy of his instructions himself.
Just as ‘carriers of a bacillus’ can be healthy themselves, though spreading the most awful germs, there is no need at all for those spreading methods which supposedly ‘open up inner senses’ to know that they are only promoting the development of active spiritualist mediumship in their poor victims. –
Yet it is made easy for the pupils of such teachers, who are all pests in varying degrees, to resist modern scientific criticism, as they can take it from every word of the learned critics how clueless these esteemed researchers are experimenting in a field revealing one mirage after another; thus being drawn further and further into the desert, the surer he is of being ‘very close’ to the definitive answer to his questions.– –
One might have welcomed the attempt by modern psychology to make worthless once and for all certain extremely dubious phenomena which have gone under the name of ‘supernatural’, if this attempt were not itself made worthless by the strikingly false conclusions, immediately apparent to anyone knowledgeable in the field, which were undoubtedly drawn from events which were correctly observed by the researchers. –
Even an irreproachably pure urge to gain knowledge of the truth will end in error if the seeker after truth remains bound by his prejudices!
The consequence is that communities incapable of criticism, following cunning fishers of souls, groping around in the fog of fuzzy ideas, have long since lost the ability to seek truth within scientific discoveries. – In place of this they willingly allow themselves to be impressed by every charlatan hawking his colourful plunder, claiming that it is ‘esoteric knowledge’…
If with his ‘method’ the development of spiritualist mediumship, as mentioned previously, is attainable, he has already won the game. His every word is believed when he disseminates through mysterious intimations, the idea that he is the reincarnation of some sublime human spirit of the past.
For anyone reading my warnings with a degree of insight, it should already be clear that I am very closely acquainted with all these typical ‘methods’, ancient and modern, – that it would also be very easy for me to specify many paths, beyond those mentioned, leading to so-called ‘supernatural development’, of which none of those eccentric saints, seen in modern times by their followers as ‘initiates’ and ‘experts in the occult’, have ever known anything.
There are possibilities of producing results which would seem inaccessible to not just the best pupils of these ‘teachers of the occult’; but would make even the most penetrating psychological criticism despair of making anything of them.
If it were not a crime beyond redemption to even hint at the dangerous paths of which I speak here, some clues could perhaps lead to enlightenment in some of the areas which currently psychological experimentation and metaphysical research have been unable to elucidate.
Much as I would want to perform this service to science, it is not possible for me to do so. This is not just because of the reason I have already given, nor out of the duty which binds both myself and all my spiritual ‘brothers’ through time and eternity, but also because this is a field which requires more than just ‘scientific endeavour’ from those who would enter it rightfully…
It is scarcely necessary to emphasise that we are discussing here things which are quite different from the now commonly known ‘Hata-Yoga-exercises’ and the ‘methods’ drawn from them, designed to produce certain fakir miracles!
But even if I were not duty bound in any way, I would never see myself as being capable of unveiling things which have been kept hidden for such sound reasons, for I am all too aware of the unavoidable calamity which would be caused by those hungry for power.
I have no desire at all to share in the ‘fate of Prometheus’, which would be my inescapable destiny if I were to become the instigator of such misery.
The knowledge referred to here is neither necessary nor useful in order to attain spiritual union with the First Light, – to awaken the spiritual nature of man from his sleep – to that which sublime knowledge has called ‘rebirth’.
Like all arts based on the possible use of generally unknown, high-tension psycho-physical forces, those of which I speak here have not the slightest to do with the awakening and development of eternal spiritual man.
What is primarily needed for this awakening and development is a continuously maintained focussing of all thought, feeling and earthly will on the coveted goal.
The whole earthly man must gradually reshape himself with his own powers before he can receive spiritual help.
There is little or no use in merely focussing every so often, in the way pious members of a congregation do every seven days when they dedicate a day to their God out of habit…
Every minute of the rest of one’s life, every day–to–day activity, every emerging thought, every wish and every impulse proceeding from will, conditioned by the human brain, must henceforth be under the fashioning influence of the required focussing, if the person who has started on this path is to attain real rather than imaginary results.
‘Exercises’ carried out periodically could at best lead by its repeated exertion to a deeper feeling for this focussing.
Everything which may be recommended in this respect has just the one purpose, namely to keep awake within consciousness the new focussing of all thinking and doing, so that it can not be forgotten any more at any moment.
But if this focussing is really preserved permanently so that it effectively determines the whole of everyday life, – regardless which method, suited to the individual disposition, is used to help achieve this, everything else will soon occur – ‘of itself’, that is, without our conscious contribution.
A centre of strength is then created in the person who is firmly anchored in this way, leading to even greater effects and eventually producing, without requiring a particular act of will, the spiritual link to similar centres of strength on earth which have already been perfected.
As soon as this link is possible the seeker receives the spiritual help of those who have already found it, and who know of no higher duty than to help wherever their spiritual help can be received, regardless of whether it can already be experienced consciously or not.
