Like deepest night, ethereal darkness has blanketed this earth! For a very long time already. So dense and firm is the suffocating embrace that every ascending light-perception is like a flame which, without oxygen, loses its power, quickly fades and collapses in on itself. Dreadful is this ethereal condition, now manifesting its worst effects. Anyone permitted to glimpse these happenings for even five seconds would, from sheer horror, be deprived of all hope of salvation! — And all this has been brought on through the fault of men themselves. Through the fault of their propensity for what is base. Here mankind has been its own worst enemy. Now even those few who are again earnestly striving upwards are also in danger of being swept into the depths, towards which others are now developing at an amazing speed. It is like an entanglement which is followed by inevitably being sucked up. Sucked up into the sultry, tenacious swamp, in which everything disappears without a sound. It is no longer a struggling, but only a silent, mute, eerie choking. And man does not recognize it. Spiritual indolence blinds him to this fateful happening. But all the time the swamp is sending forth its poisonous emanations, which slowly weary those who are still strong and alert, so that they too will fall asleep and, lacking strength, perish. That is the state of affairs on earth today. It is not a picture that I am unfolding, but life! Since all ethereal matter bears forms, created and animated through men’s intuitive perceptions, such a happening is actually taking place continually. And this is the environment that awaits men when they must leave this earth, and cannot be led upwards to the more luminous and beautiful regions. But the Darkness grows ever denser. Therefore the time draws near when for a while this earth must be left to the reign of the Darkness, without direct help from the Light, because humanity through their volition forced it upon themselves. The consequences of the volition of the majority were bound to bring this ending. – It is the time which John was once permitted to behold, when God hides His face. — Night is all around. Yet in the deepest distress, when everything, even that which is better is in danger of sinking, at that same time a new dawn will break! But the dawn will first bring on the labor pains of a great purification, which is unavoidable before the salvation of all serious seekers can begin; for a helping hand can not be offered to all those who pursue base ends! They shall fall headlong into those terrible depths where alone they can still hope for an awakening through such torments that they must come to loathe themselves. Those who with sneers and apparent impunity have hitherto been able to hinder the upward striving ones will become silent and more pensive, until finally, whimpering, they will beg for the Truth. Then it will not be so easy for them; they will be relentlessly led through the millstones of the inexorable Laws of Divine Justice, until in experiencing they come to the recognition of their errors. — In the course of my travels I could see that a firebrand was hurled among indolent human spirits with my Word, which declares that no man can lay claim to Divinity; while just at this time many efforts are made to discover God within oneself, thus ultimately to become God! Hence uneasiness frequently arises through my Word, with mankind rebelliously seeking to defend themselves against It, because they only wish to hear soothing and reassuring words that seem pleasant to them! Those who so rebel are simply cowards, who would like nothing better than to hide from themselves, only to remain in the darkness, where they can indulge in sweet and peaceful dreams to their heart’s Not everyone can bear to be exposed to the Light of Truth, which clearly and mercilessly shows up the defects and stains on their garment. With smiles, derision or with hostility such people would like to prevent the coming of the day when the feet of clay supporting that flimsily constructed idol, their “ego” will be clearly revealed. Such fools only play masquerade games with themselves, which will be relentlessly followed by the gray of Ash Wednesday. With their wrong views they really only want to idolize themselves, make themselves feel good and be comfortable on earth. From the outset they regard anyone as their enemy who disturbs them in their indolent placidity! However, this time no amount of rebellion will be of any use to them! The self-idolatry evident in the assertion that there is Divinity in man is a base attempt to grasp at the sublimity and purity of your God, thereby defiling what is most holy to you, to which you look up in the most blissful trust! — There is within you an altar for the worship of your God. This altar is your intuitive faculty. If this is pure it is directly connected with the Spiritual Realm and thus with Paradise! At these moments you too can fully sense the nearness of your God, as often happens in times of deepest sorrow and greatest joy! Then you perceive His nearness in the same way as it is constantly experienced by the eternal Pure Spirits in Paradise, with whom you are closely connected at such moments. The strong vibration caused by the stirring of great joy or of deep sorrow pushes everything earthly and low far into the background for a few seconds, thereby setting free the purity of the intuitive perception, thus immediately forming the bridge to the homogeneous purity that animates Paradise! This is the most supreme happiness for the human spirit, this crown of all Creation. The eternal ones in Paradise live in it continually. It brings the glorious feeling of being safe and secure. They are then fully conscious of the nearness of their great God, in Whose Power they stand, while realizing as a matter of course that they have reached their greatest height, and will never be able to behold God. This, however, does not depress them, but in the recognition of His unapproachable Majesty they find jubilant gratitude for the inexpressible mercy he has always shown towards the arrogant creatures. And this happiness can already be enjoyed by man on earth. It is quite right to say that in deeply solemn moments earth-man senses the nearness of his God. However, using this wondrous bridge of the consciousness of God’s nearness as a claim to possessing a spark of divinity becomes sacrilege. Hand in hand with such a claim goes debasement of Divine Love. How can God’s Love be measured by the standard of human love? Moreover, how can It be valued even below this human love? Look at those people who picture the highest ideal of Divine Love as simply enduring silently and also forgiving everything! They would recognize Divinity in the