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BD 7571 07.04.1960
Development of the soul ....
Spiritual substance matures during every developmental period, and one period can in fact suffice for the spiritual substance to progress through the creations to the point that it is able to embody itself as a human being and successfully pass its last test of will .... But several such periods may be needed for this spiritualisation of hardened soul-substances if resistance is so strong that its higher development is too slow and the existence as a human being carries an added risk of the soul descending into the abyss again. For free will, which is tested during the stage as a human being, is decisive.
But prior to this, free will is constrained .... Although the hardened spiritual substance is no longer subject to God's adversary's will due to this process of development through the creations of earth .... the individual substances are nevertheless unable to use free will, instead they are controlled by God's will, that is, their process of development takes place in a state of compulsion, they are subject to God's will, Who assigns a task to all spiritual substances within the works of creation. By accomplishing this task within the law of compulsion they gradually progress, i.e. their resistance lessens; they carry out a helpful function and are able to slowly reach the state when their free will can be returned to them. And this process of development requires constant changes of the external shape .... it is a slow ascent, it is an integration with the laws of nature and therefore a submission to God's will, if only due to a certain amount of coercion which, however, only helps to relieve the being and one day is meant to provide it with the freedom to think, want and act using its own will again.
And this process through the works of creation cannot be avoided if the spiritual being is to return to God again, from Whom it had distanced itself to such an infinite extent as a result of its apostasy that it would never be able to overcome this distance of its own strength, and would never be released by God's adversary to return either if God did not remove the spiritual substance from him for the very purpose of banishing it into matter, into the creations on this earth. God's adversary is entitled to the fallen spirits because they had voluntarily followed him into the abyss .... But God has the same right because the beings emerged from His strength. Hence God is justified in removing them from the adversary's control, but in return the latter was given the right to influence the soul again when it lives on earth in the stage as a human being. And to this end the spiritual substance must have attained a degree of maturity again when it is able to use its will in order to freely decide which lord to choose.
But God cannot place the spiritual substance into this state instantly, it has to cover the process of ascent in the same progressive stages as it had descended, it has to relinquish its resistance slowly, as it cannot forcibly be broken. And this requires innumerable changes of form, through the world of rocks, plants and animals to the human being .... Every change of external shape also lessens its resistance, for the being has been of service in a state of compulsion by which it gains increasingly lighter forms .... But the sin of apostasy from God is so vast that the distance from Him is therefore vast as well, which means that untold changes of shapes are needed to reduce this distance in order to come closer to God again, when only the last free decision of will is required for the last form to fall off .... for the being to return to the Father again from Whom it had originated ....
And this whole process of development within the creations of earth is a continuous battle .... The spiritual substance tries to burst the external shape because it experiences it as a constraint, but each time it also experiences the rupture of the form as a relief irrespective of its level of maturity .... And this is why the struggle, which you humans are able to observe in the animal kingdom, only seems cruel in your eyes, whereas time and again every animal experiences the change of its external shape as a relief. For this reason God permits or even wants the weaker to succumb to the stronger, the stronger to terminate the life of the weaker and, in a manner of speaking, is thereby even able to serve the spiritual substance to continue its development. Therefore, as long as the being is subject to the law of compulsion everything is determined by God, its end as well as its new formation .... However, as soon as the being has reached the stage of a human being and has received its free will again, God withdraws His will .... And then the human being is given laws which he has to observe if his earthly life is to be successful .... On the one hand he is tied to the laws of nature, and on the other hand he is informed of God's will, to which he has to submit if his development is to progress and reach a conclusion, for the goal is to become free of every external shape and to enter the kingdom of light as a free spirit .... to return to the Father's house, to God, from whence the being once originated ....
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