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|Where are Heaven & Hell?… A married Couple in the Beyond|
Where are Heaven & Hell?… A married Couple in the Beyond
Spiritual Sun Volume 1 – Chapter 35-39
Messages of Jesus Christ on the spiritual life in the Beyond – given thru the inner word to Jakob Lorber. Jesus reveals thru Jakob Lorber in The Spiritual Sun
A married couple in the Beyond
Volume 1, Chapter 35
1. Look, not far from us you will see a human couple. A man and a woman, and they are presently in a situation which we will be able to use very well for our purpose. We will therefore quickly go to them, to catch up with them. You ask about the relationship between them. I tell you, for our purpose they could not be anything better than what they are. This is a relationship in which the wife has died only six years before the husband. The husband mourned much about her, but after a few years he threw himself completely into the arms of religion and lived faithfully according to his accrued insights. But now he has been called away from the earth as well and has arrived here only recently. This introduction is sufficient for the time being; you will practically experience the details in spirit.
2. Now that we have fortunately caught up with our couple, you have nothing other to do than to take notice of their conversation, which will start out immediately, from which you will be able to gather everything necessary. Listen now! She currently began to ask her husband a question, saying:
3. I am exceptionally happy to see you again after such a long time and I now believe that no death will ever separate us, but tell me now as much as you can, if my last will has been properly attended to, for it is dear to my heart.
4. The man says: My above all beloved wife, for you to see how strictly your last will has been obeyed, I can only tell you that I have done, in my own last will, nothing other than to confirm yours anew. In my last will I kept exactly to yours, except for a few insignificant changes. Our whole wealth, increased by a few thousands by me, is bequeathed to our children. Are you happy with that?
5. The wife says: My beloved husband, except for the changes, completely! Tell me the amount and to whom it is given? Dear wife, says he, the amount is no more than two thousand guilders, it is divided into five parts and they are bequeathed to relatives of yours, except for one part. I had to give one part to the poor, for the sake of decency. I would not have done this if you hadn’t often insisted during your life to think about these relatives of yours. But regarding the poor, you know that one must always first do something for the sake of society and then also for God’s sake, because we are Christians and no heathens. Besides, these alms of two thousand guilders are nothing compared to our great bequeathed inheritance, for as I have finally calculated, each of our seven children gets a great amount of a hundred and fifty thousand guilders. All our children have learned to handle money frugally and you can be just as calm as I am about your bequeathed wealth. At my side you can now search for other riches which would bring us here into just as happy a life as we have lived upon earth.
6. She says: I will be content when our children are well cared for. Certainly, every child will have some money in their hands with the 2000 guilders, and it could use it to start something, so it won’t have to resort immediately to the interest of the main capital. But now that this is indeed the case, and we cannot do anything about it anymore, I must nevertheless be content with it.
7. But what you have said about another usable capital, I ask you as your still faithful and loving spouse, to let go of all your silly ideas about it; for already six years have gone by during which I have wandered in great agony and worries through this dark and lonely wilderness, while the only edible thing I could find was a kind of moss. Every now and then some sort of dry grass can be found with which one can finally fill one’s stomach. If you wouldn’t have coincidentally come exactly to this place from earth with still some glimmer about you, we would have probably never found each other.
8. He says: but my beloved wife, do you have no idea why you have come to this dark place? I think that your worldly attitude has brought you here. You were indeed very frugal and in our worldly relationships a very honorable woman, as well as exceptionally wise, but the teaching of true Christianity was often a thorn in your eye. You have often expressed yourself negatively about it and have kept more to the wisdom and philosophy of the world. I have told you often, dear wife, that if there exists a life in the beyond, I do think that worldly wisdom would not be enough; therefore it would be best to keep close to God’s word, for the temporary lasts but a short time. However, if there exists an eternity, we would have difficulty finding our way with temporary wisdom, as I have said. Look, dear wife, these were my literal words I have often spoken to you in confidence, and as I can see now to my greatest and most woeful surprise, this has come true, sadly enough. Therefore I do think, dear wife, that it is now critical for us to discuss this here, to completely free ourselves of all worldly reminiscing and to turn to our Master Jesus Christ to receive compassion and pity. For if He doesn’t help us, we will be lost forever; for I do feel in myself and know assuredly that without Christ there is no other helper in the whole of infinity. If He helps us, we will be helped; but if He doesn’t help, then we are eternally, irretrievably lost! Now I wish I would have bequeathed our wealth to the beggars and, in turn, made our children into beggars. This would have brought us more blessings here than all our worldly care for the material well-being of our children. Therefore, my beloved wife, as said, there is nothing else for us to do, because we cannot change our worldly foolishness anymore, except for us to completely and seriously turn our gaze to Christ, and expel all our thoughts and wishes, so he may forgive us our foolishness.
9. The wife says: I always thought that your religious and fanatic foolishness would bring you along to this world. What have you and I ever done wrong upon earth? Were we not always just to everyone! Have we ever stayed in debt to anyone or have we not always paid our housemaid the agreed upon salary? If some or the other God would exist, or, according to your opinion, some or the other “Christ”, then it would indeed be the greatest injustice that he would reward people like us with what we see here before us. What God would take any offense when one can have no faith in an ‘old legend’ that is riddled with nonsense and silly things. I do believe, and even a blind person can see this, that if such a God would care at all for mankind, provided that a God even exists, man couldn’t even dream of something so unreasonable, that this God himself, equipped with all his power, would have drawn close, and then only to the people of one district, even though the whole earth was already populated.
