17. Spiritism

Spiritism! Mediumship! The dispute for and against it burns fiercely. It is not my task to say anything about the opponents and their eagerness to deny it. That would be a waste of time; for every logically thinking person need only read the nature of the so-called examinations or researches to realize for himself that they show complete ignorance and decided incapacity on the part of the “examiners”. Why? If I want to explore the earth, I have to conform myself according to the earth and its composition. If, on the other hand, I want to fathom the sea, I have no choice but to conform myself according to the nature of the water and to make use of aids corresponding to the nature of the water. Exploring the water with a spade and shovel or a drill would probably not get me very far in my research. Or should I deny water because, in contrast to the more solid earth to which I am accustomed, I penetrate it smoothly with a spade? Or because I cannot walk on it with my feet, as I am used to doing on solid earth? Opponents will say: There is a difference; for I
see and feel the existence of water, so no one can deny that!
How long ago were the millions of brightly coloured creatures in a drop of water vigorously denied, the existence of which every child now knows? And why did they deny it? Only because they could not see them! It was only after an instrument was invented that was adjusted to their nature that the new world could be recognized, seen and observed.
So also with the immaterial world, the so-called beyond! Become seeing! And
then allow yourself to judge! It is up to you, not the “other world”. In addition to your gross material body, you also have the material of the other world within you, whereas the other world no longer possesses your gross material substance. You demand and expect the otherworldly ones to approach you (to give signs, etc.) who no longer have any coarse matter. You are waiting for them to prove their existence to you, while you yourselves, who in addition to the gross material also possess the material of the beyond, sit waiting with the gestures of a judge.
Why don’t you build the bridge so that
you can finally work with the same material that is also available to you, and thereby become seeing! Or keep silent, if you do not understand, and continue to fatten only the gross material, which weighs down the ethereal part more and more. The day will come when the ethereal must separate from the gross material and then lie there exhausted, because it has been completely outweighed in its flight; for it too is subject to earthly laws like the earthly body. Only movement brings strength! You do not need mediums to perceive ethereal things. Just observe the life that your own ethereal part is leading in you. Give it, through your will, what it needs to grow stronger. Or do you also want to deny the existence of your will, since you do not see it and cannot touch it?
How often do you feel the effects of your will within yourself. You feel it, but you can neither see nor touch it. Be it exaltation, joy or sorrow, anger or envy. As soon as the will has an effect, it must also possess force which produces a pressure; for without pressure there can be no effect, no feeling. And where there is a pressure, a body must act, something solid of the same substance, otherwise no pressure can arise.
They must therefore be solid forms of a substance which you can neither see nor touch with your gross material body. And such is the materiality of the beyond, which you are only able to recognize with your own inherent similarity.
Strange is the dispute about the pros and cons of life after earthly death, often to the point of ridiculousness. Those who are able to think and observe calmly, without prejudice and without desires, will soon find that indeed
everything speaks for the probability of an existing, other-material world, which the average human being today cannot see. There are so many processes which remind us of this again and again and which cannot simply be carelessly pushed aside as non-existent. On the other hand, there is nothing more to an unconditional cessation after earthly death than the desire of many who would like to escape all spiritual responsibility, where cleverness and skill do not come into play, but only real feeling. –
But now to the
followers of spiritism, spiritualism, and so on, whatever they may call it, it comes down to one thing in the end: great errors!
The followers are often much more dangerous to the truth than opponents, much more damaging!
Of the millions, only a few want to be told the truth. Most of them are entangled in a gigantic wreath of small errors that no longer allow them to find their way out of them to the simple truth. Where does the blame lie? Is it the other side? No! Or the medium? No! Not even the medium!
Only the individual himself! He is not serious and sharp enough against himself, does not want to overthrow preconceived opinions, afraid to shatter a self-constructed image of the Beyond, which in his imagination gave him holy shivers and a certain sense of well-being for some time. And woe betide anyone who touches it! Every devotee already has the stone ready to throw at him! He clings to it and is ready to call the spirits of the other world liars or teasers, or to accuse mediums of shortcomings, before he calmly examines himself and considers whether his concept has not been wrong.
Where should I start to root out all the weeds? It would be a work without end. Therefore, what I say here is only for those who are really serious seekers, for only such shall find.
