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About spiritual appearances
33,1. If you would keenly look, you will see a bit more to the right something resembling a kind of dust cloud. You confirm that you see it; that is good. Let us quickly go to that dust cloud, then we will be able to see her in more detail. You ask: what does such a dust cloud here mean? I tell you: Indeed not much; you have often heard upon earth about the so-called swaggerers and look, this is a corresponding image of them. Why and in what way, you will soon be able to convince yourselves of. Only a few steps, and we will be at this scene.
33,2. Look, there we are already; what do you see? You say: we do not see a dust cloud anymore, but instead a great company of dwarf-like, emaciated people of both sexes. These dwarf-like people are constantly bluffing, rise up on their toes and everyone wants to be bigger than the other. The smallest ones even pick up sand in their hands and throw it up, trying to show otherswhat giants they are. You have observed well, for as such is the nature of their attitude coming to expression.
33,3. We will now stand very close to them and this company will look very much different. Look, we are very close now. What do you see now? You say: they do seem to look a bit bigger now, they look at each other very amiably and friendly, and they act towards each other like coquettish women in a company. You again have observed well, but now you ask how it is that one sees such a company so differently from different positions. This is because it is like that on earth as well. Up close, no-one should tell a mighty one the truth in his face, even the mighty ones avoid this among themselves; that is why they all court each other.
33,4. When such a company disbands, though, each one exalts himself above the other; but nobody dares to speak out anything definite, but only makes vague references. Only for himself does he know to discern from the highest position; this is the meaning of the throwing up of sand into the air, or in other words, to exalt his mind above that of the others. Such a company can be sharply discerned from a distance; the whole company is being judged and all conversations and actions are senseless chatting or loose boasting.
33,5. If you would compare these two given situations with each other, you would come to the following conclusion: from a distance, the true view of the situation can be seen; up close, the full view gets obscured more and more, but instead, each separate part comes into focus. If you have an even closer look, nothing of the original picture is to be seen anymore; instead, the details jump out at you.
33,6. If any of you do not completely understand it yet, I draw your attention to a natural phenomenon in the material world. If one would distance oneself from a significant size mountain, one would see the full mountain standing before you. If one comes closer, the image would in a certain sense fall apart and one would see various foothills and valleys which seemed to be part of the main mountain from the distance. Would he ascend the mountain itself, it is like someone not seeing the forest for the trees, for nothing of the initial image can be seen anymore. I think that, if one would consider this example thoroughly, these three appearances of our company would become completely clear to us. But now you ask and say: This is all completely clear, but how is our company faring? What is its mentality? We cannot deduce it from the behavior of these beings, for their actions and manners look more like a pantomime than some or the other conversation with understandable words.
33,7. I tell you, it is indeed completely apparent. You really must be completely blind still if you would not be able to guess where it comes from and where it is going. Look, this is a company of pure, great, worldly and egoistic so-called kingdom officers who only practice their office to their own benefit, but not for the benefit of the state and its citizens.
33,8. On earth, these people interact particularly courteously and friendly with each other, yet all of them know how to cleverly influence the others. No one trusts the other, finding it therefore necessary to manipulate the other along various cunning ways in such a way that the other can harbor very little secrets before his neighbor. Yet, what else is such a selfish friendship and what is such a deliberate courting other than brutal self-pleasing, which is nothing other than a root or seed of actual fornication? In the same manner shall a licentious whore cast friendly and meaningful glances to a man to try to lure him into her trap. A bird of prey lifts a tortoise up high, just to let it fall to serve as a tasty treat.
33,9. Such people are of little use for the general benefit and does not fare any better than the others, because of the greater wiliness of the others. Yes, such people look most like players who would meet each other in the evenings, being very friendly and brotherly and fond of each other. Are they sitting at the [gambling] table though, no one could care less whether his play-opponent would lose home and hearth in the game.
33,10. Now you say: But best friend, these are obviously bad people. How do they justly end up here; are they not lost then? I tell you: You are judging too strictly; Can you not discern between violent thieves and the so-called opportunistic thieves! Look, our company consists of these. Through their position on earth, they have somehow gained through official channels the political rights toact like this, and they are convinced that they have acted completely according to the rules of their trade.
33,11. But here in the kingdom of spirits, man is never judged for his actions if he did it with a feeling of righteousness, which did not violate his conscience and this was the case with these people. For them, nothing is complete reality, neither the good, nor the bad, but everything is in a certain sense only a political, clever comedy. For this reason, are they here, for all the vain and the false to be destroyed. When this is achieved, even if it takes much time, they are being reborn from this environment and then justly are brought to the valleys to the left and the right, where we came to know the Stoics.
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