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BD 7209 17.11.1958
What is spiritual hardship? ....
You humans are not aware of the immense spiritual hardship you suffer because your senses are still captivated by the world and thus you cannot even assess the darkness surrounding your thinking. Every day can be the last one for you on this earth .... No-one knows the hour of his death, and no-one can extend his life for an hour .... And you do not consider this .... or you would prepare yourselves for what will come afterwards since you know, after all, that you cannot take anything with you when you have to pass away from earth. But what is your soul like? Do you ever seriously contemplate what your fate will be afterwards? You resist such thoughts, you push them far away from you once they emerge, and yet your soul can be in a state of distress because it has to leave the body without light when the hour of passing away has struck .... when it finds itself in profound darkness in the spiritual kingdom wandering about deprived and unhappy because it doesn't know where to turn to in this darkness. It is you, it is your actual Self which cannot vanish even if the soul had to leave the body .... But don't think that you will no longer exist, that your existence will have come to an end with the death of your body .... Your existence will be just as real as on earth, and you will experience suffering and torment just as much and even more intensely because you suddenly realise that you lack all strength to change your situation .... a fact which is extremely agonising to you because you have to endure it due to your own fault. For if only you lived a little more consciously on earth the soul would not enter into the beyond in such a wretched state, because a small glimmer of light would show the path it has to take in the beyond in order to ascend. For every soul has the possibility to continue what it had failed to do on earth, if only it has the will to do so. But whether it makes use of this possibility is up to itself but first it requires a small glimmer of realisation without which it will remain helplessly and miserably in the same state.
And if only the human being on earth would actively endeavour to gain faith in life after death, to live a life after God's will, if only he would try to discard his faults and weaknesses and be lovingly active towards his fellow human being, he would leave the profound darkness and step into a faint twilight, and if he enters the kingdom of the beyond with such a faint light his soul would get on better, it would recognise its further task and try to fulfil it .... For it will not be entirely blind and spared the worst suffering. Yet how many people don't even consider their soul's salvation just once a day, all their thoughts and intentions only relate to the material world and to the attainment of purely earthly advantages .... The immense spiritual hardship consists of the fact that people are entirely unaware of why they are on earth, that they only ever think of 'life itself' as important and never ask why they were given this life. And in this darkened state they are approaching the end of the earth which will suddenly and unexpectedly come upon them and finish innumerable people's lives prematurely who don't even consider pondering thoughts of death because they believe that they have plenty of time left. All these people are so earthbound that they will also remain within the sphere of Earth when the end has come .... so that an ascent in the beyond will be impossible for these souls because they will not be able to detach themselves from the material world for a long time .... And many of them will have to take abode in matter again because they are not yet mature enough for a spiritual sphere. And this is the beginning of the state of torment again which they had long overcome already .... But people do not believe it if they are being admonished to make use of the short time on earth for the salvation of their soul; the do not believe it and cannot be forced to adopt another way of life either. Only the love of knowledgeable fellow human beings can try to influence them, and occasionally love will indeed be able to achieve something, even though every human being will keep his freedom of will. Yet the struggle for such a soul shall be continued until the end, the battle of light against the darkness shall be waged until the end, because precisely the forces of darkness are fighting especially fiercely and the forces of light must therefore not abandon the battle on their part. And just a small ray of light can ignite and penetrate the darkness, which always signifies the salvation of a soul which will be infinitely grateful for it, even if at first it is only surrounded by some twilight. Yet to have escaped the most profound darkness also means a detachment from the prince of darkness and to walk towards the light ....
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