59 QUESTION: Communism, particularly as taught and practiced by the Russians and Chinese, seems such a terrifying threat, also for spiritual development. Would you discuss the place of such Communism in the Plan of Salvation? And also how we should feel toward the threatening Russians and Chinese?
ANSWER: The most important preliminary is the understanding of cause and effect. If you view any phenomenon in your world as an isolated happening, separated from other events that have led up to it by reaction and counter-reaction, through cause and effect, one extreme calling forth an opposite extreme, you will never gain true insight. This applies to general world conditions or events, as well as to people’s personal lives.
In order to eliminate an evil, one first has to see what wrong brought on this evil. For it cannot be otherwise. Evil can only be created out of evil. It cannot be created out of good. One wrong condition breeds another, unless it is corrected. The same can be observed in a great many other aspects of life.
Just about all you can do is to gain a true outlook and understanding. This will help more than you think. If you wish to correct the evils of this world, you can do a great deal by first changing yourself. Only then will success come upon certain outer actions any individual may undertake in order to contribute to the good of humanity as a whole. Otherwise they will not be successful, that is, lastingly and profoundly successful.
If the human heart does not change, nothing will ever be accomplished for humanity as a whole, no matter what mass measures will be taken. This applies particularly to those who are instrumental in bettering the world, whose task it is to lead nations. The greatest evil of Earth life is always the individual’s overemphasis on outer actions, while ignoring and neglecting the inner motivations and reactions, thereby being a prey to his or her own immature and selfish nature.
QUESTION: The great materialism of this tremendous power might be a block to the spiritual development. It might hinder the Plan of Salvation.
ANSWER: Nothing can ever stop the Plan of Salvation from coming to its fulfillment. It is only a question of time – and from our view, the difference of time called forth by the free will of the human being, is rather unsubstantial. It is calculated into the overall Plan of Salvation that humans are bound to create negative circumstances by their limited view.
The very result of this limited view – the negative circumstances – are most instrumental in waking you to the truth. Sometimes you cannot wake up and even wish for truth, unless you have gone through the hardship you yourself created by your ignorance or distortion of truth.
In order to be happy, you have first to be in truth. But you cannot be in truth unless you know you are not and have the desire to search for it. The knowledge that you are not in truth and the consequent desire to search for it, cannot come to you unless you are left to taste the result of your ignorance. The same applies to humanity. All this is taken into consideration in the Plan of Salvation.
The fear that damage can come to you by the wrongdoing of others is a basic misunderstanding of life. Yes, passing disadvantages can come to you, that is true, but even these must have a corresponding element within yourself. Otherwise you could not be affected even superficially.
As far as your spiritual nature is concerned – and this includes the overall Plan of Salvation – nothing can ever happen to you. The personal knowledge and experience of this truth is bound to come to you as you enter upon this Path. We shall deal with this question more conclusively in the near future.
67 QUESTION:  My question is about a situation that is highly charged with emotion in our time of world conflict. May I ask for a little patience so that I have an opportunity to state the question.
In order to provide humankind with the necessaries of life, there are a number of economic arrangements, but two in particular are now predominant. One is called capitalism, the other is called communism. Being arrangements, they are obviously subject to change to meet the varying exigencies of human need.
However, those in power on either side, because of impatience and frustration, sometimes disregard God’s laws and try by compulsion and man-made law to secure the arrangements that serve their interests. Every instrument of persuasion is used to brainwash the multitudes that one way leads to doom, the other to utopia.
Passions are aroused and provocations compounded to enlarge the respective spheres of influence and to frustrate the adversary. The cold war is on. The Iron Curtain not only separates the world geographically, but the ideological curtain separates even brother from brother. At present, about half the world is committed to collectivism, and half the world to individualism.
Just recently the Pope called for an ecumenical conference to bring together the whole Christian Church. With this convocation, he specifically expressed his firm opposition to communism and seemed to make hating communism a prerequisite to Christian unity.
I ask, first of all, whether this is Christian and whether it is consistent with Scripture, both as to attitude and as to concept. The word “communism” is cognate with such words as communion, community and commonwealth. I find communism clearly and abundantly expounded in Scripture. I submit but a few verses which support this.
Acts 4:32-34, 35: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. Neither was there any among them that lacked…distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
Ecclesiastes 5:9: “The profit of the Earth is for all; the King himself is served by the field.”
Ecclesiastes 5:13: “There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.”
Matthew 6:19: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth….”
Matthew 19:24: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
My question is manifold but I shall reduce it to the following: How do you, in the Spirit World, look upon this conflict and what can we do to resolve it?
ANSWER: I will tell you how we look upon this conflict. As I have already indicated some time ago, the world conflict is an exact duplication of the individual conflict. The elements we constantly observe between two or several human beings, similarly play a role in the conflicts of nations.
As in the individual conflicts, so in world conflicts, often one side is more flagrantly wrong than the other – and yet, both are wrong. Ideologically, none of these two sides are ideal. But from the spiritual point of view, what you call communism is not as it is meant in the Scriptures, because the basic spiritual attitudes and laws are completely lacking in what is called communism today.
In the first place, humankind’s salvation is seen only through material solutions, and that never can be. In the second place, the individual does not count in this ideology. The individual is supposed to serve the state, and the state takes the form of a god. The individual has no right for freedom and liberty, not even outwardly.
A few people in power take it upon themselves to be the judges of what is good and what is bad for the individual, not only infringing on the person’s self-expression, but also undermining the sense of self-responsibility, which is spiritually the most harmful act imaginable. We are concerned less with the discomfort to the individual than with the crippling effect this has on the soul.
Hence, the ideology in the so-called free world is closer to what is healthy, from the spiritual point of view, in spite of the many imperfections which at this time of general human development are inevitable anyway. These imperfections in each system take many forms, and each has a particularly strong effect on the other side.
It is just like in a quarrel between two human beings. If A is more right than B, A’s most hidden faults and weaknesses will have a particular effect on B, and B will focus his entire attention on these faults, while overlooking the good qualities and points where A is right.
Salvation can ultimately lie only in self-development. If more and more people would go on such a path, it would have a tremendous influence on humankind as a whole, such as you cannot imagine. If the world leaders were on such a path, you would surely live in a very different world, although it would not guarantee you a world without conflicts.
You would still have conflicts; you do not get over your blindness so quickly. But the conflicts would have more of a chance to be resolved peacefully and constructively for both sides. For anyone who is not first looking into himself or herself to find how they contributed to the disharmony, is not truly on the Path.
Of course, if they are on the Path, and they observe the essentials and the essence of it, no great tragedy can occur, at least not to the person who is observing this basic rule. Its observance brings a certain objectivity and detachment from one’s own involvement and interest – outer, conscious, material ones, or inner, unconscious, emotional ones.
World peace and harmony can only come by more and more people pursuing such a path of self-knowledge, of understanding one’s innermost motives and feelings – especially the responsible people. It is coming, it is spreading, my friends.
The day will come when at least the world leaders, the people who are in responsible positions, will be required to go through some sort of instruction whereby they obtain a degree of self-understanding. Before assuming any position of responsibility, they will be required to go through an extensive course of meeting the self, of healing the sick currents, of helping the infant in them to mature. That would enable them to conduct their affairs in a very different way.