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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

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of the second came about. Neglecting to do so, however, lays him open to the danger of losing his moral balance, which under the right course of training cannot happen. Two things must here be borne in mind. First, that the facts above related should be taken as seriously as possible; secondly, that, on the other hand, they should in no way deter one from entering upon such training. Anyone who has the firm intention of doing all in his power that may give confidence to the first ego in the execution of what it has to fulfil, need never be dismayed when the second ego becomes detached as the result of such spiritual training. Yet he must remember that the power of self-delusion in man is very great with regard to the belief that he has now reached the stage of “ripeness� for any special thing. During the spiritual training here described the student develops his thought-life to such an extent that he is not exposed to dangers which are often thought to be connected with training. This cultivation of thought brings about all the inner experiences that are necessary, but causes them to be so enacted that the soul lives through them without any injurious shocks. Without an adequate development of thought, these experiences may produce a feeling of great uncertainty in the soul. The method here emphasized calls forth experiences in such a way that they may produce all their effect and yet not cause serious shocks. By developing the life of thought the student becomes more of a spectator of the experiences of his inner life, whereas without such thought-development he is in the very midst of the experience and is shaken by all the shocks incidental to it. Systematic training points out certain qualities which the student must acquire by means of exercises, in order to find the way to the higher worlds and especial stress is laid on the following,—control of the soul over its thoughts, its will, and its feelings. The manner in which this control is acquired through exercise has a dual aim. On the one hand, the soul by this practice

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