Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why the four regulative principles are generally useful

For starters, what are the four regulative principles? They have been prescribed by Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada and are sort of common rules for Vaishnavas and Hindus desiring to be more serious in spiritual life. One can also consider them as a religious rule.
  • No meat-eating, including fish or eggs
  • No illicit sex (including that which, even within marriage, is not for the procreation of children)
  • No gambling
  • No intoxicants
Next question is, why follow them, if you are not Vaishnava or Hindu? Because 
  1. they are not limited to a particular religious conviction 
  2. save you a lot of trouble 
  3. promote spiritual life.
I see them as guardian angels. It's like not having a car. You save yourself a lot of work, which is necessary to get and keep a car, you don't run over anyone and you don't have a bad conscience to ruin the earth for you and your descendants, because you are obsessed with the crazy idea of needing a ton of metal to drive your rotten bones through the area. Instead of all this you are free to do something spiritually uplifting. Sacrifice the transient to make the eternal easier to cultivate. Regulative principles can be extended endlessly, but they can also be reduced to one thing: Make it easier for the Spirit of God to flow into the soul.

The four regulative principles are like guardian angels.
Another advantage is that you don't give any religious community reason to complain about bad behavior. One should not be a nuisance to anyone unnecessarily, especially not as a follower of Jesus. If you follow the four principles, Buddhists and Hindus will respect you for the renunciation of meat, fish and eggs, Muslims and Jews will like you for the renunciation of the consumption of impure and forbidden things. It's like being a gentleman, a man of good, courteous conduct. And you want to be a gentleman, not an ogre, don't you? Jesus does not ask for four regulative principles, but He will rejoice if His followers behave properly. Of course the adversaries and slaves of sense gratification may not be happy with you following this principles. You can't be everybody's darling.

Ideally, one should only impose the regulative principles on oneself and not take vows. This is because spiritual progress should not be enforced and a vow easily becomes a judgment. It should always be "you shall," not "you have to." Nor should they be imposed on others. After all, more sensual people are not able to keep to them. It's not their fault, it's their nature. God will take care of them in other ways. However, there is no reason not to declare the regulative principles a mandatory law in special communities and places

There is, however, a great danger that will ruin everything on the spot. If you take pride in complying with the regulative principles, you are worse than a repentant sinner. Those who adhere to regulative principles should therefore always take a very critical look at themselves. Never scornfully look down on other people. Obeying this regulative principles makes you a gentleman in spiritual life, but a real gentleman is not smug, arrogant and conceited.

And one thing is still very important: without love for God and for neighbor, observing the four regulative principles is spiritually completely worthless and even an abomination.

No meat-eating: Eating vegetarian or vegan food has become popular in recent years. Nobody sane wants to be responsible for the horrors of the meat industry, deadly epidemics and the gigantic environmental destruction. What's more, word has got around about how unhealthy meat is. But the renunciation of flesh has been present for thousands of years in the spiritually more advanced people and communities.

The fact that food has a substantial influence on the human mind and body can be observed by everyone. It's not for nothing: you are what you eat. Meat-eaters get fat and sluggish and look increasingly like corpses. It is almost impossible to talk to them about higher spiritual things because they do not understand anything properly. In the case of long-term meat eaters, one can even say which kind of meat he likes best, because he looks increasingly like a pig or a cattle or whatever. God has ordered vegetarian nutrition for man. Thus man remains a human being.

No illicit sex: This is certainly the most demanding rule. It is also preached by the New Revelation and we find it everywhere in Christianity. Celibacy. Even in marriage. You ask why? Because people have limited strength and sex life is at the expense of spiritual development. The more lecher you are, the less you understand spiritual things. You may still understand them with your head, but no longer with your heart, and then you really don't understand anything. The divine spiritual things require renunciation, self-control and above all purity of heart. Otherwise, you will meet destruction.

The New Revelation demonstrates this fact in a quite entertaining way. There we find bishop Martin meeting Satan in the hereafter, who shows him to be a breathtakingly beautiful woman. Martin became literally crazy and wanted to become Satan's little helper, even in the personal presence of Jesus. But Jesus saved him.

Or when the spirit of Elisabeth H├╝ttenbrenner visited Jakob Lorber. Our poor scribe was barely able to write: "But if you weren't so heavenly beautiful, I could write easier! But when I look at you, I would much rather hug you and die in such a heavenly embrace than wiggle my pen and paper!" Elisabeth solved the problem by standing behind Lorber. Human weakness. Even prophets are struggling with it.

One has to understand that God and the angels are love and wisdom in person and therefore supernatural beautiful and attractive. One cannot approach them without self-control and purity of heart without falling dead (or worse) on the spot. The great love of the angels destroys unprepared people, therefore they cover themselves up or behave reservedly. If someone who is not a master of his senses approaches the divine spiritual things, he runs the risk of his spiritual life being completely ruined.

