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Chapter 33 - Heaven and Hell.
33,1. Says hereupon Philopold: "Lord, I and certainly we all thank You from the bottom of our hearts for this fantastic and most superb clarification about the teaching of the old sages. Yes, now the matter it is evident and clear after sounding like total nonsense before. Sure enough I shall understand and perceive all this only fully when I shall be free of all elements of matter.
33,2. But for now it is enough to see how one can be according to the fullest truth totally outside the notions of time and space while at the same time being within time and space. There is only one more thing I would like to learn from You, namely, the whereabouts of both heaven and the loathsome hell, of which I have also heard and read much. It says: These will ascend to heaven, and those will be cast down into hell. Where and what is the 'above,' and where and what the extremely deplorable 'below'?"
33,3. Says the Lord: "Look, on this chair on which you are sitting, heaven and hell can be firmly side by side here on earth. Yet in the realm of spirit they are separated by an immense chasm. — And furthermore:
33,4. Here, where I am now with you, is the uppermost heaven, meaning 'above,' and here also the deepest and worst hell, meaning 'below'.
33,5. The material whereabouts do not matter, but only the spiritual which, as you have seen, have nothing at all in common with the material whereabouts, for in the realm of spirit only the inner state of life determines the true and genuine distance. There the material-spatial cannot ever be of any significance. To make this even more comprehensible for you, I will give you a few examples.
33,6. Imagine two people sitting here on one and the same chair. One is a pious sage whose bright spirit, full of light, is initiated into very many secrets about the effects of the divine forces in nature. The other is a hardened criminal who rests his limbs on the same chair or on the same bench and lets himself be served, like an honest man, with wine and bread to restore his strength, so that he can all the more easily perpetrate some evil deed once he is again outdoors. How closely together the two men are in a material-spatial sense and how infinitely far apart in spirit!
33,7. On the other hand, assuming that our sage were sitting with us here on this bench and at the same time, somewhere a thousand leagues from here, another, these two like sages would be very far apart materially-spatially, yet in the realm of spirit they would nevertheless be very close together, as is literally the case in My Kingdom.
33,8. From all this it again becomes quite clear that for every good man heaven will be exactly where he is at a given moment, and all the good and pure of his kind will immediately be very close to him. It is not a case of: 'Behold, here or there, perhaps beyond all the stars, is heaven and perhaps somewhere deep down below the earth is hell.' All this does not depend on this time and on this space and, being without any outer pomp like some idle temple ceremony, but within the innermost being of man himself.
33,9. Therefore, as man's innermost is constituted, so will be the world in the beyond which he has created for himself out of himself and in and on which he will then live in either a good or a bad way.
33,10. In My Kingdom, the world of all those who are in the truth and, therefore, in the true light out of My word through the living faith and through their actions according to it, will also be light and truth in a forever increasing measure. Yet the world of those who base their life on falsehood — and thereby on evil — will be more and more like their innermost. For, just as a very good man keeps getting better all the time, an evil man keeps getting worse and thereby, as far as his inner state is concerned, more distant from all that is good.
33,11. Look at those men whose pride fills them more and more with a burning lust for power. After they have miserably enslaved many millions of people through their tyranny, they gather still greater hordes of warriors, invade the realms of other kings and conquer them, taking their land, people and treasures. Once they have in this way conquered half a world and brought it great misery, they fancy in their pride to be equal with God, indeed even raise themselves above Him, let themselves be venerated and threaten anyone with the most dire punishment who would dare to worship another god only as a czar and bring sacrifices to him alone. We have a striking example of this in the Babylonian King Ne bouch kadne zcar (`There is no other God but I, the king!') and now in the high priests, Pharisees and scribes who also fancy being the only gods, persecute Me and will one day even be allowed to kill this My body, — but only for three days. For then I shall rise again out of My very own power, and only then will their judgment and their end come over them.
33,12. From this you can all see clearly that he who is evil keeps becoming more evil and he who is good — better, but with a difference, namely, that there is a limit set for the evil one when it is said: 'Only this far and not by a hair's breadth further!' For then a great judgment must invariably follow, through which the evil ones can be brought again to their senses and one or the other might perhaps mend his ways.
33,13. Just as it is in this world, so it is in hell, with the only difference that there — in the general realm of spirits — the good, humble, patient and those trusting in God are for all eternity segregated, so that without exception only the evil ones in hell play their false and evil yet completely futile game. Futile because their light is falsehood, deceit and a totally futile illusion like the dream of a drunken rich glutton and reveler.
33,14. I believe that you are all now completely clear in this matter and as such we shall spend the rest of this night very cheerfully and happily! If anyone has any further doubts, we have time until the Passover; for until then I will remain with My friend Kisjonah. Do you, Philopold, understand this now?”
33,15. Philopold said: “Now indeed; for You have made the most incomprehensible so clear and understandable for us that I now have no questions left in this respect, and I believe that everyone here will also have understood it quite well. Yes, but only You, oh Lord, could explain it to us thus; for all the wise men would certainly have damaged their wisdom teeth in doing so. You can read our thanks in any case in our hearts.”
33,16. Here our Greek Jews also said: “Truly, only He who penetrates everything with His spirit and is actually everything in everything could explain this clearly! That is the greatest and strongest proof of Your pure divine mission. The signs indeed do much, if they are performed in Your way, but only for already very experienced people; but they capture them nonetheless. But the word animates and makes the soul free and is therefore more valuable than a thousand signs which do not animate, but instead only capture the mind in that it fills it with fear. Therefore our thanks to You for this wisest teaching of Yours!”
33,17. I said: “Very well judged! Tomorrow there will be things to do; but now drink and be cheerful until sunrise! We will not need to sleep this night!”
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