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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


either in one direction or the other, and to establish harmony and balance of all qualities in the soul; and this is especially to be kept in mind in regard to one quality which is pre-eminently important to man's development: the feeling of devotion. Those who can cultivate this feeling, or on whom nature herself has bestowed so inestimable a gift, have a good foundation for the powers of supersensible cognition. Those who in childhood and youth have been able to look up to certain persons with feelings of devoted admiration, beholding in them some high ideal, will already possess in the depths of their souls the soil in which supersensible cognition may flourish abundantly. And those who, possessed of the maturer judgment of later life, can direct their gaze upon the starry heavens and surrender themselves unreservedly to admiration of the revelations of the Higher Powers, are in a like manner ripening their senses for the acquisition of knowledge with regard to the supersensible worlds. So is it also with those who can admire the powers ruling over human life itself. It is by no means of small importance for a fully matured man to be able to feel veneration to the highest degree for other people whose worth he senses or recognizes. For it is only where veneration such as this is present that a vista of the higher worlds can be revealed. Those who possess no sense of reverence will never go very far in their attainment of cognition; for from those who decline to appreciate anything in this world, the essence of all things will assuredly be withheld. Nevertheless, any one who permits his feelings of reverence and devotion to kill his healthy self-consciousness and selfconfidence, is guilty of sinning against the laws of balance and equilibrium. The occult student must work constantly in order to mature his own nature; then indeed he may well have confidence in his own personality, and believe that its powers are increasing more and more. Any one arriving at the right feeling in this respect will say to himself: “There are within me hidden powers, and I am able to call them forth from within. If, therefore, I