10. Tell me therefore, can God unequivocally expect for people and entire nations, that did not live in that same region, and especially not at the same time as Him, to unconditionally accept that He was the one Who started the teaching? Can God, if He exists and is just, blame them if they cannot do this? Can’t the people revolt against God, if He were to exist, and say: How can you harvest if You did not sow? If you want to judge us, you are an unjust God; But if you want to judge righteously, then judge those who saw You and to whom You have preached, but leave us alone, for we have never seen You and could never convince ourselves of Your existence. The word which was delivered to us and would have come from You cannot possibly be a judge to us, for it could just as well have been made up, and it is more likely so than otherwise. As long as we have lived on this world, we only saw the old nature; and yet, no trace of You. We came into this world as pure children of the powers of nature. People and teachers have taught us knowledge. Throughout our whole lives there was not a trace of You. Why would You now want to enforce judgment over us, even though You never wanted to give us any proof of Your existence and character?
11. Look, dear husband, this is as clear as the sun on a bright noon upon the earth. You just do not see it yet because you have been here for only a short while. When you will have been here for as long as I have, then it will become clear to you, even in this dense darkness. As proof of my love and faithfulness I say to you that you can call upon your so-called God-Christ for as long and as powerfully as you want, right here at the side of your above all beloved wife; but I guarantee you upon my love and faithfulness that you, after years of calling, will come to the clear realization that I, your always faithful and loving wife, see clearer with my natural mind than you do with your so-called godly learnedness.
12. See, An old adage says about the Bible: Oh Bible, oh Bible, you are an evil to man! And look, that adage is right. Would people upon earth have the courage to destroy that old Jewish nonsense, root and all, and put in it’s place pure human logic, the world would have progressed much faster in all it’s aspects. Yet, for some reason, this old nonsense still has to be preserved, by which the hands of the most honorable and just people get bound to the finer arts. What is the result? Just think with your otherwise good mind! Where does one find the most abominable, bad and poor people? Certainly, nowhere else than exactly there where the Bible and the new Christian teaching is predominant. Go to Rome, go to Spain, go to England and you will find my words confirmed.
13. People depend upon God and become lazy while waiting for His help! Yet, the help does not come, with the natural consequence that many people impoverish, and even if not all of them become bad, they do become a burden for the zealous and busy people. Man proclaims everywhere, saying: God is endlessly good, highly loving and exceptionally merciful; yet He would rather let every beggar starve if they would not be taken care of by their zealous fellow men.
14. Look, dear spouse: at the expense of honest, hard working and therefore wealthy people, lazy and spiritually inclined people can easily preach about an infinitely good and all merciful God. But if we would exclude these people, then we would soon see to what sullen end such sermons will come. Would these black and white screamers know how it is with life here in the beyond, they would probably preach differently, or would instead take up the profitable plow. There may exist a God in the form of a primordial power that guides the entire universe; but certainly not the kind of God the jewish Bible teaches about.
15. He says: Oh, beloved wife, you are on a dreadfully wrong path, for I read in the writings of famous theological authors about how pure, hellish spirits speak exactly like you. I can assure you that this is why you find yourself in this eternal night. Truly, I am becoming afraid for your sake! For with such principles I see you getting lost irrevocably forever! If you absolutely do not want to accept any other principles, then I feel obliged to leave you forever.
16. She says: You would be able to do such a thing to me, your faithful and eternally beloved wife? I tell you, you would not be able to do it, even if you would be damned to hell! I would not want to abandon you in the fire, but you would want to leave me because of my wise words? You are free to explain your opinions to me, but they should not be any nonsense, for I love you too much to let you travel on the wrong track. Instead, follow me, I want to bring you to a better place than here, where, in greater company, you would get to know how it is here with people.
17. He says: My dear wife, I do not want to leave you, for I love you way too much, and because of that I will follow you wherever you would take me, for I can see that you are still very honest in your heart, despite your ignorance regarding true religion. You still are my good wife against whom I still have nothing to object, except for the fact that you do not share my insights. Now, if you would know of a place in this kingdom of darkness, take me there, then we will see what can be done there. Look, she takes his arm and leads him along, but we will follow this interesting pair, to be witnesses of the success of this relationship. They’re off and we follow them.
Chapter 36 – The couple and the lying spirit
1. You should not be surprised if your eyes are going to be challenged somewhat this time, for we are moving north, to where it becomes increasingly darker. However we will nonetheless have sufficient light for ourselves, so that nothing will escape us.
2. Do you not yet hear something in the distance? You say: We indeed hear something, but it is much different from a human voice; it rather sounds like the rattling of wagons in the distance. It also sounds like the thunderous noise of a great, distant waterfall. You ask what this means. Let us follow our couple, then we’ll soon get to the bottom of it.
3. Can you not yet discern something vaguely reddish, a glimmer, like from a softly glowing iron? Look in that direction, for there an important scene is awaiting us.
4. Listen, it is coming closer and the peculiar noisy rattling is changing more into natural and raw human voices. But now we shall stand still, for the multitude is moving right up here, and as you see, our greatly loving vanguard has come to a standstill as well.
5. Look how fearful he is because of what is coming and retreats in his great anxiety and fear. She grabs him by the arm, though, and pleads to him with all that is dear to her, to only listen and stay with her this one time, for this is exactly the fortune she has predicted, which he needs to get acquainted with, to convince himself whether she is right or wrong.
6. He asks her what even is approaching them that seems so horrible. She says to him: What it is, what it is?! Many deep thinking people they are, whom you will soon clearly see with your own eyes and clearly hear with your own ears.
7. And now look, he is content with this and awaits the approaching, deep thinking group. See, the great company is almost here. Our couple approaches them out of decency. We should do the same as well, even if it is not out of decency, but for another purpose.
8. Look, they now meet and greet each other with the greatest possible courtesy, so we will go closer too so we don’t miss anything.
9. As you can see, from the middle of the group a gaunt and emaciated manly figure closes in on our couple. The wife receives him with exceptional tenderness and benevolence. The husband bows deeply before this manly figure as well.
