67. The error of clairvoyance
Clairvoyance! How much glamour has been woven around it, what ridicule can be heard from one side, while the other side shows timid curiosity%3B the rest is respectful silence. Those who are clairvoyant strut about proudly like peacocks in a chicken yard. They imagine themselves to be endowed with Divine Grace, and in their conceited form of humility feel far superior to others. They love to receive admiration for something which, in reality, is just as strange to them as it is to the many curious enquirers around them. They hide their actual ignorance behind bland smiles, which are supposed to create the impression that they know, while in fact it is much more the habitual expression of their helplessness when questions are posed which require them to have their own knowledge about this process.
In reality they know no more than the hammer and the chisel which a sculptor uses to form a work of art. Once again, however, it is a case of men insisting on making their fellow men, who have the gift of clairvoyance, into something other than what they really are, and thereby doing them great harm. This is the unhealthy state of affairs that is to be found everywhere today. The “seeing” is real enough in most cases, but it is by no means anything special%3B it is nothing worthy of being marveled at, much less being awe-struck by, because in reality it should be something quite natural. However it remains natural only as long as it occurs of its own accord, and is calmly left to develop without being helped along by the clairvoyant himself or by someone else. To provide this kind of help is just as damnable as assisting in the hastening of physical death.
Clairvoyance, however, only becomes of value when it is accompanied by real knowledge. Knowledge alone can provide a sound foundation for this natural ability, and thereby also the right attitude and the right goal. However, the lack of knowledge in the majority of clairvoyants is immediately obvious in the over-ambitious zeal accompanied by arrogance, as well as in the openly displayed and expressed pretense of possessing knowledge.
It is just this imagined knowledge that not only prevents such people from advancing further, but which indeed literally leads them to perdition, because it directs their efforts on to wrong paths which lead downwards instead of upwards. This occurs without the one who imagines that he knows more being aware of it. The best thing that can happen to these people is that here and there their clairvoyant or clairaudient abilities gradually diminish and disappear through some favorable circumstance, of which there are several kinds. This is salvation!
Let us now take a closer look at these clairvoyant people and their erroneous conviction which they pass on to others. They alone are responsible for this whole field being dragged into the mud as false and unreliable up till now.
What these people see is, at best and in the most advanced cases, the second step of the so-called beyond. If one were to divide the beyond into steps (not spheres), the step of the Light is about the twentieth step, just to gain an approximate picture of the difference. People, however, who are really able to see to the second step, imagine they have achieved something stupendous, while those who can see only to the first step are in most cases even more conceited.
Now it must be realized that a person utilizing his highest gifts can in reality see only as far as his own inner maturity will permit. He is thereby bound by his own inner condition! Because of the nature of things it is simply impossible for him to see, really to see, anything other than that which is homogeneous to him, that is, only that which is within the region in which he could move about freely after his physical death. But no further%3B for the moment he would step over the boundary prescribed for him in the beyond by his own state of maturity he would immediately lose all consciousness of his environment. In any case he would not be able to cross this boundary of his own accord.
However, if after leaving his body his soul were to be carried along by someone belonging to the next higher step, then he would at once lose consciousness in the arms of that entity upon crossing the border to the higher step%3B that is, he would fall asleep. On being brought back he would be able to remember only as far as his own maturity permitted him to look about while in a wakeful state, despite his clairvoyant gifts. Thus no benefit would be derived%3B his ethereal body however would be harmed.
Whatever he imagines he saw beyond that line, be it landscapes or persons, is never truly or actually experienced or personally seen by him. These are merely pictures being shown to him, and he even imagines that he hears the language. These pictures are never reality. They appear so lifelike that he himself cannot distinguish between what is only shown to him and what he really experiences, because an act of will of a stronger spirit can create such lifelike pictures. Thus it happens that many clairvoyant and clairaudient people imagine they are on a much higher plane during their excursions into the beyond than is actually the case, and this leads to many an error.
Also, when many think that they see or hear Christ, this is a great delusion%3B for due to the great gulf caused by the lack of homogeneity, this would be utterly impossible in the Creation Laws of the Divine Will! The Son of God cannot come to afternoon tea in a spiritist circle in order to favor and please the visitors there anymore than great prophets or higher spirits can.
It is not granted to any human spirit during his earth-life, who is still bound up in flesh and blood, to move about in the beyond with such assurance and confidence as to see and hear everything there unveiled, and maybe even to simply rush up the steps. It is not quite as simple as that despite all its naturalness, for everything remains subject to the immutable laws.
And if a clairvoyant or clairaudient person neglects his earthly task in his eagerness to penetrate into the beyond, he loses more than he gains. As soon as the time arrives for him to continue his maturing in the beyond, he will take with him a gap which he can only fill on earth. Thus he cannot ascend any further and remains bound at a certain point, and he must go back to make up for what he missed before he can think about any further serious ascent. Here too everything is quite simple and natural, merely a necessary consequence of what lies behind, which can never, ever be turned aside.
Every step in a man's existence demands to be really experienced in full earnestness, with the full capacity always to grasp the present moment. Neglecting to do this causes a slackening which makes itself felt ever more acutely further along on the path, until eventually it will lead to a breakdown and finally to collapse, unless one returns in time in order to mend the faulty spot through further experience, and to make it firm and secure. This applies to all happenings. Unfortunately, however, man has acquired the unhealthy habit of always reaching beyond himself, because he imagines himself to be more than what he actually is.