If you assault one of your neighbors and beat him so that he suffers injury, perhaps robbing him as well, then you know that you have harmed him and will become subject to earthly punishment.
But then you give no thought yet to the fact that at the same time you are also entangled in the threads of a reciprocal working which is not subject to any arbitrary action, but which operates justly even to those minute stirrings of your soul to which you pay no heed at all, and for which you have no intuitive perception whatever!
And this reciprocal action is not in the least connected with the earthly punishment, but works quite independently and silently by itself, yet so inescapably for the human spirit that in all Creation he no longer finds any place which can protect and hide him.
When you hear of such a brutal assault and violent injury you are indignant. If people close to you suffer under it you are even alarmed and horrified! Yet it disturbs you little if now and then you hear an absent person being put in a bad light by another through clever malicious words, or often just through very expressive gestures, which imply more than can be said in words.
But bear in mind: A gross material attack is far easier to redress than an attack on the soul, which suffers through the undermining of its reputation.
Therefore avoid all scandalmongers as you would gross material murderers!
For they are just as guilty and very often even worse! As little as they take pity on the souls they themselves hound, so little will a helping hand be offered to them in the beyond when they plead for it! Cold and merciless is the pernicious urge in their inner being to discredit others, frequently even strangers to them; coldness and mercilessness a hundred times greater will therefore confront them in that place which awaits them when one day they must leave their physical bodies!
In the beyond they will remain the outlaws and deeply despised, even in the eyes of robbers and thieves; for all their kind have a malicious and despicable feature in common, from a so-called gossip to the depraved creatures who do not shrink from bearing false witness on oath, by their own wish, against a neighbor to whom they have had reason to be grateful in many things!
Treat them as you would poisonous vermin; for they have not deserved otherwise.
Since all mankind completely lack the high, united goal of attaining to the Kingdom of God, they have nothing to say to each other when at times they are together in twos or threes, and so they cultivate talking about others as a habit which has become dear to them, the meanness of which they are no longer able to perceive, because through constantly indulging in it the concept of it has been completely lost.
In the beyond they shall continue to sit together and indulge in their favorite topic until the time granted for the last possibility of ascent, which could perhaps have brought them salvation, has gone by, and they are drawn into eternal disintegration, in which all gross material and ethereal kinds of matter come to purification from every poison brought into them by human spirits who are not worthy to retain a name!