10. The manly figure says: Highly esteemed lady, it pleases me greatly that the special fortune of calling you one of us has befallen me once more, for with your mind and your exceptionally amiable demeanor, you are greatly honoring our company and indeed give us the most beautiful adornment. Well, my dear lady, if you have anything on your ever so tender mind, it would be the greatest bliss if you would entrust such a sweet concern of your heart to me.
11. She says: My highly appreciated and above all honored friend, you see, this man here at my side, is my tenderly beloved earthly spouse. He has acted exceptionally just, good and profitable in every way upon earth , that I can say in all earnest that our marriage was truly an ecstatic one. After all, what more can a woman ask for in her marriage, than to have a husband that fulfills all the desires of the female heart? In this regard, I would, with the exception of a few trifle things, have no objections.
12. But now comes an important issue, something we could never reach a compromise over and because of which there was often discord between the two of us. I will explain to you the reason for this discord as well as a woman can, and you, my above all honored friend, would certainly be so kind as to whisper a few words to my husband, which would surely completely heal him.
13. The figure says: Oh please, please, my highly esteemed lady, you are much too kind! I give you the assurance that it would be a great honor and bliss to me if I could tell myself that yours truly had been able to serve such a fair lady. Therefore, I ask you to entrust the issue that has been on your mind to me. She says: Oh, my greatly appreciated friend, you are much too good and modest, this is exactly what inspires so much trust in me, that I will withhold nothing from you; and so, be so kind and listen to me.
14. See, regarding this fatal issue I can candidly say that my otherwise good and loveable husband is a Bible-fanatic, and as such a Christ-fanatic as well. The reason however, why he had thrown himself into the arms of this laughable sect, is because he grew up poor. As such this old beggar’s philosophy was ingrained into him since the crib, as it is usually the case with the poor class. But how difficult it becomes over time to remove this nonsense, which was nursed into him with the mother’s milk and thus became his own flesh, you greatly honored friend, surely know even better than I do. With this beggar’s philosophy my otherwise greatly-appreciated husband has also ended up here in this kingdom where the primordial powers of nature rule, as you have kindly explained to us multiple times already, but it just doesn’t get through to him! He is still attached to his Christ and even wants to pry himself off of me in order to search for this surely nowhere-to-be-found Christ. Now, my learned and highly honored friend, I have briefly presented my problem to you, and for that reason I ask you, in this regard, to kindly take care of my poor husband!
15. The figure says: Oh, if it is nothing else, we will easily and quickly take care of it in this realm of the utterly naked truth. Now the figure turns to the husband, offers him a hand and says: But dear friend, are you serious about what your lovely spouse has just bemoaned to me about?
16. The husband says: My highly esteemed friend, I must honestly admit that I truly do not believe that we will ever find a consensus regarding this subject, no matter how dear my spouse is to me, for no matter how things will go, I am firmly resolute to cling to my faith in Christ forever! I am also absolutely convinced that this Name has often given me much consolation and still is my infallible and lucky guiding star. If I Have ever set foot on a wrong track, it was solely because I did not hold on to Christ with steadfastness. However, once I had turned again towards Christ I wasn’t rarely helped through an almighty stroke of magic!
17. You, as a thinking and wise man, can therefore see for yourself that it would be quite unreasonable of me to distance myself from such a benefactor, especially now that I need Him the most, as it seems to me. Therefore, esteemed friend, do not exert any effort for my sake, for I assure you that you will achieve nothing with me. I’ve been a foolish slave of the charm of my wife for long enough. After her passing I have learned in Christ my Master to go on without her, and I hope that she will not influence me here anymore, especially because the marriage with my former wife has ceased to be due to the death of her body. Should she want follow me, she will nonetheless always stay valuable and beloved to me, but I will never give up Christ for her sake, even if she were to drag me down into any kind of hell with all her might! If she is content with me being around her, unhindered and together with my Christ, then I do not want to sever the old ties of love I have with her, but if she won’t accept it, then I have just spoken my last words in her presence.
18. The figure says to the man: Dear friend, I have listened patiently to you from beginning to end and I can, in all earnest, say nothing else about your words than that I deplore them sorely. For you to know with whom you are dealing (here the figure is taking refuge in a lie), I tell you that I am the great teacher Melanchton, about whom you certainly must have heard something on earth! The husband says: Oh yes, but what do you want to say with that? The figure says: Esteemed friend, nothing else but the fact that I would know better what Christ is than you would, for I have worked until the very last hour of my existence, with exceptional zeal, in the so-called Christian vineyard and I would certainly have even died, if necessary, for the sake of Christ. I have not only rid the Roman teaching, but also the purer teaching of Luther of all vestigial burdens; I had lived literally according to the word of this teaching and what was the result? This, my esteemed friend, I do not need to explain to you with many words, for one glance of you at my entire being will show you the result of my faithful and quintessential Christianity. I do not need to tell you more. Let it therefore be according to the old “experyetia docet” [no substitute for experience], and I am convinced that we, if everything goes well, will meet once again after one hundred years, exactly the way we are facing each other right now. You, my friend, are still an utter novice here and do not know how one lives in the kingdom of the central primordial powers. When you will have been chased around and starved by this eternal night for a few decades, then certainly more solid and practical insights would find more room in your head, now deprived of all worldly foolishness.
19. The man says to the figure: Most esteemed friend, if you are in possession of so much well-founded knowledge on this field, let me hear it. I am not averted to listening to you, but I will nevertheless stay true to my conviction, if your stance on this subject won’t convert me.
