This Commandment is directed sharply and clearly against the physical-animal instincts which … alas … man only too readily allows to arise the moment an opportunity for it is offered him!
Here we have also touched immediately upon the salient point, which forms the greatest snare for human beings, to which almost all succumb as soon as they only come in contact with it: The opportunity!
The instinct is merely awakened and guided by the thoughts! Man can very easily observe with himself that the instinct does not stir, cannot stir when the thoughts for it are lacking! It is entirely dependent upon them! Without exception!
Do not say that also the sense of touch can awaken instinct; for that is wrong. It is only a delusion. The sense of touch awakens only the thought, and this in turn the instinct! And in order to awaken thoughts for it, the opportunity that presents itself is the strongest aid, which men must fear!
For this reason, however, it is also the greatest defense and the greatest protection for all human beings of both sexes to avoid the opportunity for it! It is the sheet-anchor in the present distress, until all mankind have become so strong in themselves that they are able to keep the hearth of their thoughts pure as a healthy matter of course. Then a transgression of the Commandment will be absolutely impossible.
Until then many purifying storms will have to rage over mankind, but that anchor will hold if every striving person makes an earnest effort never to give an opportunity for two persons of opposite sex to be alone together, which is so tempting!
Let each one impress this upon his memory in letters of flame; for it is not so easy to free one’s soul again from the transgression, since the other party is also involved! And only seldom is it possible to ascend simultaneously.
“Do not let thyself lust after thy neighbor’s wife!” By this is meant not only a married woman, but the female sex in general! Thus also the daughters! And since it is clearly stated, “Do not let thyself lust!”, the reference is merely to the physical instinct, not to an honorable wooing!
There can be absolutely no mistake about these clear words. Here it is a matter of the stern Law of God against seduction or rape. As well as of defilement through thoughts of a secret desire! Even this, as the starting-point of the full evil of a deed, is transgression of the Commandment, bringing punishment in its wake through a karma which in some way or other has indispensably to be redeemed before the soul can again be free from it.
This happening, which human beings mistakenly consider a small matter, is sometimes even decisive for the nature of the next incarnation on earth, or for his subsequent fate in this earth-life. Therefore do not take too lightly the power of thought, the responsibility for which naturally attaches in like measure! You are answerable for the smallest, most careless thinking; for it causes harm even in the Ethereal World. That world which has to receive you after this earth-life.
But if the lusting goes even as far as seduction, thus to a gross material deed, then you may well fear the retribution if you are no longer able to atone for it physically and psychically on earth!
Whether the seduction took place in the most flattering way or by harsh demand, even if the woman’s consent was finally won, the reciprocal action will not be turned aside thereby; it has already set in with the desire, and all shrewdness, all artfulness will only serve to aggravate its effect. The ultimate consent does not then cancel it!
Therefore be on your guard, avoid every opportunity, and do not give way to any carelessness in this matter! Above all, keep the hearth of your thoughts pure! Then you will never violate this Commandment!
Nor will it serve as an excuse if a man seeks to persuade himself that there was the likelihood of marriage! For such a thought would be the very acme of falsehood.
A marriage without love of the soul is not valid in the sight of God. Love of the soul, however, remains the best protection against infringement of this Commandment; for one who truly loves always wills only what is best for the loved one, and therefore can never make unclean wishes or demands, against which this Commandment is above all directed!