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What is false testimony?
86,1. But if we are able to disentangle this Gordian knot in a certain sense with one blow, let us immediately go into the discussion of the main concept of this eighth commandment.
86,2. We know that the Lord gave every spirit a free will, and also a free thought was given to illuminate free will. This thought in spirit is in fact the vision and the light of the spirit, through which he can see things in the natural sphere.
86,3. Besides this light, which every spirit has received particularly from God, he also has a second ability to receive an innermost, most holy light from God; but not through his eye, but through the ear, which is actually an eye. Certainly no eye for the reception of external appearances, which are produced by the almighty will of the Lord, but it is an eye for the reception of the purely spiritual light from God, namely the Word of God.
86,4. You can see that from your still natural condition, if you pay only a little attention to how different this is, what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. Through your eyes you can only see natural images, but with your ears you can absorb rays from the innermost Divine depth.
86,5. You can hear the language of the spirit in the harmony of sounds, or rather, you can already externally hear the secret forms of the innermost spiritual creation through your fleshly ears. How deeply backwards does the eye stand in comparison to the ear!
86,6. See, it's the same with the spirit. By virtue of such a device he is capable of accommodating two things, namely the external pictorial and the intrinsically essential reality.
86,7. In this double vision lies the secret of the free will.
86,8. Every human being, be it purely spiritual or still enveloped in matter, naturally hangs between the external and the internal through this ability. He can therefore always see a countless number of external forms, but he can simultaneously absorb just as much of the inner, purely Divine truth.
86,9. With the light from the outside, he grasps nothing of all that is seen, but merely the external form, and thus can be the creator of his thoughts in himself through the reception of these forms.
86,10. With these thoughts, he can also set his freely disposable will in motion, as and when he wants.
86,11. If he does not use the other eye of the inner Divine light, but is merely content with and deals only with forms, then he is a man who evidently deceives himself; for the forms are empty appearances for him as long as he cannot grasp them in their depths.
86,12. But if a man who simultaneously also possesses the inner light he received from the Lord and beholds it, perceives the interior of the forms, but disguises it and testifies only to the outer forms differently than he does about its great importance which he perceives with the inner spiritual eye, which is the ear; see, this is when he gives a false testimony to the externally perceived forms.
86,13. Here we have already fundimentally discussed what it basically means to give a false testimony. In the main point however it is once again important that man should not speak of Divine truth in any other way than how he perceives it in himself.
86,14. But with regard to the most inner things, the situation is as follows: love is equal to the inwardly perceived light of truth directly from God, and wisdom is equal to the radiating light from God through all infinite and eternal spaces.
86,15. When someone would possess the love, but would not practise it, but would, with his outer light and his divided will, continuously reach out more and more to the infinitely radiating rays, he becomes increasingly weaker, but because of his spirit fraying at all sides, he becomes increasingly bloated and increasingly less receptive for the inner, loving light of truth out of God.
86,16. If this is the case, then such a person becomes ever more dissimilar to God, and thereby gives with every atom of his being, a fundamentally false testimony of the Divine essence, whose perfect symmetry he ought to have been.
86,17. Therefore, he who hears the Divine word but does not follow it, but follows only that which captivates his outward eyes, and thus excites his sensual will, he gives with every step that he makes, with every word he speaks every movement of the hand he makes, a false testimony. Even if he wants to speak the purest Divine truth, the pure word of the Gospel, he lies and gives a false testimony to the Lord because he does not act according to the Word and the Truth.
86,18. Such a person who prays and performs his devotion to God, but does not live according to the word of the Lord, is a liar, as long as he is warm and alive. His prayer is there but an external formula whose intrinsic value is lost altogether, because the inner Divine light is not used to illuminate and enliven the interior of this external form.
86,19. It's just the same as if someone would look completely enraptured at a star. What good does all this delight and contemplation benefit him if he cannot regard the star in close proximity as a wonderful world? He resembles a starving person in front of a locked cupboard. He may still look at this bread-cupboard so yearningly and so adoringly, but will he be saturated with it? Certainly not. For as long as he cannot bite into the inside of the bread and absorb it into his stomach, all contemplation, worship, and delight from the bread-cupboard, will do him no good.
86,20. But how can one open the bread-cupboard of true God-likeness and satisfy oneself? Certainly no other way than by using the innermost means in oneself and directing oneself to the truth received from God. Also, to use the external forms only for their intended practical purposes as far as one has found it to be identical with the innermost light and therefore as a Divine truth. As soon as that is not the case, everything that man does and endeavors, is a false testimony to the inner Divine truth and thus a gross lie to every fellow human.
86,21. Therefore the Lord says, "He who prays, should pray in the Spirit and in truth," and, "If ye pray, go into your closet," and also: "Do not think what you will speak, for in the same hour it will be put into your mouth."
86,22. Here, evidently, outer thoughts are indicated, which are therefore in themselves no truth, because they are thoughts; for the truth is inward, it motivates for action according to the Word of God, and is always manifested rather than being a subsequent flood of thoughts.
86,23. Therefore should everyone also be guided by this inner truth and act accordingly. He will always more and more actively connect his thoughts with this inner light and thus come to inner unity and thus to the Divine likeness in which it then becomes forever impossible for him to be a liar.
86,24. But that everyone who speaks differently than he thinks, and acts differently than he speaks and thinks, is a liar, is self-evident; for such a one is already buried in the very outermost, grossest matter, and has removed the whole Divine form from his spirit. As such will this commandment also be explained to the students in its innermost content. Knowing this, we may at once move on to the ninth room.
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