20. The figure says: Good, my friend, first I want to draw your attention to the fruits that Christianity has actually bore on earth. The Romans were a great people as long as they remained in their Godly teaching of reason and sanity. All their work was great and full of wise meaning. Their principles of justice are still the basis of all state and national judicial laws, but when Christianity sneaked in, death sneaked in together with it into the great Roman nation. And now, in place of the once greatest and most heroic nation, lazy and indolent priests, a lot of miserable rabble and a great number of thieves as well as robbers lurk along the roads with rosaries in hand, where no pedestrian has assurance to his life anymore. See, this is the fruit of the garden of Christianity! Take a journey through beautiful Spain and look at this nation of old, and then look at it again in the Christian middle ages; it would not escape your gaze how, through pure Christian blessing, thousands upon thousands have bled and yet more thousands upon thousands have burnt to ashes upon flaming stakes, taking their last breath in doubt! Look at the touching implementation of Christianity under Carl the Great, how he let thousands and again thousands jump over the cutting edge of the sword because of this blessing! Journey from there to America; look up their history and you will see countless examples of the most pitiable and sorrowful fruits of the Christian blessings that took place there! Go from there to my time and look at the blessed atrocities of the thirty-year religious war. You can go through the ancient histories of all nations and peoples, and I will be obliged to carry you in my arms forever if you are able to point out similarly gruesome scenes to me.
21. I do not want to focus your attention on the multifarious blessings of Christianity of other times, instead I would like to let you see the conditions of other current peoples that do not yet know of Christianity, like the almost eternally peaceful Chinese and other significant nations in Asia, as well as those of not yet discovered islands. You would need to blind three times over if you can’t, at first glance, see the difference between Christianity and the true wisdom of the older, more experienced nations. But I tell you that all these unfortunate and harmful deficiencies of Christianity, or more so of the new Judaism could be glozed over if one would say: these historical facts are indeed all true, but Christ did not teach them, and so he cannot possibly be blamed for all the horror that the spreading of His teaching has brought with it, for His teaching was, in fact, pure and especially humane. Dear friend, this is certainly quite plausible and is indeed the reason why I was a zealous defender of Christianity during my whole life upon earth. But only here did I learn of the true poison for the nations in this teaching, and it is the obvious advertency to laziness and indolence. Man, having an inborn inclination towards laziness, finds the best defense for this inclination in this teaching, for it is clearly taught to him to do nothing other than to search for a certain spiritual kingdom, where the roasted birds would fly into his opened mouth. You see, various sages were convinced after quite a short while that nothing would come of these roasted birds. They therefore reached out to other means, namely, the trusty old sword, left the christianized people in their blindness and then served them roasted birds with sword in hand. My friend, consider this outcome as you like, you will impossibly reach another conclusion, despite all the higher, spiritual experiences one gains here, regarding Christianity, in a purified condition after the passing of many centuries, like in my case. My esteemed friend, I am done now and you can do what you want. By the way, be assured of my high esteem and my friendship; it would be my pleasure to meet you again after a few centuries. Look, he takes his leave and moves on with the whole company and our couple is left behind, alone. The effect of this ‘superb speech’ and the exceptionally humane instruction we will experience next time. Thus, enough for today.
Chapter 37 – Weakness of the husband. The wife’s journey to hell.
1. Look, the company has vanished completely, but our couple is still standing on the same spot, deep in thought. She asks him: “Well, beloved husband, what do you think of this?” He says thoughtfully: My dear wife, there is not much to say here anymore. Either the speaker is right, the issue is settled and no one should say anything about it anymore, or he is wrong and I stay with my principles and there is still no more to say. Whether he is right or not is not to be determined so quickly, instead my own experience will decide after some time.
2. She says: But dear husband, do you think of your faithful wife and this worthy man as liars because you do not readily want to believe his convincing words? Look, people are only inclined to lie and deceive each other if they were to gain something for themselves by doing so, but tell me, what kind of benefit can lies and deceit give someone here? Here is indeed nothing to gain, nor to lose, but one thing is for sure: a company always has it worse regarding the satisfaction of it’s stomach than someone wandering through this endless region alone. A single person can quickly find enough edible moss or grass to fill his stomach in case of emergency, but if there are more it won’t be easy for them with just one patch of moss than it would be for a single person.
3. You ask me what I want to say with this? My most beloved husband, nothing other than that neither I nor this insightful man want to convince you to let go of your Bible faith for our own benefit, for if we should go about our separate ways, we would both profit, for each would be able to navigate more easily on his own on this meager surface, than two would do together. If we would’ve wanted to lie to you or deceive you, then we would have left you to your principles and you would have gone away as a consumer due to your principles. We certainly do not want to lie to you, nor deceive you, but we have shown you the pure truth, of which no mortal upon earth could have even dreamt, and even less such a staunch Bible and Christ fanatic like you. What do you still want to think about? Come to your senses and follow me, your eternally loving wife. If you didn’t listen to me on earth, then at least listen to me here in the kingdom of the naked truth, where I am six years worth of experience ahead of you. Look, everything on earth is ridden with deceit because everybody benefits from it, or at least thinks to gain something, but here, all winning came to an end; all lies and deceit fall away automatically. Believe me, nothing but my love binds me to you; this is the only gain I have from you. But if you still want to cling to your old and insignificant principles in folly, this will nullify my one benefit I had from you. We can therefore only be happy if our insights and feelings would mutually completely concur. If we cannot create this harmony, I must honestly acknowledge that I would be happier without you than with you at your empty side. I am not able to say anything more to your advantage, only the following: Because I truly love you and always have loved you, I have done everything possible to prove my eternal, solemnly promised love and faithfulness to you, but you have never loved me, you are willing to leave me forever for the sake of your love for your folly. Now choose what you are going to do.
4. Look, the man begins to scratch behind his ears and after a while says to his wife: My dear wife, I have gathered from your words that you really love me. This I can impossibly deny, but I cannot understand, if, in this dark spiritual world, nothing is to be gained or lost by either truth or lies, why would you then try to senselessly force a certain truth upon me, with which just as little can be gained than with my so-called alleged false teaching, according to you and your learned man! Therefore, I believe, if your love for me would really be as intense as you just indicated to me, you could just as well follow me as I could follow you, except if you have already found something better in the path of your truth. In that case, I would indeed want to follow you to convince myself of the reality of your truth. If this is not the case, then it is of no consequence where to we go.
