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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


as described, cannot be gained unless the moral condition of the soul is brought to a corresponding stage. Progress in spiritual training is unthinkable unless moral progress takes place at the same time. The conquest of egoism is impossible without moral force. All talk of spiritual training not being at the same time moral training is certainly contrary to fact. Only he who passes through such an experience might advance the following objections: how can one be sure to be dealing with actualities, and not with mere fancies, visions or hallucinations, when he thinks he is having spiritual perceptions? Now the matter lies thus: every person, who has been systematically trained and who has arrived at the stage already characterized, will be in a position to note the difference between his own percept and a spiritual reality, just as well as a man endowed with sound sense knows the difference between the percept of a bar of hot iron and the actual presence of such a bar that he touches with his hand. The difference is determined by experience and by nothing else; and in the spiritual world, too, life is the touchstone. Just as we know that in the world of the senses an imagined bar of iron, however hot, will burn no one's fingers, so does the trained occultist know whether he is passing through a spiritual experience merely in his imagination or whether his awakened spiritual organs of perceptions are impressed by actual facts or beings. The precautions to be taken during schooling, in order that the student may not fall a victim to such delusions will be dealt with in the following pages. It is of the greatest importance that the student should have attained to a certain very definite condition of the soul when the consciousness of the new-born ego commences. For through his ego, man is the ruler of his sensations, feelings, and conceptions, his impulses, desires, and passions. Observations and percepts cannot be left in the soul to follow their own devices; they must be regulated according to the laws of thought. And it is the ego, as it were, that controls these thought-laws, and by means of