54. POVERTY AS EDUCATOR
 Say I: “Good and true, and I cannot at all say that you have spoken one untrue word; but imagine a planet where all men without any special employment or other activity on their part are excellently provided, recognizing that they are able to live without any trouble whatsoever, and within a short time you have your North European inhabitants before you!
 Your North European people, once in Asia, the cradle of humankind, were equally and better provided with everything than now your Romans, and had enjoyed direct upbringing from the heavens; and there were sages among them the like of which the Earth has not carried until Myself; but what was the result? They ate and drank with cheer, became more sluggish by the day, falling into their present state by generation; but now in such their most pitiable condition they have to earn their most meagre physical living by the sweat of their brow, but are nonetheless not entirely bereft of sages and teachers.
 And behold, such very poverty shall place them on a developmental level that shall surpass the contemporary Roman one in every way.
 Hence it would not be beneficial for man to be all but fully provided physically. For he would then become so indigent as not to care about anything. And this striving after indigent, unconcerned peace is again an attribute of the so-to-say dead body. The soul, which for the most part still has to create its formal consistency by the appropriate activity of the body, would in the carefree peace of the body also rest, because within her too the bent towards inactivity originally predominates.
 Through the painful demands of the body the soul initially is awoken from her lethargy; for she senses that a completely care free physical existence could give her simultaneous death with the body. Hence she pulls every lever to provide for the body as best it can be. Since she nevertheless is terribly afraid of death, she begins next to her care for the body to also investigate life in actuality, and whether the soul would continue to continue to live, even though the body would be laid to rest.
 Out of this, a kind of faith in the immorality of the soul develops, and this faith gradually comes alive, forming into a human aspiration.
 But thinking persons, who can be found everywhere, are then no longer content with faith alone, investigating same at greater depth, trying out its power and endeavoring to prove same by, as it were practical means where its power has not sufficed.
 People then customarily take such researchers as Seers and Hearers, guided and impregnated by a higher spirit who, in the course of communicating with spirits obtain deeper initiation into the life of the soul after death.
 Such investigators are then usually elevated to priesthood by the people; and these realizing their indispensability, in the end misuse such necessary trust by their people, seeking their earthly subsistence income through it and ultimately are no more than blind leaders of the blind. But there is still the advantage of a vague, residual connection with the heavens.
 With time and the decreasing faith even of priest, new investigator arise among the people who examine the old orthodoxy without completely dismissing it, blending the residual good with their research outcomes, ultimately coming up with an entirely new doctrine which no longer tolerates blind faith, but demands fullest conviction based on facts which can be exposed to public scrutiny.
 And behold, in this way, although in tiresome places and ways, the latest human generation finds truth, and from much experience therefrom also laws by which to guide mens’ lives, so that the hard-won truth may be preserved among mankind in its pure form.
 If besides such find, gone forth solely from mankind’s greater action, a supernatural doctrine has come down to men from the heavens as a mighty, miraculous light, then such nation is itself saved, like an individual, as newly and re-born in the spirit; and behold, all this goes forth not from carefree physical provision but from want and men’s’ troubles!
 I say unto you: even an animal becomes inventive in crisis, let alone man.
 When man has been forced to think really hard out of need, then the Earth starts to green beneath his feet; if however he is well-provided, then he lies down on his lazy skin beside the animal, thinking and doing nothing.
 Behold, I would only need to give the Earth one hundred consecutive, exceedingly blessed and fruitful years, and all of mankind would begin to smell pestilential because of laziness; but because I let good and bad years alternate, mankind has to be constantly active, having to provide from a good year for a potentially bad one. And so mankind remains active in at least one direction, whereas it would otherwise go over into complete lethargy. Do you follow this too?”
55. THE CONSEQUENCES OF OVER-ABUNDANCE
 Says Cyrenius: “Lord, You surely are mankind’s Master, and at present the most living school of true life, and now I know exactly where I stand, and what mankind is about. Only one thing I can’t quite follow, why some nations, provided fairly above slavery level, could in the end still sink into lethargy! About this I would still like to hear a word or two from Your mouth, oh Lord and Master!”
 Say I: “Oh friend, consult the history of this Earth’s peoples; behold the ancient, well-provided Egyptians, look at Babylon and Nineveh, look at Sodom and Gomorrah! Look indeed at the people of Israel in the desert, whom for forty years I had provided with Manna from the heavens! And look further on for a great many advanced nations, and you shall soon find where good physical sufficiency got these people!
 Behold, a well-provided fashion-doll for instance in the end shall do no more than make up and adorn herself all day long, and ultimately she shall become too lazy even for that, letting herself be washed, made up and adorned by others. But that may not last too long either, and such spoilt dame in the end becomes too lazy even for being attended to, thereby becoming quite like a swine, if not a virtual sloth, as they exist in India and central Africa. Question: what can still be done about such women? Of what spiritual education is same capable? I say unto you: she is not suitable even for a whore! Such was indeed the case at Sodom and Gomorrah, wherefore the people began to indulge in sodomy! Do you understand that?”
 “Verily”, says Cyrenius, “You have not been so generous yet with Your true wisdom, to my knowledge! I must confess that this time You have told me more than on any occasion I was privileged to hear You. Everything You told us now about the arising and being of mankind in all its relations from the roots up is clear and lucent as the sun, but I still miss one thing: once I know that too, I shall be well-provided for to eternity. (GGJ Book 5, chap. 54-55)
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