An example: A person visits a medium, be it significant or not! There are others with him. A “session” begins. The medium “fails”. Nothing comes of it. The consequence? There are people who say: The medium is no good. Others: All spiritualism is nothing. Examiners puff out their chest and proclaim: The medium’s oft-tried mediumistic qualities were bogus; for as soon as we come, the medium dares nothing. And the “spirits” are silent! Believers and the convinced go away depressed. But the reputation of the medium suffers and can disappear altogether in case of repeated “failure”. If there is a kind of manager (employer) for the medium, and if there is money involved, the manager will nervously urge the medium to make an effort if people spend money on it, and so on. In short: there is doubt, ridicule, dissatisfaction, and the medium will, at a new attempt, frantically try to burrow himself into a mediumistic state, and in the process, in a kind of nervous self-delusion, perhaps unconsciously say something that he thinks he hears, or else resort to direct deception, which, for instance, is not very difficult for a speaking medium. The verdict: Fake, negation of all spiritualism, because perhaps some of the mediums resorted to deception under the circumstances mentioned in order to avoid increasing hostility. Some questions about this:
1. In what class of people, whatever it may be, are there no swindlers? Do we condemn the ability of honest workers in other things because of a few swindlers?
2. Why here in particular and indeed nowhere else?
Everyone can easily answer these questions for themselves.
But who is mainly to blame for such undignified conditions? Not the medium, but the people themselves! Through their somewhat very one-sided views, but above all through their complete ignorance, they force the medium to choose between unjust hostility or deception.

People do not leave a middle ground to a medium so easily.
I am speaking here only of a medium who is to be taken seriously, not of the numerous mediums who try to push their limited abilities into the foreground. Far be it from me to advocate the great followings of mediums in any way; for actual value of such spiritualists gathering around mediums is in the rarest cases, with the exception of the serious researchers who face this new territory
learning, but not ignorantly judging. For the greatest number of the so-called believers, these visits or “sessions” bring no progress, but stagnation or decline. They become so dependent that they can no longer decide anything for themselves, but always want to seek the advice of those in the “beyond”. Often in the most ridiculous matters, and mostly for earthly trifles.
A serious researcher or honest seeker will always be outraged at the unspeakable obtuseness of those very people who have felt “at home” with mediums, for years as constant visitors. With an air of extraordinarily clever and superior demeanour, they talk the greatest nonsense and then sit there with hypocritical devotion to let the pleasant thrill wash over them that intercourse with invisible forces brings in the imagination. Many mediums bask in the flattering speeches of such old visitors, who in reality only manifest a selfish desire to “experience” quite a lot themselves. For them, however, “experiencing” is synonymous only with hearing or seeing, i.e. being entertained. Nothing in them ever becomes an “experience”.
What should a
serious person now consider in such incidents?
1. That a medium can contribute nothing at all to a “success”, except to open himself inwardly, that is, to surrender, and otherwise to wait; for it is a tool which is used, an instrument which alone is incapable of producing a sound if it is not played. There can therefore be no such thing as a so-called
failure. Whoever speaks of it shows a narrowness, he should keep his hands off it and also not express any opinions, because he cannot have any judgement. Just as anyone who finds learning difficult should also avoid university. So a medium is simply a bridge, or a means to an end.
2. But that the
visitors play a major role in this! Not in their outward appearance or even their worldly status, but with their inner life! The inner life, as even the greatest mockers know, is a world of its own. It cannot, of course, be a “nothing” with its sensations, with its generating and nourishing thoughts, but logically it must be ethereal bodies or things which awaken sensations through pressure or influence, because otherwise no such sensations could arise. Nor can images be seen in the mind if there is nothing there. Just such a conception would mean the greatest hole in the laws of exact science. So something must be there, and something is there; for the generative thought immediately creates corresponding forms in the ethereal, i.e. otherworldly, world, the density and viability of which depend on the power of feeling of the generative thoughts in question. Thus, with what is called the “inner life” of human beings, there also arises a corresponding ethereal, identically formed environment around them.
And it is this environment which a medium who is more attuned to the ethereal world must touch, pleasantly or unpleasantly, even painfully. As a result, real manifestations from the ethereal world may not be rendered so purely if the medium is constricted, oppressed or confused by the presence of people with ethereally or spiritually impure inner lives. But it goes further than this. This impurity forms a wall for purer ethereality, even if this is guided by a personal spirit, a free will even in the beyond, so that for this reason a manifestation cannot take place at all, or only of an equally impure ethereal nature.
