On this terrace, they all looked at the nature for a while that became more and more quiet, and the skipper made the following very good remark about this: “If with man – when he has come into the years of his life about which he says that he does not like them – the evening of his soul would look like this natural evening, then he certainly would be pleased about it. But this is
almost never the case, because man spends his old age in all kinds of sorrow, worries, weaknesses, sicknesses and in an ever increasing fear for the certain death of his body. And against this fear, his weak faith and his still weaker hope in a continuance of life of the soul somewhere in the beyond – which is up to now still not really known – gives him very little certainty. Or man, who can afford it because of his wealth, throws himself especially on his old age with all lust into all kinds of worldly pleasures in order to chase away the fear and fright for death that is troublesome above all to him. And when sicknesses, against which no healing herb
can achieve anything, will take him into their grip, and he can very clearly see his coming end, than it storms all the more in his soul. And so the evening of the soul of an old person can be very seldom compared – and in our time almost not at all – with this truly more than beautiful natural evening. O dear Lord and Master, please tell us if it will always be like that with man forever.”
 I said: “In order to give man a quiet evening of the soul, I Myself as Lord over life and death have come into this world. The one who believes in Me and always lives and acts according to My teaching, and who thus seeks God’s Kingdom in himself, where he undoubtedly will certainly find it, his soul will have a much more quiet and more splendid evening of life than we can see and feel this natural evening before us now.
"Many a one will ask: How can winter, when nature can rather be likened to death, where instead of warmth as the source of all life, cold, synonymous with death, prevails, how can winter be likened to the lively nature of a child who overflows with life?
And yet, my dear doubter, there is no better example than this one comparing the child’s life with winter which shows, linked through a spiritual bond, the corresponding trait in the child’s nature.
Just wait a little, My friend, and I shall describe to you the seemingly dead winter as very much alive, as warm as the child’s life. However, we will not consider the matter from the standpoint usually adopted by your winters and poets but from My standpoint from which I prefer to consider it after My own manner. So listen:
Look, My friend, when you compare with it the entire vegetative life of childhood and its soul-life, it is, as I said, a dream-life, a life where the good and bad, all that is right and wrong still sleeps the sound sleep of unawareness of Self under the cover of innocence. For only that condition is called innocence where one is unaware of having committed a sin and also knows none; for with the realization of innocence the same has ceased to exist.
Just as in this dream-life of the child where, as in an embryo, all the passions and other urges, covered up, are peacefully sleeping together only waiting for the better condition of the body enveloping them so that they may grow strong and develop – look, My dear friend, what an apt comparison and how close spiritually! – there lies asleep, buried under the white covering of the snow (for white is the color of innocence) – the whole future existence of part of the earth. It is only waiting for a higher power, the warmth of the sun, to lift and destroy this covering of innocence, freeing the thousands upon thousands of life forms so that every one of them can operate according to its purpose and fulfill its destiny.
28 July 1870
"Here you have four words from human life as well as words pertaining to the life of the earth and the life of creation. All these words are divided into phases. The first signify the four phases of man or the periods of his life in relation to his physical and spiritual development.
What will be said here about man, in its own way has also validity for the nations who in their spiritual education have to pass through these four periods, as well as for the great epochs in the education of mankind as a whole.
In order to begin systematically with these many meanings and explanations, rationally ending with the one before turning to the other to explain it and show its spiritual connection with the former, we will in due course pass to the third. Then, admitting you to My workshop and finally elucidating another four spiritually great words in their highest meaning so that you can see the whole in a harmonious summary, we will divide this great word I am giving you into several sections, beginning with the natural explanation of the first four words. And so, My dear children, wait for the fine thing the Father will again develop for you!
There you see before you the stages of a human being’s development up and down, during his life on this earth. In a physical sense it is an up and down on this gamut; spiritually it should only be an upward move.
The boy or the child, born helpless, his soul engrossed in a dream life, knows and recognizes nothing, and must learn everything, even how to clothe his thoughts, which increase with the development of his personality, in a language, which is at first faulty, then becomes progressively clearer and more accurate the more the body and the mental capacity develop.
4 August 1870
"Since your company is almost predominantly of the female gender, which exerts such a significant influence on the spiritual education of My children, I will for the sake of your sisters give also a few words for them. Then the ones may realize what they really ought to have done, and the others consider what they still should do, partly so as to deserve the name “My children” and partly so as to operate in such a way that all souls that will be entrusted to them by Me may also be guided onto My roads in accordance with My higher decree. Let us then come to the point:
Let us begin as with the preceding fourfold dictation, namely, with youth, or with the first phase as child or, here of the female gender, with the girl.
Soon after birth when no sexual difference as to urges and passions is present and the vegetative life alone is predominant, in the boy or the girl the only discernible difference lies in the physical arrangement. In the girl the weaker, calmer, suffering, passive nature is predominant, whereas in the boy already the violent and more active temperament is discernible which later forms his character, as compared with the gentler and weaker girl.
This phase is, therefore, the same with both sexes. All the passions and virtues are peacefully dormant in the sleep of the righteous until other conditions arouse them to separation and conflict and, as we have shown in the case of the boy, also in the girl self-will and anger are the first bad qualities manifesting.
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