The Guardians of the Threshold
1. The terrestrial human being is a “wounded refugee between two kingdoms”
In the lectures here at the holiday centre I generally stick to subjects that are directly relevant to everyday life, thereby avoiding as much as possible more difficult, higher analyses. For that reason I would like to talk this evening about a subject that has a particular message for us all. The subject is, “the guardians of the threshold”.
Until now I have not said very much about this subject, having announced that I would go into it in depth in “Livets Bog”, which I will indeed do.
So what kind of a “threshold” are we dealing with, and what kind of “guardians” are they? –
In my work I have taught you that the terrestrial human being is at a stage in evolution where he finds himself like a “wounded refugee between two kingdoms”. Each and every one of you is a being that has evolved from primitive animal stages up to your present stage as terrestrial human beings. This stage in particular is the scene of the culmination of all suffering and pain and this in turn is due to the fact that you have evolved to the point where you are able to take part in creating your everyday life. You have gained the ability to walk. You can sit down and stand up. You can speak, etc., exactly when it suits you, according to your own wishes and will. The principle factor in this releasing of will is the desire for pleasantness. But not everything that appears or is felt as pleasant is the right thing and therefore the healthiest and most in contact with the world plan. Certain poisons can for example actually taste sweet and good, but nevertheless be absolutely deadly. Many manifestations can look right, can look highly moral and just and be tinged with love, but nevertheless also lead absolutely to suffering, sorrow and misery and both mental and physical ruin and mutilation.
2. The basis for human beings’ releasing of will is still not perfect
As long as pleasantness or what is presumed pleasant is exclusively the releasing factor in the determination of will, human beings will go on and on releasing suffering or the sort of unhappy fate that is these days more or less linked to all terrestrial human beings.
The basis for human beings’ releasing of will is therefore not perfect. The ability to sense things as pleasant or to presume that they are moral and correct is not enough to provide the sort of basis for the releasing of will that can form a solid guarantee for directly creating the absolutely happiest of fates. More is needed. There has to be the ability to analyse the various forms of pleasure that can appear as a result of the satisfaction of the desires that set the will into action. But as this ability is exclusively based on “knowledge”, this “knowledge” has to be introduced behind the human manifestation of will before it can be a one hundred percent logical manifestation, thereby guaranteeing to a corresponding degree the creation of the very highest happiness for its originator.
But as human beings do not have this knowledge and are therefore guided by what is pleasant, they still act partly in the dark, in fact one could say they move amongst a mass of pitfalls, because, as already mentioned, many of the things that directly appear as pleasant in fact create unhappiness. It is therefore a very difficult world to live in. Many people have a hard time, and are in the midst of great suffering and struggles that can in turn sometimes bring new struggles and suffering in their wake. The Earth is just the very sort of globe where these forms of experience can reach a definite culmination.
3. Wrong dispositions and wrong releasing of will make a really rational knowledge a necessity
But the results of the wrong dispositions, the wrong releasing of will and the many terrible sufferings and anxieties create more and more experience of the need for a really rational knowledge, thereby developing the receptivity to “the holy spirit”.
“The holy spirit” is nothing less than the very highest knowledge of the universe, of life and its laws. The many sufferings develop peoples’ emotions, that is to say they give them an ability to regret to a greater and greater extent this or that action, this or that manifestation aimed at their neighbour. They realise more and more that what is pleasant is not a totally solid guide or yardstick for the releasing of will. This becomes more and more a question of what one “has the heart to do”. Sympathies and antipathies therefore arise behind the manifestation of will. But as these emotional factors can to a high degree be misleading, due to the fact that not all forms of sympathy are love and not all forms of antipathy are not love, the individual at a certain stage in evolution can be completely at a loss regarding the best thing “to want”. From deep down in the individual’s soul blazes forth the question, “What shall I do to be saved?”.
4. “The holy spirit”, in the form of a cosmic wave of energy from the centre of our milky way system, is shining directly in over the Scandinavian countries
The severe sufferings have therefore brought the individual to the point of discovering and recognising his own ultimately inadequate ability to guide and lead his own being, his own inner characteristics and dispositions. And with this recognition, which in turn forms the basis of what we call “humility”, world redemption or the Christ principle steps in to help. This principle in turn is one that penetrates everything and is present everywhere in Nature. This is the principle that determines that every child born into the world has parents whose duty it is to take loving care of it until it can fend for itself. And it is the same principle that forms the basis for the creation of all forms of religion, for the creation of every kind of improvement, raising and expansion of morality and healthy thinking, and is manifested here through elder brothers in evolution who thereby appear as “prophets” and “wise men” and of whom the most evolved and influential are those we call “Christ beings” or “world redeemers”. And this also applies today. Christ’s promise, “the Comforter”, “the holy spirit” that “the Father will send in my name” etc. is already in the process of being fulfilled. Today “the holy spirit” is radiating with renewed power in over the world. This spirit is not a person but shining cosmic matter that is the only thing that can provide the material for the creation of those thoughts in the brain and consciousness that form the highest knowledge of God, the nature of the universe and the highest laws of life. Today this matter, in the form of a cosmic wave of energy from the centre of our milky way system, is shining directly in over the Scandinavian countries. And it is this that, for example, is a condition of my being able to manifest the highest cosmic knowledge. My consciousness has reached a stage where it has evolved sufficiently to enable it to receive, experience and manifest back “the holy spirit”. And those beings that today have evolved to the point of being interested in this highest enlightenment together make up the “generations to come” to whom Christ announced would be sent the aforementioned “Comforter” that these “generations to come” would be able to understand.
