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Chapter 1
Why the people of the Earth live in darkness as regards their fate
All the people of the Earth normally cherish a hope of a coming happiness, a future lighter than the condition of fate in which they live at the moment. Why do people cherish such a hope? All unfinished human beings live in a state in which, because of their unfinished condition, they will make many mistakes. These in turn give rise to more or less bitter experiences depending on the extent to which these mistakes are in conflict with the fulfilment of the laws that must be fulfilled in order that life may be experienced as happy in a given situation. It is these more or less bitter experiences that to a corresponding extent dim the happiness of daily life. A daily life such as this is not unadulterated happiness. It is a journey through the more or less bitter effects of the mistakes that the beings in question have made. To a corresponding extent these bitter effects create the opposite of the happiness and joy that are in themselves the normal experience of life in its purest form. They turn normal existence into a miserable one. The effects of the mistakes that have been committed manifest themselves in people's mentalities as disappointments, bitterness, a feeling of martyrdom, hatred and vindictiveness towards fellow beings whom one mistakenly thinks are the source of one's unhappy fate or whatever unhappy state one finds oneself in at the moment. If one then in turn allows oneself to vent one's bitterness or anger on the fellow beings concerned, one thereby makes a new mistake that will likewise return with bitter effects, and dim one's experience of happiness or normal joy in living.
      This wrong way of being is not always directed towards those in one's surroundings. People very often have a wrong relationship to their own organisms. In such a situation the effects of this become the underminings and the experiences of life that we know as illnesses, mental as well as physical, and the distress and anxiety that result from them. To the extent that a living being's existence is thus overshadowed by the effects of the mis takes it has made, partly in relation to itself and partly in relation to its fellow beings, this existence is a life in darkness. Thus the being's experience of life is to a corresponding extent the opposite of what life intended, namely, a complete experience of mental and bodily light or true unshakeable happiness.


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