65. The Call For A Leader

Let us look more closely at those around us who are vociferously calling for and expecting a spiritual Leader, and who in their own estimation are spiritually thoroughly prepared to recognise him and to listen to his Word when he comes.

In the first place we shall observe that there are many different classes of these people. Christ's Message has impressed many of them in a most curious manner. There are those who completely misunderstand its meaning, in consequence of their self-sufficiency.

In place of the veneration they had for their God in former days, which showed itself in keeping at a suitable respectful distance from Him, they draw near and molest Him with praying and begging; always willing to receive, but never to make the slightest return. When they are told to pray, they are willing to do so, but when they are told to work out their salvation, they decline to obey.

On the other hand, they pretend to be so independent, that they can do everything alone, and can with little trouble even become Divine.

There are others, who expect that God will seek them out Himself. Did he not once send His only Son, they ask, proving thereby how important mankind was to Him, even, that He probably needed them?

Whichever way one turns: presumption on every side, no humility is to be found anywhere! Man's self-esteem is quite out of proportion to his real value.

The first thing necessary for man is to descend from the artificial pedestal he is on, to be a
human being and begin to ascend to the Light from the level of humanity. Puffed up with pride, he is like one sitting on a tree at the bottom of the hill that he has to ascend; he can never do this, till he climbs down or falls from the tree. Meanwhile others, sensible people, are standing under the tree with their feet firmly placed on the ground. He despises them from his height, but they advance with slow deliberation and will probably reach the summit of the hill before he does.

However, fate will soon come to his assistance, the tree will anyhow fall in a short time. Perhaps the shock of falling from his high position will bring him to his senses, but he must hasten, for he will not have an hour to lose.

Many think that things will continue to go on in the same way as they always have done for centuries.

They are comfortably sitting in their armchairs and are waiting for a strong Leader. And what do they expect?

In the first place they expect and require one who will prepare the way up to the Light for each individual separately. It is for him to build bridges over to the Truth from every separate religion and make the way so clear and evident that every one can easily understand. His words must be so chosen that every one can perceive their meaning immediately and forthwith be convinced of their truth.

A leader who requires men to think for themselves is no proper leader, for if he is appointed to show the way and to lead man to it, it is necessary that
he should trouble himself about men, it is his duty to convince and awaken. Did not Christ sacrifice His Life?

Those who think thus (and there are many who do) need not trouble further, for they are like the foolish virgins, they will come too late. The appointed Leader will not disturb them but let them sleep on until the door is shut. It is not for them to enter into the Light, for they will not be able to extricate themselves from the coils of matter in time. This they could have done, had they listened to the voice of the Leader. For man is by no means as precious as he imagines himself to be. God does not need him, but he needs God. As the so-called cultivated man of today no longer recognises his duty or knows what he should do, he must be coerced.

They are seekers, it is true, but in their self-deluding confidence they will pass by without noticing, as so many passed Him by in olden time in spite of being prepared for His coming by the revelations of the prophets.

What an impossible picture they make of a spiritual teacher! He who is coming, however, will not make the
slightest concession. He will claim and exact, not distribute and give.

Every one who is capable of serious thoughts will see that if man is to be saved from mental atrophy, he must be forced to think seriously, however stern and uncompromising the means employed may be. The fact that mental activity and earnest intention are absolutely requisite for understanding the Leader's Word, separates the grain from the husks at the very outset. Here again the laws give to each individual just what he himself needs automatically.

Now there is another class of men who pride themselves upon having a particularly active mentality. These again have drawn quite a different — an absurd — picture of the Leader, they expect no less than a spiritual acrobat.

Thousands of people believe that clairvoyance, clairaudience and so on, are clear proofs of high spiritual development, but this is not so. These
arts are either the result of study or they may be natural gifts, but whatever they are, their field is strictly limited to the things of this earth, above the level of which they cannot rise.