Still there is the question: How on earth do you ever want to live up to that demanding rule? Answer: There are a lot of helpful things like an orderly marriage life and the community of renounced and wise people. But according to the current circumstances you will probably only be able to approach this ideal. I deem this to be sort of normal. If humans could control their reproductive organs so easily, they would probably have died out long ago. Even heroes of renunciation fail to fully comply with this regulation. But that's not so bad as long as you remain humble. If you truthfully admit to being a weak sinner, Jesus can save you. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. But the days of the flesh are numbered anyway.
A yogi needs to be master of his senses

No gambling: Those who have never been addicted to gambling may find this regulation easy and perhaps even unnecessary. In fact, however, the addiction to gambling has a downright devastating force and violence, which is why one should not be reckless. Numerous people and families have already been ruined by betting offices, casinos and gambling machines. Avoid them like hell. The greatest danger is that which cannot be detected in time. Even lottery games should be avoided.

No intoxicants: Since the enjoyment of intoxicants already impairs the earthly and natural life, it should not be too difficult to understand that they are not conducive to spiritual life. Drunk people may communicate with all sorts of spirits, but what comes out even in better circumstances is at best something an ordinary person could have told you.

Intoxicants are not only drugs, but also alcohol, nicotine, caffeine. Even cocoa and sugar can be counted among them, as they have a stimulating and addictive effect. Addiction is always an obstacle in spiritual life, because one should become a servant of God, not a slave of any substance.

In every religion, we find one or two concessions on drugs. Christians are not directly forbidden to drink wine, Muslims have replaced alcohol with coffee and sugar, Hindus chew betel nuts. Sometimes a narcotic drug is included in the worship, like wine among Christians. Nevertheless, it would be good to abstain as far as possible from narcotics, especially if they were prohibited by the state or religion.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A psychological profile of Jakob Lorber

Jakob Lorber showed all the characteristics of a highly sensitive person as described by the university professor and psychotherapist Dr. Elaine N. Aron. People whose senses are much more sensitive than those of the insensitive majority are described as highly sensitive. For this reason, their personality develops in a way that differs from that of the majority, which is why some psychiatrists consider high sensitivity to be a personality disorder. Highly sensitive people are above average compassionate. They have a pronounced sense of justice, are considerate and not offensive and place the needs of others above their own. Usually they need time alone every day in order to be able to retreat, to rest and to process the sensations they have experienced. With their more sensitive senses, they are able to better assess and judge other people and situations, recognize undesirable developments and dangers earlier than others and have easier access to the spiritual world, are artistically and spiritually inclined and imaginative. High sensitivity is also found in animals, where it is the watchful, cautious and easily scared specimens of their species. Up to 20 percent of today's mankind is classified as highly sensitive, although it depends on where you draw the line. If only those people are regarded as highly sensitive who are forced to lead a permanently withdrawn life because they suffer too much from noise and other people, then the percentage of highly sensitive people is at most in the single-digit range. The destiny of a highly sensitive person is that of an artist, healer, priest and teacher.

Many spiritual people show signs of high sensitivity. Jesus Christ was also so inclined.
High sensitivity also has its disadvantages. Highly sensitive are easily injured and offended. They are not suitable for many professions where profit is made at the expense of others on doubtful or even openly incorrect paths, where competitive thinking and competition prevail. Since highly sensitive people perceive more than insensitive people, they are overtaxed more quickly and react inappropriately or insanely. Because they tolerate less stress, they can fail completely if they are only critically observed. Highly sensitive people fall in love easily and rashly, which is why their first permanent relationship is more likely to be unhappy. For the same reason, they easily fall for a pseudo-master or charlatan on their spiritual path, who then exploits them personally and financially. They learn from this, however, and subsequently enter into further relationships in a particularly deliberate and cautious manner. Overall, the life of highly sensitive people is more difficult and uncomfortable than that of insensitive people. However, since highly sensitive people are imaginative and spiritually inclined, they can flee from painful circumstances by withdrawing into their world of fantasy and faith. In this way, they can even endure more than insensitive people.

Highly sensitive people, especially men, often have a difficult childhood because they are less liked even by their own mother, because they do not correspond to the social ideal of the insensitive, ruthless and aggressive warrior, to whom a "real man" is supposed to become. As a result, their self-confidence suffers and they have to get a protective shell to survive. Even if they adopt professions that correspond to their nature, they often have difficulties in an insensitive society that overestimates struggle, competition, power and achievement to self-destruction. There are few countries where sensitive men are appreciated and respected. Although highly sensitive people perform better than average in suitable professions and are particularly important today to counteract the dangerous misguided developments of humanity, they are exploited and oppressed in most countries.