5. I keep thinking: We did live upon earth as so-called Christians, have read the gospel, but never really lived according to it. We lived and acted according to our own insights and to our own benefit, but of an active practice of the teaching of Christ nothing was present, neither with me and even less with you.
6. Look, the teaching says: “Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself”. Have we ever done that? If I ask my heart, then it answers spiritually true that the love of God has stayed utterly foreign to it. You, however, never believed in a God, and therefore your heart would be even more devoid of love than mine.
7. Furthermore it says in the word of the gospel: “Whoever wants to enter the life with Me, take up your cross and follow Me!” Tell me, dear wife, when have we ever done something like this upon earth? I never carried a cross and you even less so; our entire cross consisted of nothing but purely worldly financial worries.
8. And again furthermore is written in the gospel, that the Master said to the rich youth: “Sell all your earthly goods, distribute them among the poor and follow Me, then you will inherit the eternal life.” But what did the great Teacher say to the youth, or rather to his apostles after he distanced himself from the Master in tears, owing to the Master’s statement? Look, these words were full of meaning, and as it appears to me, we are now living the exact sad meaning of these words, which goes as follows: “It would be easier for a camel to squeeze through a pinhole than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”
9. It also says in the scripture that the Master has invited many guests to a festive banquet and that the invited could not find the time to attend, due to their worldly affairs. Tell me, were we not invited as well once upon a time, and did we give heed to this invitation? Well, my dear wife, we have only ourselves to blame for the circumstances we are finding ourselves in, in this place of utter darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and of which the Master once said that precisely people like us would end up here.
10. Because there is no faith in the Master to be found here, and your honorable company has spoken with just as much denial about Him as you have, I believe they find themselves here for the very same reason we do. If the great love and mercy of Christ will not help us, I am convinced that all eternities, filled with melancholic truths, will not be able to help us terribly much either.
11. For that matter, if you have found something better according to your alleged truth, then I would like to follow you there, as I said before, to show you that I also love you and will not force any of my principles upon you like you have forced your so-called truths upon me.
12. The wife says: You can talk as much as you like, in the end I am the one who’s right. I cannot assure you that I have already found something better, but I am nevertheless of the opinion that, if you would follow me, we would indeed, in not much time, find a place where there will be abundant light. For look, here to our right I have once walked straight along for quite some time, according to the feeling of my inner truth, and I eventually reached a broad river. On the other side of the river I noticed a mighty mountain range, and behind the mountains arose a light, like that of an early morning. If it is possible to cross the river I’m convinced one would find a lighter environment than this one.
13. The husband says: Well, I will follow you; lead me to it. – And we will now follow them, for you need to see the unraveling of it all!
Chapter 38 – In the first level of hell
1. You say: Dear friend! We follow the couple as they go forth before us for quite a while already, still just as blind and silent as the night itself, and look, there is still nothing to be seen of the morning red behind the mountains of which the wife spoke. Where is it then? Would the wife really have lied to her husband? I tell you: Have a bit more patience, then you will see the praise-worthy morning red soon enough. Take notice of our pair, how the wife is becoming ever more joyful, but the husband, in contrast, becomes more sorrowful and somber.
2. You ask: Why? The answer is obvious: She is getting closer to the element towards which her love is focused; therefore, she becomes happier, but it is the opposite case for him. He is getting closer to an element not related to him, he is not drawn by his love, but is dragged along by the love for his wife.
3. It goes with him almost like the lover in the old tale about the love for the beautiful Siren. As long as the lover would observe the enchanting Siren, he was elated. To be embraced by such a beloved seemed to him like the pinnacle of all happiness. When he did approach his beloved and when she embraced him with her soft arms, dragging him down into her element, the initial fantastic enchantment vanished and a great fright and fear of death enveloped him.
4. Look, this is exactly the case here. The husband notices that it is gradually getting darker. Such an increasingly impenetrable night is not his element, but the wife feels more and more satisfied the darker it becomes because the utter darkness is the element of her love and therefore also of her life. But now you can also hear a muffled noise, almost like that of a great, distant waterfall.
5. You ask what it means? I tell you: Nothing other than that we have come rather close to the bordering river, which we already came to know through our visit to the northern region. Let us go there courageously, then we will reach the riverside quickly. You ask again about the previously mentioned morning red behind the mountains, which is still not in sight. Have a bit more patience. When we will have reached the riverbank, which is already quite close as you can gather from that growing noise, you will probably be able to see the morning red in the distance behind the mountains. Pay attention and watch the ground, for, in just a few steps, we will reach the riverbank.
6. Stop now; we have reached our goal and look, there beside the river, there far away in the background, you can see a very strong, red glow, looking like a distant, great fire. Now, pay attention again to our couple’s conversation. She says: Well, my dear husband, what do you say, was I right or not? Look at that beautiful morning red and here at the broad river. What shall we do now to get to the bright region? Look, we cannot cross the river, but we can indeed walk along the riverbank. It becomes increasingly lighter as you can see with your own eyes, and in time we shall certainly reach that bright region.
7. The husband says: My dear, most appreciated wife! It seems as if something is amiss with this light. Regarding the dawn, this red glow does not seem to have anything in common with it. To my eyes, it does not look like a glow coming from the sun, but much more like that of a burning city behind the mountains. I do doubt that there is, in fact, a burning city here, but that something is indeed burning, is certainly beyond suspicion. I, therefore, want to go with you until we get a proper view of the fire, but no further, for one cannot know whence it originates, and it is therefore always sensible to stay far away, for one should preferably stay out of an environment he does not know and which is not related to his nature.