Does any one seriously think it will help man on spiritually if he is shown things which, though invisible to the generality of mankind, still are on the same level of development as he is himself? To be able to see and hear transcendental phenomena does not confer knowledge that will help the human spirit forward on the way to the Light, neither is such knowledge useful for his guidance in worldly matters, for though interesting to the individual, these practices are utterly useless to man in general.

Now one can understand that those who so highly value supernatural gifts and abilities, would expect a leader to possess greater power and knowledge in these things than they do. They require, for instance, that he should prove he is a
genuine leader by not catching cold. Such a one cannot be an ideal guide, a strong leader must be above such trifles by virtue of his spiritually. It sounds incredible, but it is a fact, such views are current. Although it may appear exaggerated and absurd, it is a true picture and a faint echo of the cry: “If Thou be the Son of God, save Thyself and come down from the Cross.” They are calling out the same today, before the leader is in sight even.

Poor ignorant man! One who has specifically trained his body so that the spirit can make it insensible at will, is neither great nor eminent. Those who admire him are like the children of former times who stood admiring the tricks of mountebanks with open mouths and glistening eyes, filled with a burning longing to be able to do the same. The present seekers for the truth on the spiritual plane are not much in advance of those children on the physical plane.

And if we keep to the simile, we see how the aforementioned mountebanks developed into the acrobats of our circuses and music- halls. Their feats have become truly astounding and daily thousands witness their performances with wonder and occasionally shudder to see how many an acrobat risks his life to entertain them. And yet what profit have they, what have they to take home with them? Nothing whatever.

All these arts are strictly limited to the music-hall and the circus, no matter to how high a degree of perfection they have reached. They can only serve to amuse and can never be of advantage to man. And is the value of the expected Leader to be measured by his proficiency in acrobatic feats on the spiritual plane?

Do not envy these people their psychic clowns. They will soon enough find out where such practices lead. They do not know what they are striving after. They believe that only he is truly great who can so control his physical body that disease cannot touch him.

But listen: all such training is one-sided and partiality is prejudicial to the whole system: it weakens the mind and the body. The balance between body and soul necessary to perfect harmony is disturbed. The soul suffers, if its body can no longer provide the strong and healthy basis needed for a life on earth. Therefore, it frees itself from its maltreated body and enters transcendental life before having attained the needful degree of maturity, and must then repeat an incarnation on earth.

These
arts are but psychic tricks performed at the expense of the physical vessel which should in truth be a help to the spirit to which it belongs during a certain period of its spiritual development. If the body is so weakened and suppressed, its emanations are too feeble to be effective and provide the power the spirit needs to work in matter.

A man must work himself up into a transport of frenzy if he wishes to suppress an illness in the body, not unlike the effect fear of going to the dentist has in suppressing the pain in the diseased tooth.

The intense strain the nerves must bear when the physical vessel is put into such a state of transport may not do harm for once or even for several times but in the long run cannot fail to injure the constitution seriously.

If a leader practises such things or recommends them to others, he is not worthy to be called a leader, for he would be transgressing the eternal laws.

Man should cherish his body as he would a treasure entrusted to his care, and he must strive to bring his soul and his body into perfect harmony. It is no progress or advancement for a man to mortify the flesh; on the contrary, by so doing, he is putting an obstacle in the way of fulfilling his duty on earth. The spirit has no power to influence matter unless it can command the energy of a free, unfettered body to which it is united in perfect harmony.

One who is accounted
Master because of his supernatural abilities is in truth worse off than the beginner who has no knowledge of supernatural functions or of the possibilities of development in such matters: he is detrimental to the spirit. These misguided people will soon come to a knowledge of their folly.

Each of these false teachers will have to suffer bitter experiences. Not until the very last of those whose development they have delayed by their malpractices or whom they have led astray, have come to a right understanding of the truth, can they begin their ascent to the Light. As long as their books and writings continue to influence men on earth, they will be detained in the next world even though in the meantime they may have come to a better understanding.

He who recommends occult training, gives men stones instead of bread, and thus shows that he has not even a faint conception of life as it really is in the other world, still less of life in Creation in general.