5. At the threshold to the kingdom of God
You can check for yourself whether it really is “the holy spirit” that is manifested or revealed through me. Christ himself indicated its distinctive characteristic and declared, “the tree is known by its fruits”. My “fruits” are my explanation and documentation of the identity of the “wise men’s” highest sayings as truth, as science. And nowhere in my manifestations will one find anything at all that does not in every way fit exactly into the great all-inclusive answer that culminates in love and that is the Godhead’s own view of life: “Everything is very good”. And thus my work cannot fail to lead you towards that bright mental state that I have called “the great birth”. It is in fact the case that many of you have begun to experience the closeness of the divine spirit through my work, my analyses and cosmic knowledge.
You all come therefore from a very dark zone and are longing for this great light, that you experience in the process of rising above the pitch-black, tragic horizon of the “animal kingdom”. And if you have certain areas in your mentality that are particularly well-developed or finished, you will already, as a result of these, have begun to experience the mental wellbeing and bright outlook on life that is the beginning of “the great birth”, and for this reason I have called this kind of experience “the forerunner stage” to this “birth”.
You are all therefore close to the entrance to a great and wonderful kingdom of light, the kingdom that Christ described as being “not of this world”. And all who study my work with love, which means with impartiality and humility, can hardly fail to have noticed its divine atmosphere. And here we are at the great “threshold”. This “threshold” is the entrance to “the kingdom of God”, which means the perfection of human beings as “the image of God after His likeness”, the complete transformation of the “animal” into the “human being”, the human being’s experience of being “at one with God”, the initiation of its consciousness or its envelopment in a permanent existence in “the holy spirit”.
6. The unfinished characteristics and dispositions in the mentality prevent access to the “kingdom of God” or “the great birth”
This “threshold” has its “guardians”. This term is somewhat drastic, but is really only symbolic. One must not think that at the gates to the “kingdom of God” there are guardians in military gear with swords and bayonets, or firearms and explosives. Neither should one think that these “guardians” are fantastic psychic beings with great magic powers, demons or demi-demons, mystical trolls that can kill with the glance of an eye or that use words to cast spells. No, the “kingdom of God” is firmly guarded by a completely different kind of “guardian”. But these guardians are no less dangerous than the former, especially because they appear to those they are preventing from passing over the “threshold” as the most radiant angelic figures, endowed with the most charming and perfect grace imaginable. But this splendour is really only how it seems on the surface. These “guardians” are nothing more or less than the beings’ own unfinished characteristics and dispositions.
When the beings in their evolution arrive in the vicinity of the “threshold” to the “kingdom of God” or “the great birth”, they have naturally overcome all the coarse forms in which they can break the law of love or neighbourly love, that is to say those forms that especially find expression in outright murder or other forms of deadly manifestations. These beings have of course to a large extent learnt to tolerate and forgive a great deal that they were previously completely unable to. And they have perhaps certain sympathetic dispositions that are already so perfect that they have been capable of allowing their originator to actually gain a direct connection with the light itself or the divine spirit. In this way they have come into great rapture or ecstasy and already believe that they are feeling the whole of “the great birth” , as a personal experience. But it is certain that these beings cannot go on being in the light. Those characteristics and natural dispositions in their mentality that are not finished will sooner or later become a fundamental barrier. These characteristics reveal themselves nearly always as unsatisfied desires, claims or demands that are in one way or another selfish. These unfinished characteristics are of course hidden or camouflaged so that their originator is really completely unable to see or understand their true essence, but believes he is benefiting or supporting the Cause or the light by allowing them to be manifested.
