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The Eighth commandment in the eighth hall - The material shell as a means to lie
85,1. We are in the eighth hall, and there we see on the round tablet, well known to us from all the earlier halls, clearly written: "Thou shalt not bear false testimony", saying as much as: Thou shalt not lie.
85,2. This command sounds strange in the realm of pure spirits, for a spirit in its pure state is incapable of any lie. A spirit cannot speak anything but what he thinks, since the thought is already his word. A spirit in the pure state can therefore bring no untruth on his lips, because it is a simple being and can have no reserve in itself.
85,3. The lie is therefore only possible for an unclean spirit when it covers itself with matter. But if a spirit, even of unclean quality, is free from its coarser envelopment, it cannot speak any untruth.
85,4. For this reason, even the evil spirits envelop themselves with all sorts of coarse figures of guile in order to be able to lie in this wrapping.
85,5. Thus the well-known "Satan" in Paradise had to envelop himself in the material form of a snake before the first pair of men, so that they could thereby become ambushed and then afterwards think differently and speak differently.
85,6. For this sole reason, men on earth are able to lie as often as they will, because they have a hideaway in their bodies, and from there they can move the machine of the body in the opposite direction of what they think.
85,7. Such, however, as noted, is not possible to the pure spirits. Although they can express themselves in correspondences when they communicate with earthly people, they not infrequently say something quite different from what the inner meaning of their speech represents. But that does not mean lying, but placing the spiritual truth in earthly images that correspond exactly to this truth.
85,8. But we see that this commandment is of no use for the spirits, because they completely lack the ability to lie.
85,9. But to whom in the afterlife does this commandment then apply? I know that you will soon be able find the answer and say: It applies to the spirits enveloped in matter, and requires of them to use their covering no differently than how their thinking is conceived in them, and act in correspondence to their purely spiritual state.
85,10. But we know that this commandment, as well as all earlier ones, proceeds from God, as the Primordial Source of all spiritual things. As such, however, it cannot possibly have only material, and no spiritual validity.
85,11. But in order to get to the basis of it, we have to discuss what is meant by "lying" or "giving false witness." What is the lie or a false testimony in itself? You will say: any untruth. But I ask: what is an untruth? And then somebody will soon be able to deal with the answer and say: Every sentence that a human being pronounces in order to deceive someone is an untruth, a lie, "a false testimony." It's all good on the outside, but not inside. We want to set up a small sample for it.
85,12. Question: Can the will think? Every human being must deny such a thing by clearly having to say that the will behaves like the cattle in relation to the wagon. They indeed pull it vigorously; but where will it take the wagon without the thinking driver?
85,13. Next question: Can the thought will? Let's go back to the wagon. In the best sense of the word, can the wagoner drive the heavy wagon without the power of the beasts of burden? Anyone here will say: Thousands of the most clever wagoners can set up all sorts of philosophical principles next to the heavily loaded wagon, and yet they will not, with all these splendid ideas, put the wagon in motion until they agree in their thoughts that an appropriate power should be put in front of the wagon.
85,14. From this example we have seen that the will does not think, and that the thought can not will. But if thought and will are united, the will can only do what the thought leads it to do.
85,15. But now I ask: If it is how it is, what is it in man who can lie? The will certainly not, because this is a something that always depends on the light of thought. Can the thought be a lie? Certainly not, it is simple and cannot share. Will the body be able to lie in man? How the body can lie, being a machine that is dead in itself, and only stimulated to activity by the thought and will of the spirit through the soul, would be very strange to know.
85,16. I have just discovered a psychologist, and indeed from the class of spiritual dualists, who says: The soul of man is also a self-conscious thinking being and thinks partly natural and partly spiritual images. Thus, two kinds of thought may indeed be formed in it, namely natural and spiritual. It may therefore cover the spiritual in itself, but since the will of the spirit is also at its disposal, it can, instead of pronouncing the truth or the spiritual thought, express the natural, completely opposite thought than that of the spiritual truth. And if he does that, he lies or gives false testimony. What do you think, is this conclusion correct?
85,17. This appear to be correct, taken from the external man's perspective; but he is nevertheless fundamentally wrong; for what kind of activity would result if, for the purpose of forward movement, one would harness the same number of horses of equal strength in front and to the back of it, and have drivers to steer both teams?
85,18. As the car would never be moved from the spot, the same it would seem to be with one's life, if it would stand on two opposite life-principles. That would be just as much as plus 1 and minus 1, which adds up to zero.
85,19. So there just has to be one single living principle; but how can this lie and give false testimony?
85,20. Either this principle, as proven, cannot lie and give false testimony at all, or the concepts of "lying" and "giving false testimony" have to be something fundamentally different, than what has hitherto been understood.
85,21. Somebody would of course say: If the matter is to be taken this way, any falsehood known to us, every false oath, as well as every fraudulent word, is not to be regarded as sinful, but should be freely used. Well, I say: the objection would not be so bad, but according to your proverb: "Whoever laughs last laughs best," we shall reserve a similar pleasure for the conclusion.
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