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BD 7401 30.08.1959
You should already live a frugal life from an early age, since you will find it easier to overcome matter; you will not hanker after earthly pleasures and won't find it difficult to abstain from them for the sake of spiritual gain. But the more the greed for earthly pleasure is aroused the more the soul will have to combat it, for its cravings will always prevent its striving for spiritual values because it captivates its senses and they cannot easily detach themselves from material things which merely provide the body with a feeling of well-being but which are and will remain detrimental for the soul. Therefore, it is indeed advisable to suggest a certain amount of 'fasting' to people, but this fasting only consists of limiting everything that the senses avidly desire. The human being is not entirely forbidden from enjoying things, it is just that through excess pleasure he can damage himself by rendering these very senses unsuitable for receiving spiritual knowledge, while a 'conqueror', someone who can control himself and is satisfied with little, can easily be open-minded for possessions of a spiritual nature, because he is no longer hampered by matter but has subjugated it through his will. Frugality can never be damaging but can always be of use .... whereas an excessive amount is always harmful and no person will ever take possession of spiritual goods who only satisfies his body's needs and cannot find the right measure.
As long as a person is in control of himself he can also be expected to open himself to spiritual influx; if, however, the body is excessively considered .... which means the fulfilment of all cravings .... then the person will close himself to spiritual influx, because there is no possibility for both since matter excludes the spirit, because two different realms offer their share and the heart cannot respond to both at the same time. Nevertheless, the human being has been granted a certain measure, for whatever the body needs for continued existence may be desired by the person and taken possession of .... Yet the less use is made of this measure the greater will be the soul's advantage, insofar as it will receive an abundance of possessions, which alone are of value, because they are everlasting and will be taken over into the kingdom, which alone is real and which the soul will enter when it detaches itself from its body and passes over into the kingdom of the beyond .... Then it will receive abundantly because it had been satisfied with less than what was at its disposal on earth .... Then it will no longer have to constrain itself, it will receive whatever it desires and it will receive much pleasure in eternity ....
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