Why are there are so many different religious concepts on Earth?
The Guide: You think, “Everybody says something different, much of it is contradictory; therefore none of them can be in truth.” But there is only one truth. Here is an explanation of why there are differences in the human concepts and how they should be viewed, excluding errors which have slipped into the concepts through faulty transmissions.
As everything has form and gestalt in spirit, so does truth – that is, the true state of things. The form is unchangeable and yet in constant flux, since everything in the spirit is in continuous, ever-vibrating, circular motion. Nothing is static, neither feelings nor circumstances – nothing at all. Imagine a wheel, unchangeable in its basic form, but constantly turning.
At various places and at different times, after fulfilling certain conditions, people occasionally lift the veil that covers it and see a small segment of the huge wheel. One person, at one particular time, sees one detail behind the veil; another, at another time or in another place, sees something quite different. Their observations may occasionally coincide, but often they do not, since the wheel is turning and whoever lifts the veil may see just then something different. What they see may sometimes appear contradictory, because the connection between the parts of the whole cannot be seen through the veil.
If the whole wheel were visible, the seemingly contradictory parts would be seen as belonging to a whole. So humanity is fighting because their various interpretations sound like contradictions. In reality this is not so. Even when a religious concept contains definite errors, one can find the grain of truth on which it is based.
People often approach this whole area with a wrong attitude. They believe that there cannot be such a thing as absolute truth, only relative truth, a conclusion they base on their various glimpses behind the veil. They purport that everything connected with God and Creation is more or less a matter of personal opinion or taste.
Each belief contains something beautiful and noble, they say, and therefore all these matters of belief are subjective and not absolute or objective. The conclusion, based on emotions, is that there is no absolute spiritual truth. Instead of trying to find the truth that can be found in each religious concept, people dismiss everything, at least emotionally, as illusion, imagination, and a matter of preference.
This means that the entire concept of the absolute, which can only exist in spirit, becomes predicated on human perception, with its errors elevating it above all else. By embracing this error, you become passive, you are unable to lift the veil and to personally experience the truth. This is only possible when a person is convinced that there must be an absolute truth above relative human truth, and when you are careful not to transpose the relative human truth onto the absolute spiritual truth. That would necessarily close the door to personally experiencing the truth.
In this respect, people can be divided into two groups. One clings dogmatically to a set of beliefs without much thinking or examining their feelings about them. They will never know what it is to have a deep personal experience of truth. The other group is especially numerous today, mostly consisting of intellectually advanced people.
They claim that their views are particularly unbiased, that they have freed themselves. But they throw the immutable, eternally moving, absolute, divine truth into one basket with human dogma, and thus they lose the solid ground from under their feet. Both groups represent extremes; both are in untruth and miss the point.
The second group is just as far away from the truth as is the first one – often even more so. With all their superficial, intellectual knowledge, they are actually the ones who are the searchers. But they can find only if they first open a door within themselves, perhaps a door to their unconscious.
How do the different main religions continue their activities in the spiritual world? Do they fight? And how far can they influence human beings?
The Guide: In all the spheres and in every gradation within them, from the highest to the lowest, the different main religions are represented. It is self-explanatory that they work differently in each sphere, according to the height of their development. Let us begin with the highest spheres. There the different religious denominations also have their own organization, but in a very different way from what is often imagined by human beings.
Those in the highest sphere know the real truth of the unity of all, as well as the falsehoods and truths of both their own religious groups and the others. They continue to work for the Plan of Salvation within their own group because they have their tasks to fulfill. If spirits of the highest spheres did not also come to Earth within the different religious organizations via certain people of a particular church, the Plan of Salvation could not function properly or efficiently.
By the same token, very high spirits also work and inspire groups, nations and individuals who are not bound to any religion. There is so much to be fulfilled in this great plan that often has to be done through and around existing conditions and blindnesses. Without such incarnations in different churches and groups, it would be impossible to tear down falsehoods.
Truth has to grow slowly. Any religion on Earth, therefore, will have emissaries born into it from all spheres who belong to this particular denomination. They are ranged according to the development and the desire of the individual in question, and also according to their openness to truth. Thus, the measure of inspiration always depends on the person.
You are always inspired according to your aims and attitudes. In the highest spheres, the spirits plan with a long view, knowing that their inspiration has an ultimate purpose that can rarely be understood by human beings. The spirits cannot overcome the human dogmas. Unless those people heard the truth from highly developed incarnated spirits of their own religion, they would not be open for any inspiration, because their minds are too strongly set.
Whenever this is the case, the doors are closed to inspiration coming from the Spirit World. Nevertheless, enough sincere goodwill may be present to enable the Spirit World to do good. God’s Spirit World needs workers in all groups, in all religions, to attain the one great aim of final unity.
We know that this unity cannot be accomplished as yet, but we work best for this goal not by trying to destroy, but by building upon that which counts. In God’s world, therefore, the different religions certainly do not fight. They all have the same goal. They know the limitations of spirits of lower development, and they try to slowly eliminate these limitations by building upon what is constructive.
However, in the spheres that do not belong to the world of God as yet, conditions are different. There the various religions do not fight either, because they do not have an opportunity to do so for the most part. There may be an exception in an individual case that is too complicated to explain here, but as groups they have their own spheres and remain there.
In the earth sphere, all that is contained therein – landscapes, mountains, seas, houses, any object – exists concretely and does not alter its shape according to people’s attitudes. In other words, you see this room the same way as a person of much higher development or someone of much lower development would.
The objects in this room remain the same for any human being with a normal sense of perception, while the spirit world is the out-picturing of the spirit’s ideas, attitudes, thoughts and mentality. There, everything is the result of thoughts, feelings and deeds. Therefore, spirits of the same development are always together in one sphere. That diminishes friction, but also the possibility to advance.
Other spirits, let us say lower ones, could not even see these landscapes or objects which the spirits see, and which are the products of their personalities. But on Earth, it is not that way, and there is a very good reason for that.
Let us take the case of human beings who have fervently believed in one particular religion. In many ways, they are still imperfect and therefore cannot reach higher spheres after shedding their bodies.
When they enter the Spirit World they will always be surrounded by spirits, both higher and lower, who are compatible with them and therefore belong to this religious group. The higher spirits may be trying to give certain advice or hints about personal errors, as well as about the errors of their convictions.
But if these happen to be stubborn people, very much indoctrinated with their own beliefs, they will not be open for such words and will reject all advice and hints as untrue. Since free will is never violated, these people are free to go with those spirits who have not changed their own beliefs.
They would do so even less in the Spirit World than on Earth. In the latter case, they at least had the knowledge and opportunity of seeing other means of reaching God and of learning something from that. But in the beyond, they live in their own world, and it may take a very, very long time to change their views, particularly if, due to their personal convictions, they are incarnated again into the same surroundings.
Some spirits in these spheres may be a little disappointed that their world is not more beautiful; but then they may also realize, and rightly so, that this is due to their own imperfection and has nothing to do with their religious belief. Only at a later state of purification does it occur to them that stubbornness and narrow-mindedness are at the core of their lower self, and these traits, among other things, were responsible for their one-sidedness.
As long as this stubbornness exists, no one of you can receive inspiration for something that may be contradictory to your own stubborn convictions, unless it is through an act of God’s grace that may only come in rare instances. Such grace has to be earned in other ways.
It is possible for a person or spirit to develop in every religion. Only if a certain point of development is reached, will the realization dawn that all truth meets finally in one universal form. When you have reached this awareness, you will see that there is no division among religions; there is no longer any attitude of “only this way is right and all others are wrong.” You will then see the many errors of particular religions, and still work with the truth.