7. “The guardians of the threshold” consist of not being able to see “the beam in one’s own eye”
If, for example, a being in his enthusiasm or out of a feeling of joy has to a greater or lesser extent offered the light, or any person through which the light is manifested, financial support, physical work or other special expressions of sympathy, the unfinished characteristics, as opposed to the finished ones, will to a corresponding degree create claims or demands for favours or special attention directed to that person. The enthusiasm for the light can of course be so strong that it can keep these claims or demands at bay for some time. But gradually as the connection to the light through the few finished or well-developed characteristics becomes more of an everyday matter, these can no longer hold the desires from the unfinished characteristics in check. The result is that there gradually arises in the mentality of the being in question a correspondingly growing disagreement that eventually ends up being greater than the joy at the light. The unfinished characteristics, all of which are inevitably egoistic in nature, create a feeling that one is disregarded, ignored or unappreciated by the representatives of the light. One feels unjustly treated by those one has helped or supported. This feeling can even be so strong that one feels justified in opposing this “martyrdom”, seeking to combat it. And without in fact knowing it, one has become well established in a process of persecuting and combating the very light that one previously loved above everything else on Earth.
But this fight is in vain and strikes not the light but its “guardians”, which means the unfinished characteristics in oneself. There will therefore never ever arise a situation without it in fact being absolutely exclusively oneself that one is in combat with.
But that is certainly not how it feels. The ability to sense one’s own state of guilt is at this stage still very slight and weak. And in a period such as this, in which these unfinished characteristics have the upper hand, one therefore tends to see “the mote in one’s brother’s eye and not the beam in one’s own”.
8. The unfinished characteristics in Jesus’ disciples
“The guardians of the threshold” particularly consist of not being able to see this “beam in one’s own eye”. And to the extent that one is unable to see it but can only see all the faults, in fact even the slightest of faults, in one’s neighbour, one will without doubt have a feeling of being vastly superior in evolution to this neighbour, in fact sometimes have the feeling of being completely without faults. Naturally this can to a corresponding degree cause one to feel those unpleasant things that there may be in one’s existence as “martyrdom” and the originators of this “martyrdom” as one’s persecutors. These “persecutors” are not always fellow beings outside of the light. They can of course just as well be fellow beings within it. In fact one can even have the attitude that the greatest representative of the light, the “world redeemer” himself, is organising things wrongly. Do we not have the account of Judas? Do not believe, whatever you do, that he was some sort of “bandit”, as people have almost sought to make him out to be according to the accounts that have come down to us. Do not believe either that it was the thirty pieces of silver that made Judas betray Jesus. No, Jesus’ disciples were not a group of “bandits” or “money-grubbers”. They were a group of beings that had come so far in evolution that there were characteristics in them that gave them a receptivity and enthusiasm for the light and meant that they were in the light, and lived side by side with the world redeemer and became his personal friends. And do you not think that these beings were extremely happy about this friendship? But did the unfinished characteristics not turn up here too, making their presence felt and tearing the disciples away from the light for a while? Did we not witness the extraordinary fact that they actually did not believe Jesus’ own account of his approaching suffering and death? Do we not see in the same account the apostle Peter refusing to acknowledge that he knew and was closely associated with Jesus, through his repeated lying? – And did not the light fade away from him? – Is it not actually written that “he went out and wept bitterly”?
9. Judas was no “bandit”
Concerning Judas, one should not believe that he acted other than from intentions that he supposed to be the best and most noble. If this were not the case he would have been what we would call a “bandit”. But because it is not possible to imagine Jesus’ personally chosen companions and friends as “bandits”, it becomes clear that Judas must have had a motive for his ill-fated action that to him seemed noble. And this fact is further emphasised by his suicide. Do you not think this was precisely a result of remorse and despair over the reality that revealed itself to him as he had been the cause of Jesus’ capture? Do you not think it was sorrow over the ill-treatment his dispositions had brought on his dearly-beloved Master? What else could it be? But did he not understand beforehand that his action would inevitably bring this terrible ill-treatment on the world redeemer? Definitely not! That was something he truly had not understood. “The guardians of the threshold”, his own unfinished characteristics – which in this case means his strong desire to show the world, his sceptical family and his friends from the past, his Master’s greatness – had long ago caused him to believe that “the son of God” was omnipotent and thereby physically untouchable. They had also caused him to believe that anyone who would lay hands on him would find themselves paralysed and through his (Judas’) action the greatness and the divine origin of the world redeemer would be revealed and made plain to all people.
10. The cause of Judas’ suicide
But divine greatness is not revealed through brutal psychic or physical expressions or power. The world redeemer does not act by bringing death or disablement upon his opponents and sceptics with earthquakes, thunder and lightning, no more than with swords and spears or bows and arrows. Quite the opposite, he acts exclusively by “turning the right cheek when he is smitten on the left”.
But such a way of acting is far too slow for strong “believers” and interested beings of the kind whose unfinished characteristics still make them sensation-seeking, ambitious hotheads. But in order to unite the satisfaction of these wishes and desires with a well-developed conscience, they have to be justifiable. And Judas really found the justification in Jesus’ supposed physical invulnerability. In fact this justification was so strong in his consciousness that it completely drowned out the Master’s own permanent interpretation and acknowledgement of the fact that his kingdom “was not of this world”. And Judas, dazzled, went his “own way”. In the belief that he was going into “the kingdom of God”, he was going out of it. In the belief that he was the world redeemer’s helper and thereby the benefactor of mankind, he became the Master’s persecutor and mankind’s symbolic expression of betrayal down through the ages.