The seeker has then become, as it were, a ‘receiver’ for a certain type of spiritual irradiation which can only be perceived internally, but cannot be apprehended by scientific experiments.
Effects from the realm of substantial spirit can only be experienced by a becoming aware; they can never provide material for an external scientific investigation attempting to give a rational definition, for we are speaking here of things alive which will immediately withdraw if there is the merest attempt to touch them. –
But do not think that you can become such a ‘receiver’ in the blinking of an eye!
He who wishes to be accepted into the teaching of the eternals must learn to wear the smock of patience…
Even the most intensively educated physical will, – which as the mere expression of the brain’s functions is to be completely separated from the substantial eternal will manifesting itself in the human spirit, – cannot accelerate the development of the spiritual receptive organs.
A dogged, ‘headstrong’ brain-educated ‘will’ only disrupts the process of crystallisation of the powers here under consideration, which should merge into a new centre of strength which is then not subjected to the workings of the brain. –
The more consistently the inner ‘focussing’ of the whole individual is adhered to – just as a telescope must remain fixed on the object being observed, – the sooner that point in time can be reached which brings the seeker into tangible contact with his spiritual helpers.
The practical behaviour of the seeker in his daily life is the only thing of importance, – not, for example, following or ignoring any kind of ‘practices’.
This does not mean, however, that one should not dedicate oneself at regular intervals to a particular form of spiritual immersion, if one has observed that this gives one’s behaviour in everyday life the desired certainty of focussing upon the spiritual.
Once the seeker has come into sufficient contact with his spiritual helpers, a sort of test of his powers will take place; depending on its outcome, a ‘tuning’ will be made regarding further spiritual influence upon him.
The scale of possible spiritual irradiations begins with simply increasing the seeker’s own powers, and extends to personal spiritual guidance.
The very few who are already under this guidance before their birth, since they are to reach perfection as ‘masters’ working in the spirit on earth, eventually undergo a complete spiritual merger with the guide, although he may live in a remote part of the world. This means that the pupil no longer receives conceptual teaching, but shares in the spiritual experience (not that of the ‘brain’s consciousness’!) of his teacher.
The intention of the ‘master’ to open up certain spiritual experiences within him to his pupil is sufficient for the pupil to perceive these experiences as though they were occurring within himself, although he knows beyond doubt how he has come to share these experiences.
As the ‘master’ has already attained for his individuality the union with the ‘First Light’, so the pupil experiences this union initially through merger with the radiant soul of his teacher.
Gradually the pupil becomes mature enough to achieve union with the First Light independently.
Having reached this goal he is not only conscious of his own spiritual and eternally indestructible individuality, but he experiences within himself at the same time also the consciousness of all individualities in the spirit which ever came to be revealed in a human consciousness…
Those perfected in this way are aware of themselves, together with all those who have arrived at perfection in the same way, as having merged into a new communal consciousness, with which nothing known on earth compares.
His own individual consciousness rests embedded in this communal consciousness.
However, the individual consciousness of those perfected can never be ‘dissolved’ in the communal consciousness.
The separate individual lives in this merger for all eternity the life of the whole, penetrating all other individualities within this whole and being penetrated himself by them; and not one of the united individualities of the spirit could lose the self-determined existence of himself.
Absolute certainty regarding the continuation of human consciousness beyond the death of the earthly body, experiencing itself eternally in a spiritual form of perception, naturally exists only for the few who have already achieved this goal during their life on earth.
All other men rely solely on speculation or the reassurance of some religious belief, – unless they prefer to trust the tidings brought by the few among their fellow men who already know about ‘life after death’ from their own experience during their lives on earth.
The genuine reports of those who have truly reached this goal, not just in an ecstatic intoxication or spellbound in some form of hypnosis, can be easily separated by a critical, unprejudiced assessment from the fanciful constructions of crazy zealots or poetically talented fantasists.
It is possible to find real accounts of those who consciously know the life beyond among all peoples. In all ages there have lived individuals who were able to bring genuine accounts of life in the spirit.
The way these accounts were clothed may have been determined by the fashion of the age and may reveal the colour of the only recognised faith, – but if you are not simply satisfied with the appearance, you will apprehend in all these forms of dress, man and man’s most profound experience: – oneness with the original source of all being within eternity, and all existence throughout all spheres of space and time.
Once you have understood the demand made upon you by the exalted path my writings show you, and the goal that even those who are ill suited to the task can reach during their lives of earth, you will henceforth no longer ask of me what you should ‘do’, expecting as an answer the announcement of some eccentric ‘practice’.
You might have recognised that we are talking about things immeasurably more exalted than wondrous ‘fakir powers’, – immeasurably more exalted than the most amazing ‘wonders of the occult’, – and immeasurably more exalted than the ‘occult teachings’ of brain-shackled sects scurrilously dressed up with scraps of scientific knowledge…
I am forced – at least so that I might be understood by those most at risk – to have recourse to things already familiar, and occasionally to the terminology of the east which has become common knowledge through ‘theosophical’ writings. However, he who delves deeper will soon discover that I speak of things which hitherto have only been imparted in very distorted pictures.