8. She says: What kind of utter nonsense you now sputter! Only now does one see how dumb you really are; but where does this come from? I tell you, only because, upon earth, you didn’t much care about what relates to the effects of the primordial powers of nature, making you now incapable of explaining these phenomena. Secondly, you have been here only for a very short while, and you have had way too little opportunity to observe such phenomena and let yourself be educated about them by the sages of this region. But look, there are two men walking along the riverbank, approaching us. Let us go to meet them; I am convinced that you could profit much by engaging in a conversation with them. The husband says: Yes, dear wife, I’ve always been a great friend to men in possession of much knowledge. Why would I not be?
9. But now I tell you: Pay good attention. The husband greets the bigger and the more imposing of the two very courteously. The man stiffly bows and asks the husband: What has shown you vermin of the night the way from the darkness to the domain of the light?
10. The husband says: Most respectable friend, I have only arrived here in the deep night a few days ago, but my wife has been here already for about six years. She knew nothing of this light domain; I also knew nothing, but I only feel a great yearning towards light, so much so that nothing else remains for me than to let me be led here, as a most inexperienced person, by my more experienced wife. Therefore you would not regard it as a transgression, my most respectable friend? If anyone did wrong, then it could obviously only have been my wife.
11. The stranger says: And you dare to acknowledge this here, as a man? Truly, you do not seem to be something significant, for men who need the guidance of their wifes are on the same level as apes to us. Then the stranger turns to the woman and says to her: Has this really been your work, my most amiable and lovely lady? She says: Oh, respectable friend, I indeed must acknowledge to my shame that he, my otherwise truly loving husband, would probably prefer to eat the moss and dry grass in the thickest darkness out of a purely idiotic and insignificant love for the to you well-known Jewish philosopher, than to walk the way of the light as it was suggested not only by me but also by the exceptionally wise, to you well-known scholar, who calls himself Melanchthon.
12. The stranger says: O very estimable and loveable lady, I truly have sincere compassion for you, but on the other hand, I also admire your strength, the inherent power with which you are so untiringly busy to bring such an awkward man onto the right path. Most loving and worthy lady, do not blame me if I would, in this increasingly brighter time, jump out of my skin out of anger for that old Christian-Judean philosophy. Yes, it seems even more dumb and stupid to me than when one would resolve to stay true to a terribly old-fashioned dress, while the whole world around him has long ago seen the benefits of the new clothing and has accepted it unconditionally.
13. Now the stranger turns to the husband, and says to him: Is this indeed true, what your truly wise wife has said about you?
14. Look, the husband is a bit puzzled and does not immediately know what to answer this man who seems incredibly erudite to him. He does not want to let go of Christ and it seems not advisable to say something about Him in the presence of this man who seems to be so mighty and learned.
15. But the learned stranger again turns to him and says: Yes, my dear friend, if this is the case with you, then you are a tax free man. Do you understand me? The husband says: No, I do not know what you mean. The stranger says: It does not surprise me anymore. Regarding the ‘tax free’, it was already the custom with the old, wise Romans and Greeks that one should not charge the crazy and the foolish. Even in this time, one gives to men like you the honorable diploma of foolishness without cost, by which you could easily be taken into a well-provided madhouse. This should not be unknown to you, for, as far as I know, you were experienced in management and state affairs. Do you understand what I mean?
16. The husband says: Alas, I must understand it, but I am also at liberty to pose a question to you. Who gives you, with all your erudition, the right to treat me so crassly, while I, in fact, approached you with particular courtesy, almost like, on earth, an utterly haughty pedant would do to a dumb and miserable student? The stranger says: Listen, dear friend, the fact that I have treated you only somewhat gruffly was a special courtesy from my side, which you received thanks to your sound wife. Otherwise I would have treated such a dumb Christian simpleton as yourself differently, and such a treatment would have probably eternally bereaved you of your longing for a brighter region. But when you are open to reason, take your wife’s side and give me the assurance that you repent for your old and worldly stupidity, which caused you to come into this darkness. Only then will I bring you – and take note, only because of your wife – close to that bright place, to an educational institution where you will, if you are not of a slow mind, come to a better understanding.
17. The husband says utterly dumbfounded and humble: Dear, esteemed friend, if this is so, then I ask you to take me there. On earth I have always belonged to the best students and I will certainly not be the worst in your school.
18. The stranger says: Good, I will accept you, but be aware that you must leave the school immediately in case of bad results, and you will be sent back to your original night. But should you be an outstanding student, then your deserved acknowledgment would not be withheld from you. But regarding your old Christian-Judean philosophy, I do recommend not to speak much of it in this exalted school, for this will result in you being chased out right away. Such is an adverse sign, for fanatics are not suitable for the study of serious and higher sciences; only sober and dispassionate thinking can be applied there.
19. The wife now sinks to her knees before the erudite man and thanks him anew ,with the most flattering words, for such an exceptional favor. The erudite man answers her: Yes, yes, my esteemed, beloved lady, you are the only one in a thousand, yes, a million inhabitants of this nightly region whom he owes this to. Therefore, follow me!
20. Look, the wife grabs her husband’s arm, follows the erudite man and says to him while walking: Well, what do you say now? I hope you will now realize that things work much differently here than you would have ever dreamt of on earth. The husband says: Dear wife, this is indeed obvious and clear, but if these relations are actually good and useful, only the future will tell. Between ourselves, this whole situation still seems rather suspicious to me; but only time will tell what will become of this.
21. In a text of the honorable apostle Paul it says: Examine all and keep the good things. This I will do here as well, but deep in my heart I do think that there is not much good or no good at all to be expected from this strange trial. This increasingly intense light, which seems to me as if one is approaching a burning city, is not really suited to illuminate the good. But as said, it is all subject to examination. Look there, further down along the river, how in the distant background it almost seems to glow, and how the waves almost dissipate into an incadescent haze. It seems as if we are approaching a sea of fire that consumes this river.
