The Fifth Commandment:
Thou shalt not kill!
Yes, beat your chest, O man, and loudly give praise that you are no murderer! For to kill is surely to murder, and according to your conviction you have never transgressed this Commandment of the Lord. Proudly you can step before Him, and without fear and anxiety look hopefully forward to the opening of this particular page in your Book of Life.
But in this connection have you ever considered that for you there is also a deadening, and that to deaden means the same as to kill?
There is no difference between them. You make it solely in your manner of expression, in your language; for the Commandment does not one-sidedly say: Thou shalt kill no gross material earth-life! But in a great, comprehensive, brief way: Thou shalt not kill!
For example, a father had a son. Petty ambition drove the father to insist that his son should study, at all costs. But this son possessed gifts that urged him to do something else, for which studying would be of no use to him at all.
So it was quite natural that inwardly the son felt no inclination for these enforced studies, nor was he able joyfully to summon up the energy. But the father demanded obedience, and the son obeyed. At the expense of his health he exerted himself to comply with his father’s will. But since it was against the son’s nature, against the gifts he bore within him, it was quite natural that his body also suffered under it.
I will not pursue the case here any further; it is so often repeated in earthly life. But it is irrefutable that through his ambition or obduracy the father here sought to deaden something in this son which was given to the son to be developed on earth! In many cases it turns out that it is actually deadened, since its development in later life is then scarcely still possible, because the healthy main strength for it has been broken down in its prime, wantonly dissipated on things alien to the boy’s nature.
Now the father thereby committed a severe offense against the Commandment: Thou shalt not kill! Quite apart from the fact that by his action he deprived men of something which could perhaps have been of great benefit to them through the boy! However, he must consider that although the boy is or can be spiritually related to him or to the mother, nevertheless before the Creator he remains a personality of his own, whose duty it is to develop for his own benefit the gifts he received on coming to earth.
Perhaps through the Grace of God it was thereby also granted to the boy to redeem a heavy karma, in that he was meant to invent something which in a certain sense would bring great benefit to mankind!
This guilt of prevention weighs all the more heavily upon the father or upon the mother who set their petty earthly views above the great threads of fate, and thereby abused their parental power.
It is no different when parents are capable of allowing the paltry earthly calculations of their intellect to predominate in connection with their children’s marriages. How often is a most noble intuitive perception of their child ruthlessly stifled thereby, when the child may indeed be given freedom from earthly cares, but with it a distress of soul which remains more incisive for the existence of the child than all the money and earthly possessions.
Naturally the parents should not indulge every dream or wish of a child. That would not be fulfilling their parental duty. But serious examination is demanded, which must never be one-sided in the earthly sense! Just this examination in a selfless way, however, is seldom or never applied by parents.
Thus there are cases of a thousand kinds. It is not necessary for me to say any more about it. Ponder over it yourselves, so that you do not transgress this so weighty Word of God in the Commandment! In so doing undreamed-of paths will open to you!
Yet the child can also stifle hopes of its parents which are justified! If it does not develop the gifts within as is necessary in order to achieve great things, once the parents have helpfully allowed the child to choose the path it asked for. Then, too, noble intuitive perceptions are destroyed in its parents, and it has grossly transgressed the Commandment!
Also when a man in some way disappoints the true friendship or confidence that someone gives him. He therewith kills and injures in the other person something which really harbors life! It is transgression of God’s Word: Thou shalt not kill! Brings him evil fate, which he must atone for.
You see that all the Commandments are only the best friends for men, to protect them faithfully from evil and from suffering! Therefore love them and respect them as a treasure, the guarding of which brings you only joy! —
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The book The Ten Commandments of God and The Lord's Prayer is a translation after the original German text, “Die Zehn Gebote Gottes und das Vaterunser”. In some cases the words of the translation can only render the meaning and contents of the original approximately. Nevertheless, the reader will come to a good understanding of the text, if he strives to absorb its meaning inwardly.
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