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Second floor - palace arrangement represents spiritual progress
35,1. See, it is only a case of preliminary exercise, and one then climbs with the same ease to a higher sphere, into an even higher one than one has previously ascended from a lower sphere into a following, higher one.
35,2. You say, of course, that it is not entirely the same on the earth; for the higher you go there, the heavier your feet become, and so every next step needs a little more effort than the previous one. That's right; but you must bear in mind that, if you want to ascend naturally, and you follow through all in one go, and do not make relative resting-places between one and the other points, then you must necessarily be fatigued. If, however, you divide a height that is to be ascended between appropriate relative resting places, where you cannot become tired from one to the other, you will be able, after an appropriate rest, to mount every succeeding section with equal force and without fatigue.
35,3. But that this is correct, you can easily see from your daily life. You often go back and forth here and do not get tired. Why not? If you would count your steps which you walk every day, it will be so much that you will be able to cover a distance of ten hours in a straight line. But if you make a journey of ten hours, you will fall over with fatigue.
35,4. See, therefore, my acceptance and explanation is correct; if any en route and in the ascent do not want to become weary on the way, he shall make provisions for a proper rest, and he shall have the same strength in his feet at the end of a journey of ten hours, than when he took the first step; and with the continued journey he will only get stronger rather than tired.
35,5. The same is true for the spiritual progress, as well as for what is half-spiritual and half-material. For example, if someone who want to become a virtuoso on some musical instrument; what will become of him if he does not put his instrument out of his hand all day long, and for about half the night, and rest only a few hours? I tell you, he will not endure such a routine for eight days. Why not? Because every movement of both the body and the spirit requires a much greater effort of life than the state of rest.
35,6. The exertion of the vital forces, however, consumes it, by which they must not be strengthened, but must naturally only be weakened. Man is, however, arranged to replace his consumed forces in the state of rest by the constant influx of the Lord from the heavens. And if the vital powers are as such consumed by frequent use, the vessels for the further absorption of the vital force are continually expanded and strengthened, whereby the strength and power of the human being who lives such a gradual and moderate lifestyle, must necessarily increase; because, as a vessel, it can always absorb more and more vital power in this way.
35,7. Thus a wanderer becomes more powerful every day by the proper use of the power of his feet. The musician who purposefully exercises on a musical instrument will become increasingly efficient, and he who wants spiritual progress, will also become increasingly capable in stages, without the insane fatigue of the spirit who strives to rise to the greatest heights and depths of wisdom.
35,8. If, however, someone would want to achieve from now till tomorrow what should have been achieved with success through an orderly progress over the course of several years, he would become a fool; for he will consume his spiritual vitality over the measure of orderly influx, and then his spirit will become weak and impotent.
35,9. The hungry vessels for life force will then begin to absorb, like a polyp, everything that falls to them, ordure and gold, light and darkness; so everything is mixed up. But these dissimilar substances will then begin to ferment in the vessels, the spirit of such fermentation will soon tear the weak vessels, and the condition will ensue where you would say, "He's running on a hamster wheel", will be true.
35,10. From this, however, you will, in my opinion, already be able to clearly see that any effective progress or ascent must be divided into proper resting pauses; and one will then be able to reach every good goal with the greatest ease in the world.
35,11. Whoever has a large barrel of new grape must and pours it continually from one vat to the other, in order to clarify and strengthen it, will surely find himself greatly disappointed in a hundred times over. In this way, the must is certainly not going to become clear and strong, but since a little must is left behind in every vat, it will in the end lose most of it. If, however, he leaves the must in the vat in proper peace, it will be active, work out all the uncleanliness by itself, thereby continually clarifying itself more and more, and thereby become increasingly saturated with the spiritual power.
35,12. Once he has attained the first stage of clarity, it will be right to pour it over into another clean barrel, since very little marc will lie in the bottom which weakens the spiritual power of the wine; but it will now deal with itself on a purer basis; that is, with his own strength, and will increasingly strengthen himself by his own power.
35,13. This is precisely the case with man; from stage to stage it must rise and from floor to floor. He raises higher and higher in the sphere of his life and all the knowledge of it. And so we have now reached our second floor without the slightest fatigue, and now, in these splendid, quite broad galleries, and as you may say, spread ourselves and consider all these great glories.
35,14. Concerning the construction, it is exactly the same as that of the first two galleries we have already seen and entered, but the mighty pillar-circle of pillars which supports the next floor, is placed somewhat deeper in than that of the preceding galleries.
35,15. The difference between this and the preceding gallery lies firstly in the entirely different coloring of the building material, and especially in the fact that in the middle of these pillar-circle is, instead of an altar, a kind of large garden vase of the most magnificent ornamental work, in which a natural small tree grows.
35,16. You will think, for example, that the roots of this tree will eventually crack the vase. There is no need to worry. The wisdom of these people has already provided for it; for when the sapling becomes stronger and stronger in the course of time, then it will be carefully removed, and placed in a big, strong pot, which we shall find on the next floor. Then, a fresh seed is placed in the vase of this storey, from which a new similar noble tree grows.
35,17. Does this horticultural operation have any spiritual reason? Indeed, my dear friends and brothers! On the first floor we saw only one altar in the middle. The first, so to say, was merely a literal knowledge of God; that is, a seed-kernel, which must first be put into the ground, in order to grow from it into a tree, under whose branches the birds of the heaven can dwell.
35,18. And see, here is the seed-kernel, which was put in the earth on the first floor, and already became a little tree. It signifies the state of man, as soon as he becomes a moral being, as soon as he has received knowledge from God, and is already suitable for the bearing of fruit in the future, to host the dwelling of the birds of heaven. And so you will also find everything else in this second floor.
35,19. The floor of the gallery looks like an incandescent ore, the pillars are reddish-green, the floor of the pillar-circle on which the vase stands, is white as a sun. The vase itself is formed from a piece of ruby, and rests on a three-legged frame made of flaming gold, and the ground in the vase looks like emerald velvet. The staircase around the pillars is made of a light blue material and decorated with green, strongly shimmering foliage. The wall of the main building is red, the gates to the interior are of emerald; the central pillar on which the two wings hang, is of transparent gold, and the ceiling of this gallery, together with its splendid ornamentation, is lighter and brighter than sunlight through a light-green glass.
35,20. Now, however, we are going to a doorway and want to take a look through the transparent material. We are here; so look inside! What do you see? You are sinking back in complete helplessness, what have shaken you so much? I already know that there are much more beautiful human beings on this floor.
35,21. Yes, I tell you, the visual beauty of these people is so great that on your earth you would not be able to look at such a beauty without suddenly losing your life. I tell you even more: the splendor of this beauty would literally even completely dissolve your whole earth in a few moments. Therefore, we again leave this gallery also and go to the third floor, or to the fourth gallery.
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