In the case of visitors with a
pure inner life, connection with the corresponding pure ethereal environment is of course possible. But every difference forms an unbridgeable gulf! Hence the differences in so-called sessions, hence often complete failure or confusion occurring. All this is based on immutable, purely physical laws which work in the beyond just as they do in this world.
Thus the derogatory reports of “examiners” come into a different light. And those who are able to observe the subtle processes must smile, because many an examiner speaks his
own judgement with his report, reveals his own inner life, and only rebukes his state of soul.
A second example: A person visits a medium. It happens to him that a relative who has passed over speaks to him through the medium. He asks him for advice about a perhaps very important earthly matter. The departed one gives him some instructions about it, which the visitor receives like a gospel, a revelation from the beyond, then follows exactly and as a result…falls for it, often suffering serious harm.
The consequence? The visitor will first of all doubt the medium, in his disappointment and out of the anger of the damage he will perhaps work against the medium, in some cases even feel obliged to lead public attacks in order to save others from the same damage and pitfall. (Here I should then have to explain the life on the other side, how such a man thereby opens himself to similar currents in the other world through the attraction of spiritual homogeneity, and how he is then able, as the instrument of such counter-currents, to become a zealot in the proud consciousness of standing up for the truth and thus rendering a great service to humanity, whereas in reality he makes himself a slave of impurity and burdens himself with a karma, the solution for which he needs a lifetime and still more, from which new threads emanate in and out, so that a net comes into being in which he entangles himself; in the end he no longer knows his way in or out at all, and then enrages all the more furiously in a hostile manner.)
Or the disappointed visitor, if he does not regard the medium as an impostor, will at least be very doubtful about the whole other world thing, or take the usual comfortable path that thousands take, and say to himself: “After all, what is the other world to me? Let others worry their heads about that. I have better things to do”. But the “better thing” is to serve only the body by earning money and thus to distance oneself even more from the ethereal. But where does the fault actually lie now?
Only himself again! He had made a false picture of himself by accepting what was said as if it were gospel. That was his fault alone and not the fault of others. Because he assumed that a person who had passed on would at the same time become partly omniscient, or at least all-knowing, through his etherealness. Therein lies the error of many hundreds of thousands. All that a person who has passed on knows more through his transformation is that he has not really ceased to be with the so-called dying.
But that is all, as long as he does not take the opportunity to advance in the ethereal world, which also depends on his own free decision. Therefore, when questioned about earthly matters, he will give his opinion with the good intention of fulfilling the wish, also in the conviction that he is doing his best; but he himself is unconsciously not in a position to judge earthly matters and conditions as clearly as a human being in the flesh who is still living in them, for he lacks the coarseness of matter which he absolutely needs for correct judgement. His point of view must therefore be quite different. But he gives what he can and with the best of intentions also gives the best. So neither he nor the medium can be blamed. He is therefore not a lying spirit, just as we should only distinguish between knowing and unknowing spirits; for as soon as a spirit sinks, i.e. becomes more impure and heavy, its point of view narrows at the same time quite naturally. He always gives and works that which he himself feels:
he lives only with his intuitive feeling, not to the calculating intellect, which he no longer has, since this was bound to the earthly brain, and thus also to space and time. As soon as this disappeared with death, there was no more reasoning or deliberation for him, but only an intuition, an immediate, permanent experience!
The fault lies with those who still want to seek advice about earthly things, things bound to space and time, from those who no longer have the limitation and therefore cannot comprehend it.
Those in the beyond are certainly able to recognize which direction is the right and which is the wrong one in any given matter, but then the human being must weigh up with his earthly aids, that is, his intellect and his experience, how he is able to go in the right direction. He must bring it into harmony with all earthly possibilities! That is
his work.
Even if a deeply sunk spirit gains opportunity to influence and speak, no one can say that he lies or tries to lead falsely, but he gives what he lives and also seeks to convince others of it. He cannot give anything else.
So there are countless errors in the spiritualists’ view.
Spiritism has become very disreputable, but not by itself, but by the greatest number of adherents who, after only a few and often very meagre results, enthusiastically think that the veil has been drawn away for them, and who then eagerly want to delight others with an idea of ethereal life which they have invented for themselves, which an unbridled imagination has created and which, above all, completely covers their own desires. Rarely, however, are such images entirely in harmony with the truth!