16. Is Occult Training Advisable?

This question must be answered definitely in the negative. Occult training (to which exercises to acquire clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. belong) is a hindrance to free inward development and real spiritual advancement. The product of this training, if fairly successful, was what in former times was called a magician.

It is a one-sided groping forward from below upwards, whereby the so-called earthly barrier can never be exceeded. All these happenings that can be achieved under certain circumstances, will always be of a lower and lowest kind, which in themselves cannot uplift human beings inwardly, but can certainly lead them astray.
The human being is only able to penetrate into the more ethereal environment that lies next to him, where intelligences are often even more ignorant than human beings themselves on earth. All he achieves by this is that he opens himself to unknown dangers, from which he remains protected by not opening himself.
A person who has become clairvoyant or clairaudient through training will often also see or hear things in this lower environment that have the appearance of the high and pure, and yet are far from it. Add to this one’s own imagination, further stimulated by exercises, which also creates an environment which the pupil then actually sees and hears, and there lies the confusion. Such a person, standing on unsteady feet through artificial training, cannot distinguish, cannot with the best will draw a sharp line between truth and deception, as well as the thousandfold formative force in ethereal life. Finally, added to this are the lower influences which are absolutely harmful to him, to which he has voluntarily opened himself with much effort, and which he cannot oppose with a higher power, and so he soon becomes a rudderless wreck on an unknown sea, which can become dangerous for everything with which he meets.
It is just as if a person cannot swim. He is perfectly capable of sailing in a barge, completely safe and secure through the element unfamiliar to him. This is comparable exactly to earthly life. But if during the journey he pulls away a plank from the boat that protects him, he tears a gap in the protection through which the water penetrates, robs him of his protection and pulls him down. This person, who does not know how to swim, becomes a victim of the unfamiliar element.
Such is the process of occult training. Man thereby only pulls away a plank of his protecting ship, but does not learn to swim!
There are also swimmers, however, who call themselves masters. Swimmers in this respect are those who carry within themselves an at the ready disposition and who, through some training, have given it a hand in order to bring it to fruition, and who also seek to expand it more and more. In such cases, a more or less at the ready disposition will be combined with artificial training. But even with the best swimmer there are always fairly narrow limits. If he ventures too far out, his strength will slacken and he will finally be just as lost as a non-swimmer if.... he, like the non-swimmer, is not helped.
In the ethereal world, however, such help can only come from the Luminous Heights, from the pure spiritual. And this help, in turn, can only come when the one in danger has reached a certain stage of purity in his psychic development with which it can connect to form a support. And such purity is not attained by occult training for experiments, but can only come through the raising of the inner true morality in constant looking up to the purity of the Light.
If a person has followed
this path, which in time brings him to a certain degree of inner purity, which is then naturally reflected in his thoughts, words and works, he gradually receives connection with the purer heights and from there, in reciprocal action, also increased strength. He thus has a connection through all the intermediate stages which holds him and to which he can cling. Then it is not long before all that the swimmers strove in vain to attain is given to him without any effort of his own. But with a care and caution that lies in the strict Laws of Reciprocal Action, so that he always receives just as much of it as he is able to give in at least the same counterforce strength, whereby every danger is eliminated from the outset. Finally, the separating barrier, which can be compared to the planks of a barge, becomes thinner and thinner and finally falls completely. But that is also the moment when, like the fish in the water, he feels completely at home in the ethereal world all the way up to Luminous Heights. This is the only right way. Anything premature through artificial training is mistaken. Only to the fish in the water is the water really harmless, because it is “its element”, for which it carries every equipment within itself, which even a trained swimmer can never reach.
If a person undertakes training, the beginning is preceded by a voluntary decision, the consequences of which he is then subject to. He therefore cannot expect to be helped. With his free will he had made his decision beforehand.
However, one who induces others to undergo such training, who are then exposed to dangers of the most varied kind, has to take upon himself a large part of the consequences as the fault of each individual. He becomes ethereally chained to them all. After his earthly death he must descend irrevocably to those who have gone before him, to those who have been subjected to the dangers, even to those who have sunk the lowest. He is not able to ascend until he has helped each one of them up again, until the error of his ways has been erased, and until he has made up for what he missed. This is the compensation in the reciprocal action and at the same time the path of Grace for him to make up for the wrong and to rise.
If such a person has not only worked through the Word but also through the Scriptures, he will be even more severely affected because these Scriptures will continue to cause harm even after his own earthly death. He must then wait in the ethereal life until no one else crosses over who has allowed himself to be misled by the Scriptures, and whom he must therefore help up again. Centuries can pass in the process.
But this does not mean that the region of the Ethereal World should remain untouched and unexplored in earthly life!
Inwardly mature people will always feel at home at the right time, which is dangerous for others. They may see the truth and pass it on. But, in so doing, they will also have a clear view of the dangers which threaten those who, through occult training, wish to reach unilaterally into the lowlands of a region unknown to them. They will never give rise to occult training.

  1. sorcerers.