85. A Thousand Years Are As One Day

Who among men has already grasped the meaning of these words, in which church is it rightly interpreted? In many cases it is taken only as a concept of timeless life. But in Creation nothing is timeless and nothing is spaceless. The very concept of the word Creation must contradict this, for what is created is a work and every work has a limit. But what has a limit is not spaceless. And what is not spaceless cannot be timeless either.

There are various worlds that form the abode of human spirits, according to their spiritual maturity. These worlds are more or less dense, closer to Paradise and more distant from it. The further away, the denser and therefore heavier.

The concept of time and space narrows with the increasing density, with the more solidly closed matter, with the further distance from the Spiritual Realm. Thus the earth belongs to that part of the world which is considered second place in order of density. There is, therefore, still another part of the world which is even denser, and therefore also more narrowly limited in the concept of time and space.

The different concepts of time and space arise from the more or less flexible receptivity of experience through the human brain, which in turn is adapted to the degree of the respective environment, that is, to the type of part of the world in which the body finds itself. Thus it is that we must speak of differences in the concepts of space and time in the different parts of the world.

Now there are parts of the world much nearer to Paradise, that is, to the purely spiritual part of the world, than this, to which the earth belongs. These nearer ones are of a different kind of materiality, lighter and less tightly dense. The consequence of this is the more extended possibility of experience in full consciousness. Here we call it day-conscious experience.

The materiality of another kind belongs to the finer coarse matter, as to the coarser ethereal matter, and then also to the absolute fine ethereal matter itself, while at present we find ourselves in the world of absolute coarse matter. The more refined the matter, the more permeable it is. But the more permeable a materiality is, the wider and more extended becomes the field of conscious experience, or let us call it the possibility of impression, for the human spirit dwelling in the body.

In a coarser, denser body with a correspondingly denser brain as a station of passage for external processes, the human spirit dwelling in it is naturally more firmly closed off or walled in than in a more permeable, less dense kind of matter. In the denser one, therefore, it can only perceive or be impressed by processes within itself up to a narrower limit.

The less dense a substance is, however, the lighter it naturally is, and thus the higher it must be, the more light it will transmit and thus the brighter it will be. The nearer they are to Paradise because of their lightness, the brighter and sunnier they will be for this reason, because they let through the rays emanating from Paradise.

The more a human spirit receives from its body the possibility of living sensation through a lighter, less dense environment, the more it will be able to experience in itself, so that in the time of one earth-day it can absorb far more experiences in its environment than an earthling with his denser brain in his heavier and therefore more tightly closed environment. Depending on the type of permeability, that is, according to the lighter, more luminous nature of the environment, a human spirit is able to experience as much in the time of one earth day as in one earth year through lighter absorption, and in the spiritual realm itself as much in the time of one earth day as in a thousand earth years!

For this reason it is said, "There a thousand years are as much as one day." Thus in the richness of experience, the increase of which depends on the growing maturity of the human spirit.

Man can best imagine this when he thinks of his dreams! In them he is often able in a single minute of earthly time to feel through a whole human life, to really experience it in the spirit! He experiences the most joyful as well as the most painful things, laughs and cries, experiences his ageing, and yet he has only used up the time of a single minute. In earthly life itself he would need many decades for this same experience, because time and space of earthly experience is too narrowly limited and thus each individual stage progresses more slowly. And just as the human being on earth can only experience so quickly in dreams, because the fetters of the brain are partially removed from the spirit through sleep, so in the lighter parts of the world the spirit, no longer so strongly fettered and later completely free, is always in this lively and rapid experience. For the actual experience of a thousand earth years it needs no more time than a day!