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|Table of Contents for Easter|
The reason for the intense longing for a world saviourIf we look back two thousand years, we see the century before the birth of Christ. The world was then governed by darkness. The entirely ideal way of life of the paramount God made Man, the Christ, was not yet a reality; it existed only in prophecies which to ordinary people seemed more or less absurdly unrealistic. The world needed proofs before it could believe that a perfect code of human behaviour could in fact be realised on the earth. Such proofs were needed the more as the basic general morality of the time, although in existence for the previous thousand years, was rapidly deteriorating. It was identical with what we now call "paganism", and its virtues as a guide in life were based mainly on a belief in the gods of vengeance and retribution, anger and suppression. The highest ethical principle was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" or a life for a life. Not mercy but revenge was the road to celestial bliss, to the place of utter happiness where those killed in battle, those "heroes" of vengeance, continued their "glorious" existence, with its culmination in material joys: banquets with boards groaning under food and drink and with beautiful goddesses as handmaidens.
To die of old age, to refuse to use weapons as the means of settling conflicts, to be merciful and generous to opponents, all that was "weakness" and "cowardice" and meant taking the path to the underworld, the place set aside as the abode after death of "weaklings" in that epoch when murder, violence and conquest were considered virtues. Everything which is now taught by the highest and wisest authorities as spiritual light, idealism and the highest form of morality, was so strange to the thought of that time and such a contrast to the reigning ideology and the barbarity of human nature that it inevitably appeared unnatural, improper and deserving of extermination. The morality of that time is identical with what our highest teachings of to-day call dense gloom.
But this gloom was actually the soil without which love and humanity would never have been able to feed and germinate and become the experience of a living being. Gloom thus appeared as an essential item in God's world plan, and therefore in my book "Livets Bog" ("The Book of Life") I call this gloom the radiation of the "divine creative principle". Because gloom is indeed the opposite of what our highest understanding now calls light, I call it the "dull radiation". This gloom and this ideology hung like a thick mist hiding the spiritual horizon of the world and so barred every kind of real light, real love and humanity. But such a surrounding barrier inevitably causes suffering, and suffering just as inevitably develops sensitivity; the development of sensitivity means the development of love, whose effects in practice are just those phenomena which opposed the then habitual gloomy morality and received the appellations of "weakness" and "impropriety". From that it followed that the longer the gloomy ideology was practised, the more a new state opposite to the old one was being developed in people's consciousnesses. Something like a new character began to spring up in the mind of the individual, a character which gradually produced doubts about the habitual ideology and morality. The individual began to lose trust in the traditions of a thousand years. The growing sensitivity began to protest against vengeance and murder, and against conquest and suppression. A desire for a new morality began to spring up in some places. It was due to this desire that there appeared prophecies of a coming salvation for the world and of a coming new idealism. Desire and craving act in such a way that they hasten their own fulfilment, and on this occasion the speeding-up process was in addition stimulated and increased by the prophecies. So it happened that the desire gradually acquired such a character that it made the individual susceptible to a new and great spiritual force which was at that time beginning to spread out towards the globe. That force, or world impulse, consisted primarily of the fundamental energies of "intelligence" and "feeling", and these were so combined that the new force showed itself especially as love and wisdom when it appeared in the conscious minds of susceptible individuals. The energy of this world impulse was the emerging "holy spirit" or "Holy Ghost".
Here one should note that all spiritual energy has an almost electric character and that brain and nerves in the individual serve that energy rather like an "aerial". The quality of the signals of energy received depends upon the stage of development reached by the consciousness in the person concerned. A person with a crude mind of a low moral level, that is, a person with only a primitively developed body organism, can, of course, accept in his consciousness only correspondingly primitive and coarse forms of energy or "waves". Coarse waves of consciousness are identical here with thoughts of vengeance and murder, and with avarice, false pride, jealousy and all that is related to "selfishness". Such thoughts or thought-waves are not of the category of the "holy spirit" which on the contrary consists of waves of consciousness related to altruism, to honesty, faithfulness and devotion, and to all that originates in true love and wisdom. Waves of consciousness of this last category could thus in the above mentioned period, although in only a very primitive and weak degree, begin to influence those men, in whom desires for something better were strong and whose physical organism had developed and grown more delicate than that of others. Of this category of men there were just sufficient to permit the germination of the energies of the new world impulse and the acquisition of "followers". The soil was prepared for the new seed. All that was lacking was a supply of "sowers" with sufficient strength and a sufficiently sound development for them to be able to sow the "new seed", that is, the absolute wisdom and morality of the new world impulse, and for them to be able to scatter the pure "holy spirit" into the newly prepared "soil".
But Providence, the eternal Creator, does not create suitable soil and then let it deteriorate and become barren; and it also does not scatter its divine seed, in the form of the above described impulse or "holy spirit", over the globe without caring about its development and growth. Therefore, when Providence, utilising the "morality of gloom", had created the soil for the new seed and, in addition, had sent that seed to the earth, it obviously had also taken care of the "sowers". These sowers had to some extent to be endowed with a body, whose brain and nerves could vibrate in tune with the waves of the "holy spirit" so that their appearance, their consciousness, words and speech could become saturated with the "holy spirit" and with its clearly shining light and love, consciousness of immortality and realistic experience of God. To these beings the new world morality had to be neither Utopia nor theory but a real and absolutely visible fact. All this was necessary if they were to have sufficient strength to combat the idolatry, barbarity and ferocity, if they were to become sufficiently illuminating models of the new way of life, manifestations of a new force and of a new wonderful nature, manifestations which were outstandingly perfect and which could be seen from everywhere.