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BD 5825 13.12.1953
No one will enter the kingdom of heaven who pays homage to the world ....
To pay tribute to the world is to forfeit the kingdom of heaven, since the human being cannot gain both at the same time. And anyone who pays homage to the world will not endeavour to attain the heavenly kingdom either, for he will only recognise the earthly world and its attraction and not believe in a kingdom beyond this world. And yet the path to the kingdom of heaven has to be taken through this earthly world, it cannot be avoided, for the human being lives in this world, he has to cover the last stage of his development on earth, in midst of the realm which belongs to God's adversary. But he can overcome this kingdom, he can pass through the earthly world without allowing himself to be extraordinarily impressed by it, without coveting it with his senses .... he can experience it and yet be its master ....
And it is your task to overcome the world, for it was given to you as a means for your soul to become fully mature therein, to detach itself voluntarily from everything pertaining to the world, because this separation is at the same time also a separation from the one who is lord of this world, and a turning-towards the spiritual kingdom and its Lord.
Hence it is understandable that anyone enslaving himself to the world will never be able to take possession of the spiritual kingdom, neither in earthly life nor after the human being's death .... it is understandable that the lord of the world will keep him tied up because the human being gives him the right to do so himself, for the separation from his power, the separation from the material world, has to be endeavoured and accomplished by the individual himself.
He has to wage battle against himself; he has to be able to go without in order to gain something valuable, he has to resist all temptations during his short lifetime on earth in order to then take possession of the spiritual kingdom with all its glories, which will compensate him thousand fold for his renunciation on earth .... And he will only do so if he recognises the irrelevance and impermanence of what he deems desirable on earth. Only this realisation will give him the strength to change his will correctly, and he can gain this realisation by merely contemplating the material world .... For he cannot be forced to change his will .... he can only be prompted by experiences into inner contemplation, at which point the result is up to him. And God can only help him by time and again demonstrating the fleeing nature of things, that He allows the destruction of what the human being loves on earth, that He intervenes by affecting him painfully, taking from him what his heart is set on .... just to point out to him how worthless the goals of his endeavours are.
But those who learn from such experiences can consider themselves fortunate, for they will gradually change the direction of their will and relinquish the world in order to occupy the spiritual kingdom one day .... But no one should believe that he can make compromises, no one should believe that he can pay homage to the world with impunity .... All striving will have an effect after his death, and if it related to the world then it will result in spiritual death, then he will have relinquished the spiritual kingdom for the sake of earthly gain and the world will have brought him death .... Then he will have handed himself over again to the power of the one in the abyss, and the path of ascent will yet again take an infinitely long period of time ....
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