93. SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE SOUL
 (Raphael): “If the Lord let’s man care for his own physical needs so that the soul can practice self-recognition and act independently, how much more this is necessary for the soul itself.
 Even the souls of animals have an instinct of their own implanted, according to which they act, each in its own way. It would be wrong to assume that these creatures, which are seemingly without speech and reason, perform their actions like machines activated by an extrinsic force. If this were the case, even the best domestic animal could not be trained to perform the simplest task and would certainly not obey the call of man.
 Since every animal has an individual soul possessing a separate vital force, by means of which the animal soul spontaneously activates its physical organism, an animal can be trained in different ways. A being that is animated merely from without has no memory nor is it capable of discernment. It lives mechanically and, where its aspirations are concerned, is limited and under judgment, so much so that any improvement through some kind of instruction is out of the question. That would also have to be done in a mechanical way from without.
 You may tell a tree for a thousand years to stand in such and such a way and produce better fruit, but it will all be of no avail. You must put knife and saw into action, cut off wild branches,
carefully split the stems and insert into them fresh branches of a better kind and then connect these well with the wild split stems. The in this way mechanically grafted tree will then in the course of time produce better fruit.
 Yet you can train an animal even through words or through a special way of handling, and it will serve you as and when required and fully comply with your will. This gives you unmistakable proof that animals also have a kind of free will, without which they could no more obey and serve you than a stone or a tree.
 If already animals evidently possess an individual soul endowed with some cognition and freedom of will that has to act independently according to its own nature, to what higher degree, and how much more exclusively, this must be the case with a human soul. There can be for the present no question of any external, alien influences, either good or, even less, bad.
 Besides, the soul is endowed with everything it needs for its initial progress in life. Once it has, through its own willpower and through the spontaneous love for God, moved into a mightier life-light, it will soon become aware of what it still lacks. It will then endeavor of its own free will to attain to this and, well recognizing the ways and means, strive for and grasp them, enriching itself with the treasures of the higher, more spiritual and more perfected life.
 What the soul acquires on this road, which is a true road according to God’s order, is and remains completely its own, and neither time nor eternity can tear it away from the soul. However, that which the soul could not itself have acquired through its volition and cognition, such as the external, physical body and with it some outer, worldly advantages, cannot remain with it but will be taken away just as it was given.
 If that is how things are and what daily experience teaches man, there can be no question of evil, demonic influences affecting and determining the soul; for everything depends on the volition and cognition and, finally, the love of the soul. As you desire, understand and love, so it comes to you – it can never be possible otherwise.
 If you desire, understand and love what is right according to God’s order, you will in this way at all times attain to reality. However, if you desire, understand and love contrary to such order, which alone offers reality and substance, you are like a man who wants to harvest on a field where no grain was ever sown; and you have finally only to blame yourself if your life’s harvest has come to nothing. Tell me now, whether you are in the order!” (GGJ Book 11, chap. 93)
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