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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


he will acquire the capacity of being really able to carry out what is demanded in these exercises. They will be deemed difficult only as long as one has not yet attained a particular attitude of soul, and certain feelings and sentiments. He who patiently and perseveringly cultivates within his soul such qualities as are favourable to the growth of supersensible cognition, will not be long in acquiring both the understanding and the faculty for these practices. Any one who can acquire the habit of frequently entering into the quiet of his own soul, and who, instead of brooding over himself, transforms and orders those experiences he has had in life, will gain much. For he will perceive that his thoughts and feelings become richer, if through memory he establishes a relationship between the different experiences of life. He will become aware that he gains stores of new knowledge not only through new impressions and new experiences, but also by letting the old ones be active within him. He who allows his experiences and his opinions free play, keeping himself with his sympathies and antipathies, personal interests and feelings entirely in the background, will prepare an especially fertile soil for supersensible cognition. He will in very truth be developing what may be called a rich inner life. But what is of primary importance is the balance and equilibrium of the qualities of the soul. People are very apt to become one-sided when indulging in certain activities of the soul. Thus, when a person has come to know the advantages of contemplation, and of dwelling upon pictures derived from his own thought-world, he is apt to develop a tendency to withdraw himself from the impressions of the outer world. Yet such a step only leads to parching and withering the inner life; and he will go farthest who manages to retain an unchecked receptivity for all impressions of the outer world, while possessing the power to withdraw within his own inner self. It is by no means necessary to think only of the so-called important events of life: every one, in every sphere