Jakob Lorber was very compassionate, an artist's soul, spiritually inclined even before his calling and earned his livelihood mainly as a musician and teacher. Sometimes he complained bitterly about the insecurity of his living conditions, but otherwise he remained a cheerful and sociable person. It was only in his last years of life that his irritability increased, and instead of his former cheerfulness he was caught up in a very serious soul mood. His childhood may have been less difficult with regard to his artistically oriented father, who was probably highly sensitive himself and therefore able to understand his son. Jakob obviously had a good relationship with his father, who taught him as his first teacher in music. If it is true that a person's image of God is substantially influenced by his father, then this would explain the strong emphasis on the particularly loving and gentle divine Father in the New Revelation, who also constantly speaks as a teacher. The young Jakob obviously did not need and did not form a protective shell. This enabled him to lead a more sociable life than highly sensitive men usually have, but also led him to take criticism and rejection badly because it hurt him too much. He felt easily offended when one called his words into question. This explains why he gave up his profession as a secondary school teacher right after the rejection of his first application and turned completely to music, as his biographer Leitner reports. In addition to a particularly good heart and the love of God, for which much and even everything must be sacrificed, the lack of demarcation also constitutes an additional or alternative reason why Jakob Lorber was exploited and for his unreasonable charity, through which he brought himself into existential hardship. Jakob Lorber suffered less when he took on the needs of others than to observe and share them with others. Such an attitude is typical for a highly sensitive person and is often found in mystic people. Most probably he also saw the Lord, who had taken care of him so lovingly and mercifully, in the poor.

High sensitivity is easily accompanied by stress. Artists in particular are therefore particularly susceptible to narcotics.
Alcohol and opiates lower the excitation level, caffeine and amphetamines increase it. Highly sensitive people can therefore help light alcoholic beverages to stay more relaxed in everyday life and in society and thus get along better. Jakob Lorber is known to have enjoyed a glass of wine with his friends. For him, this was a cure in view of his circumstances, because to act as a prophet is nerve-racking. Caffeine, on the other hand, has a particularly stimulating effect on highly sensitive people, which means that they are overtaxed even more quickly by stress or sensory impressions that assail them; it is therefore a veritable poison for them. The New Revelation repeatedly warns of coffee as harmful and poisonous, which is why it can be assumed that Jakob Lorber did not drink coffee at all or only a little, which of course benefited him particularly in view of his personal constitution. Otherwise Jakob Lorber remained a child forever; inaccessible to the treachery of the world and at the same time at their mercy. The penchant for childlike openness, unrestrained devotion and trust made him often alienated to the cold, loveless environment. He was incomprehensible, uncanny to the world, he became the object of gossip of a narrow-minded, insensitive and unconscious society with little or no awareness of its own shortcomings. He was never at home on earth, he did not live in the earthly sense, but survived. He could not count on real understanding. As he grew older, he withdrew more and became more serious. His kingdom was in heaven and not of this earth.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

About me

First communion in 1976
I was born in Bludenz, Austria, in 1968. My environment was sort of secular-Roman Catholic were religion and faith have never really played any special role. The children were baptized in order to correspond to social conventions. For the same reason, they were sent with the other students for religious instruction, communion, confession and confirmation. Every now and then a mass was visited. No one read the Bible, we didn't even have one in the family library. Those who read the Bible, let alone obeyed it, or seriously devoted themselves to religion and spirituality, were considered abnormal.

Since I found only murder and darkness in my homeland, I followed the light from the East and emigrated to India spiritually in search of divine truth and living spirituality. In the late' 80s, I got in touch with the Bengalese (Gaudiya) Vaishnavas, a movement of Hinduism which evangelized in the West under the name of "Hare Krishnas". During this time I traveled through Europe to the temples and centers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and twice to India, to Vrindavan and Mayapur, the two most important pilgrimage places of the Bengalese Vaishnavas. I studied all the books of Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, as well as other spiritual classic Indian Scriptures, had a nice time with a lot of devotees and "friends of Krishna", doing harinam and sankirtan (collective chanting and dancing), visiting festivals, lectures and classes, doing japa (mantra meditation) a few years, adhered to the regulations and seriously considered to live as a monk in some ashram. Since my profession was computer programmer I published the first German-speaking website about Krishna-Consciousness named "Gaura-Nitai Homepage".