And this was the basic cause of his suicide. As the good and advanced human being that he otherwise was, his goodness and advanced state having given rise to his becoming a disciple of the world redeemer, he could not bear to see the real consequences of his course of action, their stark, actual reality, he could not endure seeing his beloved Master’s terrible torture and ill-treatment. And as he was unable to do anything to free his Master from the suffering, and could not even show him through his tears his repentance, owing to the powerful and brutal guard around him, he felt that the only thing he could do was to pay with his own life. (See also my book, Easter.)
11. A camouflaged justification for satisfying the egoistic or selfish desires
In this account we have the best picture of the mission that takes place under the concept of “the guardians of the threshold”. We have seen Judas enter the light and become a disciple of the world redeemer. And we have seen how his unfinished characteristics, desire for sensation and resultant impatience over what seemed to him the far-too-slow growth in the Jesus-movement, made him do something he thought could benefit it and speed it up. This conviction was in fact merely a camouflaged justification for the satisfying of the egoistic or selfish desires that he still had in his consciousness and that actually cut him off from being able to fully follow his Master, in fact they completely drowned out his Master’s words.
But do not believe that things are any different today. You are all – if you are truly interested in spiritual science and are interested in my work – close to the light, and you have to some extent begun to feel the wonderful wellbeing it can create in the soul, and have to a corresponding degree more or less become its disciple. But because you of course have not reached “the great birth”, there will be characteristics in you that are not finished. And these characteristics will therefore mean that each and every one of you to some extent sooner or later might appear as a “Judas”, and unconsciously betray the very light that has been the greatest joy in your life. So be watchful, all of you. Without knowing it you could come face to face with the world redeemer himself. And as he is absolutely infallible with respect to the highest factors and as the dispositions made by him that are based on these highest factors are the only absolutely correct ones, you will invariably fail in any situation in which you criticise and consider that he ought to act differently, ought to do whatever it is in the way that you think is right and that might be the exact opposite of the world redeemer’s opinion. And remember as well that your criticism when you are close to the world redeemer is twice as dangerous to you yourself because this closeness gives rise to an intensified mobilisation of everything in your consciousness that could serve to camouflage the basis of your criticism, giving it the most noble or angelic appearance, so that, in the most golden and radiant colours, it allows you to be convinced that you are right and in the same way shows you that you are being treated unjustly, that you are a martyr or are being persecuted if the world redeemer does not agree with you.
12. When one can be sure of not being a “Judas”
But a world redeemer does not make concessions to human beings’ bad, egoistic desires, no matter how much the being in question has supported the world redeemer, no matter how much the being thinks he has sacrificed himself for him or his cause or the light. All the steps of human consciousness are apparent to him and every human delusion can be seen for what it is with a routine ease. All he can do is therefore follow his own route independent of praise and criticism, independent of whether the outlook promises to bring support or opposition, independent of the prospect of thereby losing friends or making enemies. Only in this way and in this way alone can he permanently be “one with the way, the truth and the life”. Otherwise he would be one with deluded, blinded and unfinished beings whose power and influence he would be bowing down to.
In what I have said I have not been alluding to anything or anyone within this Cause, but have merely wanted to state for you the main occurrences that are characteristic of the evolutionary zone that you belong to and that you therefore to some extent might meet when you are close to the light or when you begin to be overshadowed by “the holy spirit”.
And if you were to ask me now how you can be sure that you are not being a “Judas”, I would have to answer: “when you have been so immersed in the divine light that you feel that no one can cause injustice and no one can suffer injustice, and that you yourself are the deepest cause of every unpleasantness directed towards you and that you can therefore never feel that you are as a martyr, never feel unjustly treated by this or that person, regardless of what that person might do to you, and that you can therefore never become angry with anyone or anything but live all the time in a permanent state of joy in the experiencing of the highest final conclusion of the world plan: Everything is very good. Only then will there be no need for you to fear that you are a Judas, as you will not criticise or attack anyone or anything. Only then could you at the very most in all friendship withdraw from whoever it is who is unable to be in harmony with you. Because then you yourself will have become ‘the way, the truth and the life'”.
Original Danish title: Tærskelens Vogtere.
From a lecture held at the Kosmos Holiday Centre on Thursday 15th July 1937.
First published in the Danish version of Kosmos no. 7, 1937.
Translated by Andrew Brown, 2002.
Article ID: M2390
Published in the English edition of Kosmos no. 4, 2002
© Martinus Institut 1981, www.martinus.dk
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