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Chapter V. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

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in itself calculated to accustom him to exclude himself—even in matters appertaining to the physical world—when making his observations, thus allowing things and occurrences to speak for themselves. Any one who has sufficiently practiced these preparatory exercises may await this meeting with the Guardian of the Threshold in all tranquillity; by this meeting he will be definitely tested whether he is now really capable of putting aside his own being even when confronting the psycho-spiritual world. In addition to this there is another source of delusion. This becomes apparent when we place the wrong interpretation upon an impression we receive. We may illustrate it by means of a very simple example taken from the world of the physical senses. It is the delusion we may encounter when sitting in a railway carriage; we think the trees are moving in the reverse direction to the train, whereas in fact we ourselves are moving with the train. Although there are many cases in which such illusions occurring in the physical world are more difficult to correct than the simple one we have mentioned, yet it is easy to see that, even within that world, means may be found for getting rid of those delusions if a person of sound judgment brings everything to bear upon the matter which may help to clear it up. But as soon as we penetrate into the psycho-spiritual world such elucidations become less easy. In the world of sense, facts are not altered by human delusions about them; it is therefore possible to correct a delusion by unprejudiced observation of facts. But in the supersensible world this is not immediately possible. If we desire to study a supersensible occurrence and approach it with the wrong judgment, we then carry that wrong judgment over into the thing itself, and it becomes so interwoven with the thing, that the two cannot be easily distinguished. The error then is not in the person and the correct fact external to him, but the error will have become a component part of the external fact. It cannot therefore be cleared up simply by unprejudiced observation of the fact. This is enough to indicate

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