21. The battle
Up till now there could be no question as yet of a sharp confrontation between two world views. Battle is therefore an ill-chosen term for what is actually happening between the intellectuals and serious seekers for the Truth. All that has so far taken place has consisted of one-sided attacks by the intellectuals, which to any dispassionate observer must appear obviously unfounded and often absurd. Scorn, hostility, and even persecution of a most serious kind await all those who seek to develop themselves higher in a purely spiritual sense, even when they maintain quiet reserve. There are always those who try, by ridicule or force, to pull back or drag down those who are striving upwards, into the dull slumber or hypocrisy of the masses. As a result many were bound to become actual martyrs, because not only the masses, but with them also the earthly power has been on the side of the intellectuals. What these have to offer is already clearly indicated in the word “intellect.” That is: A narrowing of the perceptive capacity to purely earthly matters, and thus to the tiniest part of real existence.
It is easily understandable that this can produce nothing perfect, nothing good whatever, for a humanity whose existence moves mainly through spheres from which the intellectuals have closed themselves off. This is especially so when one considers that it is just a brief earth-life which is to become a significant turning-point for the whole existence, entailing as it does decisive interventions in those spheres which are completely inconceivable to the intellectuals. The responsibility of the intellectuals, who as such have already fallen deeply, is thus enormously increased%3B in the form of heavy pressure it will help to push them more and more swiftly towards the goal of their choice, so that they will at last have to partake of the fruits of what they have persistently and presumptuously advocated.
By intellectuals we are to understand those who have unconditionally submitted themselves to their own intellect. These people, strange to say, have for thousands of years believed that they had an absolute right to impose their limited convictions, by law and by force, upon those who wished to live according to another conviction. This utterly illogical presumption again lies only in the narrow perceptive capacity of the intellectual, which is incapable of raising itself to a higher level. This very limitation brings them a so-called peak of comprehension, which must lead to such arrogant presumptions because they believe that they really are standing at the ultimate height. This is actually true so far as they are concerned, since they have arrived at that boundary which they cannot cross.
But their attacks on seekers for the Truth, so often inexplicably malevolent, clearly show, on closer observation, the whip of the Darkness brandished behind them. Seldom does one find in these hostile acts a trace of honest volition, which might somewhat excuse their often shocking actions. In most cases there is only blind fury, devoid of any real logic. Examine such attacks dispassionately. How seldom is there among them an article whose contents indicate an attempt to respond objectively to the speeches or essays of a seeker for the Truth.
The inane inferiority of the attacks is always quite strikingly apparent from the very fact that these are never kept purely objective! They are always overt or covert smear campaigns against the person of the Truth-seeker. This is only done by someone who is incapable of replying objectively. After all, a seeker for the Truth, or a bringer of the Truth, does not give himself personally, but he brings that which he speaks.
The word must be examined, not the person! It is a habit of the intellectuals to seek always to examine the person first, and then to consider whether they can listen to his words. Owing to the narrow limitation of their perceptive capacity, these people need such an outward hold because they must cling to externals to prevent them from becoming confused. Indeed just this is the hollow structure which they erect, which is inadequate for men and a great hindrance to their advancement. If they had a firm inner stability they would simply let fact speak against fact, excluding the personal element altogether. But this they are unable to do. Indeed, they intentionally avoid it because they feel, or partly know, that in a well-ordered tournament they would be quickly unseated. The ironic reference to “lay preacher” or “lay interpretation,” so often used, shows such a degree of ridiculous presumption that every serious person immediately senses: “This is a shield used to conceal shallowness at all cost and to cover their emptiness with a cheap signboard!”
This is a clumsy strategy which cannot last for long. Its purpose is from the beginning to place seekers for the Truth who may become troublesome on an “inferior” if not downright ridiculous level in the eyes of their fellow-men, or at least to classify them as “charlatans” so that they will not be taken seriously. With this approach they seek to prevent anyone from paying serious attention to the words. Their motivation, however, is not concern over their fellow-men’s inner ascent being hindered through erroneous teachings, rather it is a vague apprehension of losing influence and thereby being compelled to penetrate more deeply than before, and having to change much that till now was supposed to be unassailable, and which was convenient.
It is just this frequent reference to “laymen,” this strange condescension toward those who, through their strengthened and less influenced intuitive perception, stand much nearer to the Truth, and who have not built walls for themselves through rigid intellectual forms, that exposes a weakness whose dangers cannot escape the notice of any thinking person. He who holds such opinions is from the outset excluded from being an unprejudiced teacher and guide, for he stands much further away from God and His Activity than any other man. The knowledge of the development of religions, with all the errors and faults, does not bring men nearer to their God%3B neither does the intellectual interpretation of the Bible or of other valuable writings of the different religions. The intellect is and remains bound to time and space, that is to say earthbound%3B whereas the Godhead, and thus also the recognition of God and His Will, are above time and space and above all that is transitory, and therefore can never be grasped by the narrowly-confined intellect. For this simple reason the intellect is not qualified to bring enlightenment in eternal values. Indeed it would be a contradiction. Therefore he who in these matters boasts of university qualifications, and would look down upon those who are not so influenced, thereby declares his own incompetence and limitation. Thinking people will at once sense intuitively the one-sidedness, and use caution against him who cautions them in such a manner!
Only those with a calling can be true teachers. Those with a calling carry the ability within them. These abilities, however, do not ask for university training, but for the vibrations of a refined intuitive sensitivity able to soar above time and space, thus beyond the limit of comprehension of the earthly intellect.
Moreover, any inwardly free man will always evaluate a matter or a teaching according to what it brings, not according to who brings it. The latter is the strongest possible evidence of the incapacity of the one who examines. Gold is gold, whether a prince or a beggar holds it in his hand.
Yet it is just in the most precious matters of human spirituality that one seeks to obstinately overlook and alter this irrefutable fact%3B naturally with no more success than in the case of the gold. For those who are really seeking seriously do not permit themselves to be influenced by such distractions from examining the matter itself. But those who do allow themselves to be so influenced are not yet mature to receive the Truth. It is not for them.
But the hour is not far distant when a battle must be waged which has been lacking so far. The one-sidedness will end, and a sharp confrontation will follow which will destroy all false presumption.