22. The wife says: Yes, my dear husband, here it is all about getting to know the powers at hand in their foundation, and it certainly looks much more magnificent than with a pathetic student who studies a Roman author in the dim sheen of a night lamp upon earth.
23. Look, a boat is moored here at the riverbank. The leader says: If you want to follow me to your greatest fortune, step into the boat with which we shall sail downstream to the exalted realm of the light.
24. The wife steps into the boat very quickly, but the husband hesitantly scratches himself behind the ears and does not know what he should do. But to not stay behind, and again for the sake of decency, he steps into the boat. The boat gets untied, and we see how it shoots downstream like an arrow from a bow. But now we will go quickly as well, for we are as fast as the vehicle and can be even faster if need be.
25. We have reached the boat. Look how the water down there is glowing with increasing intensity until where the river flows into a broad cleft in the mountain. Let us therefore advance beyond the mountain and wait for our boat at the outflow of the river. Do not be afraid, for we are untouchable here as well; all the horrors you will see there cannot harm us.
26. Look, we are there already. You are quite frightened here because you see the river as a broad, glowing waterfall, thundering down into a deep, endless sea of flames, and you ask what it means.
27. I tell you: This is the aforementioned ‘exalted school’ where our poor husband will get to know the fundamental workings of the primordial powers, but actually, this is the first level of hell!
28. Now look down at the river; our boat is arriving. The husband gets up, throws his hands upwards and tries to jump off the boat, but the wife throws her arms around him and holds on tight, and look, the boat, together with the four of them, plunges over the edge, right down into the exalted school!
29. You ask: do we need to go down there as well? I indeed told you beforehand that you need to see everything until the end, otherwise you would only know half of what such a bond of twofold love in a heart signifies. Do not be afraid of these flames, for they are nothing but an apparition of the hellish. Once we are there it will look much different. Follow me then, without fear.
Chapter 39 – Where are heaven and hell?
1. You say: It really goes down steeply and the road passes over so many cliffs and steep slopes! Yes, yes, my friends, it only seems like this to you; but to those whose being corresponds to this place, it seems like a broad and easily passable path. Let us proceed with courage; it won’t be long before we will reach the sea of flames.
2. Look down there, how the flames begin to vanish gradually, and you can see many spots filled with embers, but with no flames above them. But you ask: Do we have to cross over those embers? I tell you: Do not worry about it, for all of this is just an apparition conveying the state of mind of those living down there. The ‘flame’ signifies the activity of evil, the ‘fume’ rising from the flames connotes the fundamentally wrong, and the ’embers’ denote the utter self-love and the resulting arrant zeal, as well as the depraved will of those living in such a self-love. But how it will all work out here, you will see soon with your own eyes.
3. Now look down once more; what do you see now? You say: The flames have all but vanished and the embers have gathered in heaps; but between the heaps we can see the densest night. You ask again… Where is the river that we saw ever so brightly thundering down? This river was also nothing but an apparition and denotes the inclination of the false and how it leads into evil. So this abyss also connotes the depth of evil and how it concocts cunning and well-considered plans to execute its evil scheme.
4. Now that you know this we shall approach it courageously, to reach our goal as soon as possible and get to our company as well. Only a few steps remain, und look, we are already there, and therefore in the utter depths. You see nothing here, for the darkness is so immense that you would never be able to behold anything with the light of your eyes. For this reason it will be necessary here to create as much light as possible, enough for us to see something, but none of those around us must become aware of our light, you must cling tightly to me and not approach the sphere of any spirit, unless I specifically allow you to do so.
5. And now look, we already have enough light to actually take a look at this place. What do you notice? – You say in a febrile state: For the sake of the almighty and all merciful God, what a ghastly place this is! We see nothing but black sand and black debris that makes up the floor of this place; and from between the sand and debris it occasionally steams forth, in a way we have often witnessed on earth when the coal was burning. You ask further: Where are the creatures? This region looks utterly barren. Yes, my dear friends, even this is nothing but an apparition and indicates “death”! – But do not trouble yourselves with the emptiness of this place; for you will soon see more than enough of it.
6. Look, there is something to behold not far from us, something like a large pyre as you’ve known them upon earth. We will approach it and you can soon convince yourselves of what it is made of. Now look, we are close enough; observe it more closely. What do you see? You say again: But for the sake of the almighty and just God! What is this? These are a bunch of people stacked on top of each other, and on top of that they are chained to the floor with incredibly strong shackles, so much so that no one would be able to move even an inch. If that is indeed the case here, then it doesn’t look all too good for the expected, eternally persistent freedom of the spirit.
7. Yes, yes, my dear friends, right now it does indeed look like that, when we observe it with our heavenly light. But for that reason it is also just an “apparition” that corresponds to the truth of the situation. Basically this apparition denotes how a company is held captive by its own fundamentally wrong basis and the resulting evil. But let us move along and leave this pyre! Look up, ahead is an even bigger heap. – You say: Dear friend, this is the same thing as before; the only difference is, that the heap is now in a cone shape, and a lot of chains have been thrown onto it, with which these creatures seem to have been pressed together, so much so that their bodies have been flattened. But we cannot make out any faces, and how they look like, because all these beings are oriented towards the ground. You ask: Dear friend, does our group from earlier now also reside within this heap? No, my dear friends; we will get to them too. – And now that we have seen everything here we will again move forward.
8. Look, far away from us we can see a literal mountain; now that we are once more close enough you may observe it a bit. What do you see? – You say again: For the sake of the almighty and just God, what is that?! Once again there are a lot of human creatures stacked on top of each other, below chains and bars; and between them are a multitude of snakes staring out in every direction with their hideous eyes, hissing an awful lot. What does this mean? – It symbolizes a company that has more and more converted from its false into evil. – But let us move along from here. Look, not far from us is an entire mountain range that would be difficult to behold in its entirety with just one glance, but that will not be necessary; for one spot more or less speaks for all of it. Here is a foothill of this mountain range; look at it more closely and tell me what you see: We see nothing but gagged monstrosities of all kinds; only here and there does a crushed ribcage of a human corpse poke out. What does all of this mean? – Such a thing denotes the purest self-love and is the apparition of worldly might, greatness and wealth, when such attributes are used for selfish and evil purposes upon earth.