Even the academic Orientalist, familiar with all the texts from the east available to us today, will only come across veiled hints about those hidden things. For the ancient, revered scriptures were without exception written for people who had already obtained the secret teaching by word of mouth.
The authors of the ancient religious books deliberately mingled sober accounts, chronicles or narratives, all of which contained no hint of hidden teaching, in among writings that were only meant to be understood by those prepared for them; where as the mere literal sense often stated the opposite of what the initiated were able to understand from the same passage of the text.
Moreover, the teachings upon which I have expounded here have only, even in cryptic form, been written down very rarely, and always only as fragments.
The manuscripts, however, in which these fragments can be found collected together, will never be accessible to those who have not been called, neither today nor in the future. By ‘not called’ is meant anyone who has not yet experienced in a spiritual way within himself what is tersely presented, not unlike a ‘canon’, in these manuscripts as possible to experience.
Until recently these ancient rules, forbidding under any circumstances the public dissemination of even lesser hints than I am now charged with giving, were strictly adhered to by those few who live these teachings and therefore can also ‘teach’ them.
Only with a moderation of the rigorous interpretation of those rules could the public exposition of these teachings in this context be made possible. This took place after the sublime rulers of the spiritual hierarchy, the lowest level of which is made up by its few members on our planet, had arranged a more moderate interpretation appropriate to the times.
He who would apprehend the things I now publicly teach, must abandon the opinion that this is a new offshoot of some religious doctrine or other, or even recruitment for one of the systems of eastern philosophy.
He who seeks traces of the knowledge I serve in human history, will certainly be able to find them.
At its purest this knowledge was alive in people at the beginning of ancient mystic cults.
To practised ears the voices of all centuries speak in clear language, and it will not take too much effort to establish that the place of issue of this witness to knowledge continues to be influential up to the present day on earth as the inspirational source for all human associations whose sublime goal was, or is today, the attainment of the greatest human dignity. –
There is much that could be said here which currently cannot be discussed, for it must be found by those who concern themselves with what is withheld.
Whoever would harvest the fruits growing in the garden of the teachings expounded in this book must make his whole life into a permanent ‘exercise’!
The new life he would find is already contained within his daily life, – only he cannot yet recognise what is new to him. –
He has no need to seek instruction in detrimental ‘practices’ from ‘teachers of the occult’, for his daily life is itself the most effective, genuinely spiritual ‘exercise’, given him to work on every day anew by the eternal First Light. –
In time he will find in daily life, – in its simplest form and without any mysterious gestures, – the perfection available to him here on earth; – but never in ‘esoteric schools’ and in the arrogant circles of supposed initiates whose impudence allows them to assume the role of ‘spiritual’ teachers; for them one can only ask for forgiveness for they know not what they do…
Spiritual perfection requires the whole man!
‘Body’ and ‘soul’ are never to be experienced as separate in striving for this perfection!
There is nothing ‘of the body’ which would not be at the same time ‘of the soul’, and we are not talking of ‘spiritualising’ of the body, but rather of an earthly possible and an earthly attainable embodiment of the eternal spirit through the powers of the soul. – –
Those who despise the body and yet hope to enter the realm of the essential eternal spirit will find instead only a new realm of illusion!
But what is required of the body is that it learns to ‘believe’ in the eternal, supra-personal ‘I’ concealed within it, for whom it is to become expression.
The eternal ‘I’, propagated by the spirit, is the pure source of spiritual powers in earthly man; but the body is the vessel with which he draws upon these powers and brings them into earthly life.
We find in this eternal ‘I’ ourselves, just as we are eternal within the eternal!
Only within this innermost ‘I’ do we find the all-encompassing, eternal, substantial spirit!
Only in your, yourself self-propagating ‘I’ do you find your ‘living’ God! –
“Not through reason and abundance of learning” is the ultimate attained which men can attain!
Spiritual perfection is an outcome of life, – not the achievement of incisive thought!
Truly, there is something which can only be attained through reason.
One should seek to attain it through thought in order to ‘know’ it!
But then the wise man rises above knowledge until he learns to think as children think! –
You should not learn to think in a ‘childish’ way; rather you should arrive anew at the unity of the thinker and the thought.
Once, when you were a child, you thought your first thoughts in this state of unity; only in the same unity can ultimate and supreme thoughts be thought.
As your earliest thinking did not ‘think up’ its material, but found it in your first experiences on earth, so your spiritual experience must eventually deliver the stone with which you should crown the exalted cathedral of your knowledge…
Then you will not have lived your life on earth in vain; you will not have suffered its sufferings for nothing!
Secure and safe in your ‘life on earth’, you will be able to await your ‘life beyond’ in comfort, – certain even today of your eternal life in the divine light!