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|The free Will of Man and the Self-Determination of the Soul|
Archangel Raphael teaches about the free Will of Man and the
THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN – Volume 5, Chapters 97 & 98
Revealed by Jesus Christ thru the inner Word to Jakob Lorber
Chapter 97 – The free will of man and the assistance of divine grace
1. Says Raphael: “I tell you this: Every man that turns to evil and defects from the divine order does so of his own volition! In most cases a twisted upbringing is to blame, which encouraged him to indulge in a myriad of evil passions, eventually leading to all sorts of genuine sins. However, by doing so he throws the doors wide open for all foreign and malicious influences to enter, and thereby he can be, and will remain, spoilt, down to the very foundation of the life of his soul, but only if this is what he wishes.
2. If he is willing to reform, the Lord does not prevent him from doing so; for someone in distress needs merely wish it within himself, and soon will help arrive. Though should he be quite comfortable and content in his wickedness and never express a desire for betterment, be it within or without, then his will shall certainly not receive additional assistance.
3. Of course we do whisper to the sensorium of his heart, that which is called the ‘conscience,’ and from time to time we do quite severely reprimand him. Should he reform in response, even if just a little, then there can be no talk of becoming lost or spoilt. The clandestine assistance will keep descending from above, bestowing upon the soul both the insight and strength required to increasingly disengage from the entanglement of the world. It is then merely a matter of goodwill, and swift progress will be made, at least to a point where man, now prepared for a more elevated revelation, is embraced by the Spirit of God Himself and guided within the true light of life.
4. Yet if man, in his gross delusion and intoxicated by the sensualities of the world, does not in the least heed our gentle and quiet admonitions manifesting in his heart, and instead acts as if he were lord over the whole world, well, surely no one else can be blamed for the incorrigible state of his soul than his very soul itself.
5. Believe me and remember well what I will tell you now! Throughout both the material and spiritual world, there exist no so-called primordial devils, instead only those who, in times past, had already lived in this world as incorrigibly wicked and burdensome people. Even back then they were true devils incarnate, who not only enticed other people to burdens and abominations of all kinds, but even compelled them to partake with all the means of coercion at their disposal. With this, however, they prepared an even greater damnation within themselves, wherefrom they will have great difficulty to ever truly escape. Think now as you may, can and will, though it is impossible for you to lay any blame on the Lord.
6. However, you can well imagine that the Lord, in accordance with the established order, will spare no expense to heal a spoilt soul in the beyond either. For the Lord has not created any soul for perdition, but for the highest possible perfection of life. Yet bear in mind too that not a single soul throughout the endless space of creation can attain perfection of life through some sudden, implicit act of mercy, but only through its very own will! The Lord may hand man many an aid, but then it is up to man himself to recognize them as such, seize them of his own volition and make use of them on his own authority!
7. Yes, when a man freely exclaims and says within his heart: ‘Lord, I am too weak to avail myself of the means You have given me; help me, lend me Your hand!’, ah, then has man himself willingly declared his yearning for the help from above, recognizing and perceiving the inadequacy of his own strength. That is when the Lord can act, with all the might and strength required, and promptly assist a weak soul.
8. However, for this to happen must man’s will, as well as his recognition and trust be accompanied through and through by unwavering determination. Otherwise the natural order would prevail, according to which each and every soul must help itself with the means provided, for any foreign interference in the intrinsic element of free will would necessarily culminate in the dissolution of the soul’s very being. If the soul must develop independently, according to the eternally essential order of the Lord, then it must develop and perfect itself with the means provided, just as every man on this Earth must search, recognize and enjoy sustenance by himself, if he wishes to sustain his earthly life.
9. No God or angel will descend upon this Earth, proclaiming to all: “Behold, eat this and that, should you grow hungry!” Instead, hunger itself arrives, man tastes the fruits growing all around, and those that tickle his palate he will take with him, sating his hunger with them. Should he be thirsty, he will hurry to a fresh spring, and should he be cold, he will sew a cover from a myriad of fine materials that do not irritate and scratch his skin, and thus he protects his body from the chill of the air. And should he wish to be protected from rain and wild animals, he will soon complete a hut, for he has been given many means to accomplish this task. Wherever he turns, he will discover innate gifts, which he readily recognizes as such, and which he will be able to avail himself of with the strengths he has been granted.”
Chapter 98 – The self-determination of the soul
1. Raphael continues: “If the Lord allows man to care for his own physical needs, so the soul may practice self-recognition and independency, then how much more is this necessary for the soul itself.
2. Even the souls of animals possess an innate instinct, according to which they act and behave, each in its own way. It would be incorrect to assume that these creatures, seemingly devoid of speech and reason, perform their actions as if they were machines operated by an external force. If this were the case, not even the finest domesticated animal could be trained to perform the simplest task, and would certainly not obey the call of man.
3. However, since every animal possesses its own soul, with its own self-contained life force, wherewith the animal soul stirs its physical organism into motion as it sees fit, an animal can be trained in many different ways. A being solely animated by outside forces possesses neither mind nor discernment. It lives on autopilot, and its aspirations are so limited and directed that any ennoblement through instruction is out of the question. This too would have to be done from without.
4. For a thousand years you could tell a tree to stand in any particular way or produce nobler fruit, but it will be in vain. You must stir knife and saw into motion, cut off wild branches, carefully split the stems, insert fresh and nobler branches, and then connect them with the wild split stems. This mechanically grafted tree will then, in time, produce nobler fruit.
5. An animal, however, you may train by way of words or certain motions, and it will serve you as and when required and thoroughly comply with your will. This provides unmistakable proof that animals possess a kind of free will of their own, without which they could obey and serve you no more than a stone or tree could.
6. If even animals evidently possess a self-contained soul endowed with a certain degree of cognition and freedom of will, acting independently according to its nature, then to what an even higher degree, and how much more exclusively, must this be the case with a human soul! There can be no mention of any external, foreign influences, neither good or, even less so, bad.
7. Besides, the soul is endowed with everything it could possibly need for its initial progress in life. Once it has elevated itself into a mightier light of life within itself, through its own willpower and voluntary love for God, it will soon become aware of what it still lacks, and it will freely endeavor, with all the power it can muster, to attain just that, enriching itself with the treasures of the more elevated, spiritual and perfected life.
8. Whatever the soul acquires upon this path, a righteous path according to God’s order, is and will remain in its possession, and neither time nor eternity can wrest it from the soul. However, all that which the soul has not acquired of its volition and cognition, such as its external, physical body, and with it some earthly advantages, cannot remain in its possession and will be taken away, just as it was given.
9. Now, if this is how things are, as man’s daily experiences evidently illustrate, then there can be no question of evil, demonic influences affecting and directing the soul; for everything depends on the volition, cognition and, finally, the love of the soul. As you desire, recognize and love, thus shall it be yours, and never conceivably otherwise.
10. If you desire, recognize and love what is right, according to God’s order, then you will always discover the reality of things. However, should you desire, recognize and love contrary to this order, which alone offers reality and substance, then you are akin to a man who wishes to harvest upon a field where no grain has ever been sown; and, in the end, you have only yourself to blame if your life’s harvest has yielded naught at all. Tell me now if you are in order!”