fact that It tolerates any misbehavior from far lower creatures, such as only the greatest weakling or the most cowardly human being would do, for which he is despised. Just reflect what a monstrous indignity this implies! Men would like their sins to go unpunished, and then finally even to please their God by allowing Him to forgive their sins without having to atone for them! Such presumption shows either the height of narrow-mindedness, unpardonable laziness, or the realization of their hopeless weakness in summoning the good volition to strive upwards: The one, however, is as reprehensible as the other. Imagine Divine Love! Crystal clear, radiant, pure and great! Can you then imagine It to be as sentimentally weak and degradingly indulgent as mankind would like It to be! They want to build up a false greatness where they wish for weakness, they give a false picture only to deceive and reassure themselves about their own shortcomings, which make them willing servants of the Darkness. Where is the freshness and power that unquestionably belong to the crystal purity of Divine Love? Divine Love is inseparable from the utmost severity of Divine Justice. Indeed It is such severity itself. Justice is Love, and Love in turn lies only in Justice. In this alone lies Divine Forgiveness. The churches are right in saying that God forgives everything! And truly forgives! Contrary to men, who go on condemning a person even after he has atoned for some trivial offense; and by such thoughts they burden themselves with twice the guilt, because they do not act according to the Will of God. Here human love lacks justice. The effect of the Divine Creative Will is to purify every human spirit of its guilt as soon as it strives upwards, whether through its own experiences or through its voluntary efforts at improvement. If it returns to the Spiritual Realm after having gone through the mills of the World of Matter, it stands pure in the Kingdom of its Creator; it matters not what its guilt may have been! It is just as pure as one who has never sinned. But first its path will take it through the effects of the Divine Laws, and in this fact lies the guarantee of Divine Forgiveness, of His Mercy! Do we not often hear today the horrified question: How could God allow such years of tribulation? Where does love, where does justice come in? The question is asked by mankind, by nations, often by families and the individual human being! Should this not rather prove to him that God’s Love is after all different from what many would like to imagine? Just try to visualize the all-forgiving Love of God all the way through to the end in the way man insists on portraying It! Without personal atonement, tolerating everything, and ultimately even offering generous forgiveness. It must produce a pathetic result! Does man consider himself so precious that his God should suffer under this? Thus more precious even than God Himself? What all is contained in this human presumption. — On calm reflection you must stumble over a thousand obstacles, and can come to a conclusion only when you belittle God and make Him imperfect. But He was, and is, and remains perfect, regardless of man’s opinion. His Forgiveness lies in Justice. In nothing else. And in this unconditional Justice also lies the great Love which hitherto has been so misunderstood! Rid yourselves of the habit of measuring according to earthly standards. God’s Justice and God’s Love concern the human spirit. Material substance has nothing whatever to do with this. It is only formed by the human spirit itself, and has no life without spirit. Why do you so often torment yourselves with mere earthly trifles which you perceive as being sins but which really are not. Only what the spirit wills in any action is decisive for the Divine Laws in Creation. This spiritual willing, however, is not thought-activity, but the deepest intuitive perception, the actual volition within man, which alone can set in motion the Laws of the beyond, and indeed does so automatically. Divine Love cannot be degraded by men; for in It lie the inexorable Laws of His Will in Creation, which is borne by Love. And these Laws take effect according to how man comports himself therein. They can connect him with the proximity of his God, or they form a dividing wall that can never be destroyed unless man at last adapts himself to them, which means obeying them, through which alone he can find his salvation, his happiness. It is cast in one perfect piece; the great Work shows no flaws, no gaps. Any fool or simpleton who would have it otherwise will smash his head thereby. — Divine Love effects only what benefits every human spirit, not what pleases and seems agreeable to him on earth. Divine Love goes far beyond this, because it governs the entire existence. — Nowadays, many a person often thinks: If tribulation and destruction are to be expected in order to bring about a great purification, then God must be so just as to send out preachers calling for repentance in advance. Man must certainly be forewarned. Where is John the Baptist to proclaim what is to come? These are unfortunate ones who think themselves so great in their empty-mindedness! Such cries merely conceal an utterly hollow presumption. They would only scourge him and throw him into prison! Do open your eyes and ears! Aren’t the increasing natural phenomena and catastrophes sufficient warnings? Do the conditions in Russia and in China not speak a serious language? Even lamentations from Germans in the nearby border regions can be heard often enough under the scourge of their, our enemies! But heedlessly man goes on dancing frivolously and ignoring all the suffering and misery of his fellow-men! He does not want to see and hear! — Already two thousand years ago a preacher of repentance led the way and was followed on his heels by the Word Incarnate. But mankind tried hard to efface and obscure the pure luster of the Word, so that the magnetic power of Its radiance should gradually become extinct. — And all those who wish to disentangle the Word from the clinging vines must soon perceive how desperately messengers from the Darkness try to prevent any joyful awakening! Today, however, nothing will occur in the same way as it did at the time of Christ! At that time the Word came! Mankind had its free will, and the majority then decided to reject and repudiate this Word! From that time on-wards they were subject to the Laws, which were automatically linked to the free decision as it was made at that time. Thereafter men found all the fruits of their own volition on their self- chosen paths. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT SUNDAY. STAY TUNED. HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WEEK AHEAD.