Read & Listen
He who is able to read these words aright will doubtless already see in them the sentence for many who do not observe this most exalted of all the Commandments.
“Though shalt have no other Gods!”
Many a man reads far too little into these words. He has made it too easy for himself! In the first place he probably thinks of idolators only as those people who kneel before a row of wooden figures, each one of which represents a particular god; perhaps thinks also of demon-worshippers and others similarly gone astray, at best calling them to mind with pity, but he does not include himself among them. (…)
The name awakens and gathers the concept in man! Whoever dishonors a name and dares to debase it, thereby debases the concept! Bear this in mind at all times!
This clear Commandment of the Lord, however, is the least observed of all the Ten Commandments, thus the most transgressed. This non-observance takes a thousand different forms. Even though man thinks that many of these transgressions are quite harmless, only superficial expressions, nevertheless it remains a transgression of this explicitly given Commandment! (…)
Who takes the trouble to experience a Commandment with his intuitive perception. When one sees how thoughtlessly children and adults habitually treat the Commandments of their God, every serious-minded person could and should be horrified.
The Commandments are learned and superficially discussed at school. A person is happy if he has taken in the words, and can to some extent give answers concerning them, so long as there is any danger of his being questioned about them. When he leaves school to enter public life these words too are soon forgotten, and with them also the meaning. The best proof of the fact that he was not really interested at all in what his Lord and God demands of him.
But He does not even demand anything, but gives in love to all men what they urgently need! From the Light it was indeed perceived how far human beings were going astray. So, like a teacher, God faithfully showed them the way that leads them to Eternal Life in the Luminous Realm of the Spirit, thus to their happiness. Whereas disobedience must lead to misery and ruin for mankind! (…)
God had this Commandment given to mankind. But it has caused unspeakable anguish of soul. How many a child, how many an adult, has struggled desperately not to offend most grossly against just this Commandment.
How can a child honor the father who degrades himself to the level of a drunkard; or a mother who grievously embitters the hours of the father and the entire household through her caprices, through her unrestrained temper, lack of self-discipline and so much else, making a peaceful atmosphere quite impossible! (…)
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! (…)
The very fact that there is another Commandment which reads: “Do not let thyself lust after thy neighbor’s wife!” shows how little this Sixth Commandment corresponds in meaning to what the earthly law decrees about it.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” can also read ”Thou shalt not break the peace of a marriage!” By peace one naturally understands also harmony. That at the same time stipulates what a marriage should really be like; for where there is nothing to break or to disturb, the Commandment, which is not governed by earthly interpretations and regulations but by the Divine Will, does not apply either. (…)
A thief is regarded as one of the most despicable of creatures. A thief is anyone who takes something that belongs to another without his consent!
Therein lies the explanation. To obey this Commandment rightly, a man need do nothing more than always distinguish clearly what belongs to the other person! That is not difficult, everyone will say to himself at once. And with that he has already dismissed the matter.
Certainly, it is not difficult, just as it is not really difficult to obey all the Ten Commandments, if one genuinely wishes to do so. But there always remains the condition that man knows them properly. And it is this that many lack. (…)
If you assault one of your neighbors and beat him so that he suffers injury, perhaps robbing him as well, then you know that you have harmed him and will become subject to earthly punishment.
But then you give no thought yet to the fact that at the same time you are also entangled in the threads of a reciprocal working which is not subject to any arbitrary action, but which operates justly even to those minute stirrings of your soul to which you pay no heed at all, and for which you have no intuitive perception whatever!
And this reciprocal action is not in the least connected with the earthly punishment, but works quite independently and silently by itself, yet so inescapably for the human spirit that in all Creation he no longer finds any place which can protect and hide him. (…)
This Commandment is directed sharply and clearly against the physical-animal instincts which … alas … man only too readily allows to arise the moment an opportunity for it is offered him!
Here we have also touched immediately upon the salient point, which forms the greatest snare for human beings, to which almost all succumb as soon as they only come in contact with it: The opportunity!
The instinct is merely awakened and guided by the thoughts! Man can very easily observe with himself that the instinct does not stir, cannot stir when the thoughts for it are lacking! It is entirely dependent upon them! Without exception! (…)
He who seeks to earn a living through honest work and honest business dealing can look forward calmly to the proclamation of this Commandment during the Great Reckoning, for it will pass him by without striking him a blow. Actually it is so easy to fulfill all the Commandments, and yet … just look at all men in the right way, and soon you will come to recognize that even the keeping of this Commandment, which should really be quite natural for man, is not carried out, or only very seldom, and then not with joy, but only with much effort.
It is as though an unquenchable craving rages over all men, whether white, yellow, brown, black or red, to begrudge his fellow-creatures what he himself does not possess. Still better expressed, however: To envy him everything! In this envy lies already the forbidden coveting! Transgression of the Commandment is thus already complete, and becomes the root of many evils that quickly cause man’s downfall, from which he frequently never rises again. (…)
There are only few human beings who seek to become aware of what they actually want when they say the “Lord’s Prayer”. Still fewer who really know what is the meaning of the sentences which they rattle off. Rattle off is probably the only accurate designation for the process which in this instance man calls praying.
He who examines himself unsparingly in this respect must admit this, otherwise he proves that he spends his whole life in the same way … superficially, and that he is not, nor ever has been, capable of any deep thought. There are enough of them on this earth who certainly take themselves seriously, but with the best will in the world cannot be taken seriously by others. (…)
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