9. But you ask again: But dear friend, knowing full well that we currently reside within your sphere and basically upon the spiritual sun, where we imagined to be nothing but heavenly things; how come now that we encounter all of hell itself as well? – Yes, my dear friends, weren’t you told by the Lord himself after crossing over into the spiritual sun, that the spiritual is a most internal, an all permeating and an all encompassing thing? So if that is the nature of the spiritual, as such it penetrates all the planets and the entire sphere, as far as the light of the natural sun itself reaches; and purely spiritually speaking eternally farther. Therefore you currently don’t reside in the sphere of the spiritual sun, but actually in the peculiar sphere of your own planet, and however all the planets receive the light and warmth of the actual sun and how its effect penetrates them, it is the same case for the spiritual sun, since we see through the spiritual of its planets from atop the wings of its spiritual rays. Now that we know this it will hopefully be clear to you that one can vividly see the spiritual being of hell, regarding your planet, upon this spiritual path.
10. You must not picture heaven and hell being spatially distant from one another, only distant in condition. Spatially speaking heaven and hell can be found right next to each other, for a heavenly good person can walk right next to a hellishly bad one and even sit next to him on the same bench. One has a perfect heaven within himself, and the other a perfect hell. To prove this I could immediately let you see this here in my own sphere, how heaven can be located within, just as well as hell could; for you see all of this only within my sphere anyway, and you only have to take a single step out of my sphere to find yourselves at the exact same spot, where you originally entered my sphere. Since you now know this we can move on from this mountain again and observe everything from another light.
11. Now pay attention, the light has changed. How do you perceive this mountain now? You are astonished that instead of seeing the mountain you see freely moving groups, as well as various dwellings, some of them similar to filthy pubs or old and black knightly castles; and look, everything is engulfed in a reddish twilight.
12. But look, not far from us stands an old knightly castle, seemingly built against the rocky mountain: and there we will go. Look, we are already there; the gate is open. We are invisible here, and thus we will enter this castle, then we shall see what is going on within. Now, here is already the first hall. On the walls hang all kinds of murder and torture instruments, and over there in the background, on a throne, sits the so-called lord of the castle, and he confers with his henchmen, to decide on their strategy for robbing the goods and treasures of the owner from the similar, neighboring castle. Listen how he instructs them to raid the targeted castle in complete silence, to kill everyone living there mercilessly and take hold of the treasures. Those who should stubbornly resist would be taken captive, and as was often the case before already, they would be subjected to the most painful of tortures. Well, the decision has been made and the meeting concluded. Everyone grabs their weapons and runs outside, and because we have nothing more to do here, we shall run after them.
13. Look, there not far from here is the previously discussed castle. It is being surrounded, and now look, the terrible slaughter begins. These evil beings are fighting fervently against each other, resulting in the inhabitants of the second castle being cut to pieces. Keep on watching; the henchmen of the previous lord are bringing forth our established quartet, having been gagged. Let us join them and listen to the dialogue. Hear this, the husband says to the wife: Oh you miserable snake, now I see through you! My bitter suspicion has always whispered to me what a wretched spiritual child you are! This is the exalted school and your pathetic light which you have cunningly feigned to me and lied to me about as some kind of highly experienced spiritual being. This villainous professor of this exalted school is now chained and gagged together with us in this abhorring captivity, from which we can be sure to expect the most horrible fate.
14. The wife says: How can you think of me like that? Who can do anything about unforeseen bad luck? I only meant well for you. The husband says: Be silent, you miserable snake! I have to thank only you for the fact that I am obviously finding myself in hell. Every bond between me and you shall now be severed forever. And You, My Jesus, whom I have always called upon, help me out of this terrible captivity. I would rather want to, if it is your most holy will, wander around in that dark place for thousands of years to make penance for my sins than to stay in this place of horrors for one more moment, this place, which seems to be eternally cut off from Your compassion and mercy! Oh Jesus, help me! Oh Jesus, save me!
15. Now look, two disguised individuals are quickly approaching this caravan, and look, they are there already. They remove their disguise, and as you can see, they are two judging angels of the Lord. Each of them has a flaming sword in his hand. One of them swings his sword over the conquered castle, through which the torn apart and cut up beings have been put together again, and they begin to moan about the injustice they were subjected to. The other angel swings his sword over the first notorious castle, and as you can see, it bursts into flames. Burning and howling figures throw themselves out of the openings, windows and doors and curse these two angels of revenge.
16. Keep on looking: an angel strikes at the middle of our quartet with his flaming sword. The chains are broken. The husband sinks down before the two angels and pleads them for his merciful salvation. One of the angels grabs him and takes him with him, but the wife also takes hold of her husband and screams at him for compassion and mercy and begs not to leave her behind. Look for how long she lets herself be dragged along by the angelic spirit! And now look, both angels lift off; one carrying the husband, and all the while the wife lets herself be carried along and does not let go of her husband. Only now, already at a great height, does the other angel strike a glancing blow with his sword at the wife, loosening her from her husband with much effort. She plunges back down into her element, weeping; and the husband is brought to the border of the children’s kingdom, where the environment still looks rather meager and dark.
17. Now you have witnessed one of the best kinds of solutions to such a situation, but there are indeed countless more horrible and stubborn cases, of which you would barely be able to bear the sight, even if only expressed through words. We shall therefore now go back to our previous location and from there pass over into the region of the midday. – And with this, enough for today!