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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds


them an impression which is the result of his own being. Let us imagine a particular picture presenting itself to man in the imaginative world. As long as he maintains indifference toward it, it will continue to show a particular form. As soon, however, as he is moved by feelings of like or dislike with regard to it, its form will change. Pictures, therefore, at first present not only something independent and external to man, but they reflect also what man himself is. These pictures are permeated through and through with man's own being. This falls like a veil over the other beings. In this case man, even if confronted by a real being, does not see this, but sees what he himself has created. Thus he may have something true before him, and yet see what is false. Indeed, this is not only the case in respect to what man has observed concerning his own being, but everything that is in him impresses itself upon the spiritual world. If, for example, a person has secret inclinations, which owing to education and character are precluded from revealing themselves in life, those inclinations will, nevertheless, take effect in the psycho-spiritual world, which is thus colored in a peculiar way, due to that person's being, quite irrespective of how much he may or may not know of his own being. And in order to be able to advance beyond this stage of development, it becomes necessary that man should learn to distinguish between himself and the spiritual world around him. It is necessary that he should learn to eliminate all the effects produced by his own nature upon the surrounding psycho-spiritual world. This can be done only by acquiring a knowledge of what we ourselves take with us into this new world. It is therefore primarily a question of self-knowledge, in order that we may become able to perceive clearly the surrounding psycho-spiritual world. It is true that certain facts of human development entail such self-knowledge as must naturally be acquired when one enters higher worlds. In the ordinary world of the physical senses man develops his ego, his self-consciousness, and this ego then acts as a point of


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