The word “childlike” is an expression which is in most cases wrongly applied by human beings in their careless and thoughtless manner of speaking.
Hampered by indolence of the spirit, this expression is not perceived intuitively enough to be properly grasped. But he who has not grasped it in its entirety will never be able to use it aright either.
And yet it is just childlikeness that offers mankind a strong bridge for ascent to Luminous Heights, for giving every human spirit the possibility to mature, and for reaching perfection in order to live eternally in this Creation, which is the House of God the Father that He places at the disposal of men, provided … they remain guests therein who are agreeable to Him. Guests who do not cause damage in the rooms so graciously made over to them solely for their use, with a table at all times richly spread.
But how far removed is man now from the childlikeness he so needs!
Yet without it he can achieve nothing for his spirit. The spirit must possess childlikeness; for it is and remains a child of Creation, even when it has gained full maturity.
A child of Creation! In this lies the deep meaning; for the spirit must develop into a child of God. Whether it will ever achieve this depends entirely on the degree of recognition it is willing to acquire on its wanderings through all the Spheres of Matter.
But with this willingness the deed must also manifest. In the Spiritual Planes will is at the same time also deed. There will and deed are always one. However, this is only so in the Spiritual Planes, not in the Worlds of Matter. The more dense and heavy a plane of the World of Matter is, the further removed is the deed from the will.
The fact that density causes obstruction is demonstrated even by sound, which as it travels has to struggle through material substance, which obstructs it according to the nature of the density. This can be clearly observed even over shorter distances.
When a man chops wood or drives nails into the timbers of a building, the impact of his tool can be clearly seen, yet the sound of it only arrives a few seconds later. This is so noticeable that everybody must have experienced it at one time or another.
The process is similar, but still more ponderous, between the will and the deed of man on earth. The will flares up in the spirit, and is immediately deed in the spirit. But to make the will visible in the Gross Material World, the spirit also needs the physical body. Only on impulse does a physical body already act within a few seconds of the flaring up of the will. Thereby the more tedious work of the frontal brain is eliminated, which otherwise has to mediate the way of the will right up to the impression on the activity of the body.
The normal way takes rather longer. Sometimes the result is only a feeble action, or none at all; because on its extended way the volition is weakened, or altogether suppressed, by the pondering intellect.
In this connection, although not strictly relevant here, I would like to make a reference to the effects of Creation’s Law of the Attraction of Homogeneous Species, which are overlooked and yet so clearly visible also in human activity:
Human-earthly laws have been worked out by the earthly intellect, and are also carried into effect by it. For this reason schemes pondered with the intellect, thus premeditated actions, are as such more severely punished and judged as more evil than actions committed on the impulse of the moment, thus unpremeditated. In most cases these latter are treated more leniently.
In reality, there is a connection which is imperceptible to men, in the homogeneity of intellectual activity under the compulsion of the Law of Creation, for all those who unconditionally submit to the intellect. To them this is quite understandable.
Without knowing about it, the greater part of the atonement for an impulsive action is therewith assigned to the Spiritual Plane. Legislators and judges have no idea of this, because they proceed from quite different, purely intellectual principles. With deeper reflection, however, and knowledge of the active Laws of Creation, all this appears in an entirely different light.
Nevertheless, in other earthly sentences and judgments, the Living Laws of God in Creation work quite independently on their own, uninfluenced by earthly-human laws and conceptions. It will surely not occur to any serious-minded person to think that real guilt, not merely what men first designate as guilt, could also be expiated at the same time before the Laws of God through a paid penalty dictated by the earthly intellect!
Already for thousands of years these have been, as it were, two separate worlds, separated by men’s actions and thoughts, although they should only be one world in which God’s Laws alone operate.
Through such earthly punishment, atonement can only ensue if the laws and the punishments are completely in accord with God’s Laws in Creation.
Now there are two kinds of unpremeditated actions. Firstly, those already described, which should really be called impulse; and then the kind that flashes up in the frontal brain, thus not in the spirit, and belongs to the intellectual category. The
latter are unpremeditated, but should not receive the same mitigation as impulse-actions.
However, to find out exactly the just difference between the two will only become possible to those human beings who know all the Laws of God in Creation and are familiar with their effects. This must be reserved for a time to come, when there will also be no more arbitrary actions among men, because they will have a spiritual maturity that lets them swing only in the Laws of God in all their deeds and thoughts.
This digression is merely to induce reflection, it did not belong to the real purpose of the lecture.
Take note, then, that in the Spiritual Planes will and deed are one, but in the Material Planes they are separated through the nature of the substance. That is why Jesus once said to men: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!” The flesh, which refers here to the gross material substance of the body, does not convert into deed everything that has already been will and deed in the spirit.
But also on earth the spirit in its gross material garment could compel its volition always to become a gross material deed, if it were not too lazy to do so. It cannot hold the body responsible for this indolence; for the body was given to each spirit only as an instrument, which it must learn to control in order to use it properly. –
Thus the spirit is a child of Creation. And it must be childlike therein if it wishes to fulfil the purpose for which it stands in Creation. The arrogance of the intellect caused the spirit to withdraw from childlikeness, because the intellect could not “understand” what it really is. As a result, however, the spirit lost its foothold in Creation, which in order to remain healthy itself must now expel it as a stranger, an intruder and a dangerous creature.
And so it will come to pass that through their wrong thoughts and actions men will dig their own graves. –
How strange it is that every man who wishes to experience the Christmas Festival in the true sense must first try to recall his childhood!
This can surely be regarded as a clear enough sign of the fact that as an adult he is quite incapable of experiencing the Christmas Festival with his intuitive perception. It is definite proof that he has lost something he possessed as a child! Why does this not make men reflect!
Again it is spiritual indolence that prevents them from serious reflection on such matters. “That is for children,” they think, “and grown-ups have simply no time for it! They have to think about more serious matters.”
More serious matters! By these more serious matters they mean only the pursuit of earthly ends, thus the work of the intellect! The intellect quickly represses memories, so as not to lose its supremacy if the intuitive perception is for once yielded to!
The greatest things could be recognised in all these apparently so trivial facts, if only the intellect would allow time for it. But it has the upper hand, and fights for it with all craftiness and cunning. That is to say, it is not the intellect that fights, but actually that which uses it as a tool and hides behind it: the Darkness!
The Darkness does not want the Light to be found in memories. And how the spirit longs to find the Light, to draw new strength from It, can be recognised by the fact that with the memories of childhood Christmas Festivals there also awakens an undefined, almost painful longing, able to move many people for a brief moment to tenderness.
If such tenderness were used at once and with all one’s strength, it could become the best soil for the awakening! But unfortunately this only sends adults into a reverie, whereby the rising power is wasted and lost. And in the reverie the opportunity also slips by without the possibility of bringing benefit, or of having been used.
Even though many a person sheds a few tears, he feels ashamed and tries to hide them, pulling himself together with a physical jerk that so often betrays unconscious defiance.
How much could people learn from all this. It is no coincidence that a tender sadness also weaves itself into the memories of childhood days. It is the subconscious sensing that something has been lost, leaving an emptiness, the inability still to perceive intuitively like a child.
But you have surely often noticed the wonderful and refreshing influence of the mere quiet presence of any person from whose eyes a childlike radiance sometimes glows.
The adult must not forget that childlike is not childish. But you do not know whence the childlike has such an effect, what it really is! And why Jesus said: “Become as little children!”
To fathom what childlike is, you must first be clear that the childlike is by no means bound up with the child itself. No doubt you yourselves know children who lack the true beautiful childlikeness! Thus there are children without childlikeness! A malicious child will never have a childlike effect, nor an unruly one who is really ill-bred!
This clearly shows that childlikeness and the child are two things independent in themselves.
That which is called childlike on earth is a branch of the effect from out of Purity! Purity in its higher, not merely earthly-human sense. The human being who lives in the ray of Divine Purity, who makes room for the ray of Purity within himself, has thereby also acquired childlikeness, whether it be still in childhood or already as an adult.
Childlikeness is the result of inner purity, or the sign that such a human being has submitted to Purity and serves It. All these are merely different modes of expression, but in reality they always amount to the same thing.
Thus only a child who is pure within itself, and an adult who cultivates purity within himself, can have a childlike effect. That is why he has a refreshing and vitalising effect, and also inspires confidence!
And wherever there is true purity, genuine love can also enter, for God’s Love works in the ray of Purity. The ray of Purity is the path It treads. It could not possibly walk on any other.
The ray of Divine Love can never find its way to him who has not absorbed the ray of Purity!
Man, however, has deprived himself of childlikeness by turning away from the Light through his one-sided intellectual thinking, to which he has sacrificed everything that might have uplifted him. Thus he has firmly chained himself with a thousand fetters to this earth, that is, to the World of Gross Matter, which will hold him in its grip until he liberates himself from it. This, however, cannot come to him through earthly death, but only through spiritual awakening.