Searching the then completely new World Wide Web I found out about the scandals that took place in ISKCON and how the leadership deviated after the decease of the founder. This made me join a reform movement called PADA, Praphupadanugas and Ritviks, which tried (and still tries) to make things right again. During this time I published more websites, scanned the original German translations of Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada's books, which required an enormous effort at that time, because the books could only be saved as text and not as pictures. Also I translated various texts and scriptures for the websites, including the still popular "The Final Order" of Krishnakant. Some of this websites are still online, but have been shanghaied by a Prabhupada disciple I have worked with in the past. In retrospect I have to say, that "Back to Prabhupada" alone is not the solution to solve the problems of ISKCON. I am still convinced that Prabhupada has appointed priests (ritviks) instead of gurus to enable further initiation in ISKCON after his departure. But it doesn't bother me anymore, because I have lost my connection to ISKCON or left it behind me.

Hare Krishna Summer Camp, Slovenia 1995
At the same time I finally read the Bible, which I found to be poorly in comparison with the Indian scriptures, and became interested in Marian spirituality and Christian mysticism. In spite of various difficulties I was able to learn a lot about spirituality and religion, about people and religious organizations, about myself and about life and the world itself.

Finally I came across the books of Jakob Lorber (1800-1864) around 2003. He is the author of a new revelation, a spiritual cleansing or reform of Christianity. And now my firm conviction, based on the masterpieces of Indian spirituality, was overshadowed by a very simple Austrian prophet. How pathetic and insignificant does Jakob Lorber look next to the Indian masters, who sit on thrones and allow themselves to be titled with boastful names such as "Divine Holiness", "Master of all Masters" constantly surrounded and slavishly served by their disciples and followers. Only "scribe of God" claimed Jakob Lorber for himself and lived in much greater humility than the so-called sannyasis (mendicant monks). How humble Jesus looks in His simplicity next to the magnificent Krishna, the Herculean warrior who always moves from one fight to the next. Jesus speaks to brothers and children; Krishna to slaves and servants, in the higher parts to friends and lovers. Jesus speaks as brother and father, Krishna as king. That gave me food for thought. The books of Lorber fascinated me at first glance, although I found them a bit strange initially. I couldn't really accept one or the other statement at first because of existing opinions - but soon enough it turned out that the books of Lorber were superior to other writings or teachings.

Jakob Lorber
For some time I tried to follow Jesus and Krishna at the same time as the Vaishnava gurus taught, but this did not work at all. The Jesus of Hinduism or Vaishnavism is not the real Jesus, he is just a distorted picture like so many other things in the Hindu conglomerate. You can't follow the real Jesus and Krishna at the same time. One of them has to go. I thought about who I would most like to live with in eternity: Peaceful and friendly Jesus Christ, or Krishna, who is actually a rather frightening person, considering how many people he is supposed to have killed, according to the legend. If Krishna were to appear (again?) today, the state and even the Vaishnavas would arrest and imprison him as a murderer of his opponents and a moral criminal. I was kind of struck by lightning: Whom they made me follow? How could I've been so blinded? But even such frightful considerations didn't bring me a solution. Krishna didn't let me escape his clutches so easily. It was a most painful time, like being ripped alive into a thousand pieces. Finally I was convinced by the New Revelation answering several important questions with unlikely ease. These were answers that I had hitherto sought in vain not only in the spiritual writings of the Far East, but also in the Bible and among Christian mystics. The sun of the West surpasses the light of the East - but hardly anyone knows about it! In the New Revelation, I have found more than satisfactory clarification on all the essential issues. Through them I finally found after a long odyssey to Jesus Christ, the true pure devotee, the one and only bona-fide guru and incarnation of God, the heavenly Father. But the New Revelation not only allowed me to replace Krishna with Christ, I also found a way to appreciate the Bible.

Of course, the Vaishnavas have developed sophisticated philosophies as to why it's perfectly okay for Krishna to behave like a fiend, but not for everyone else, apart from exceptions, and whoever gets involved with them should dress warmly. I still consider Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada to be a spiritual guide, a wise man who courageously set out into the heart of darkness to proclaim God there, as far as he understood God. When there was only darkness, his books were there for me. They were like the moon at night. With moonlight you don't see the world like with sunlight, but better a moonlight than no light at all. Nevertheless, there are also some things concerning Prabhupada, which have to be questioned, where one cannot say: The end justifies the means.

In Hinduism and Vaishnavism there are a lot of crazy things, such as guru madness, idolatry and devotee cult. But at the same time there are many beautiful and wonderful things like a great spirit of renunciation, enthusiasm and non-violence. So I came to the following conclusion: I follow Jesus Christ, who is God as man, or incarnation of God, and accept the Gospel as the highest doctrine, by which I mean not only the Bible but also, for example, the writings of Jakob Lorber and Emanuel Swedenborg. At the same time I continue to follow the four regulative principles formulated by Prahbupada (no eating of meat and eggs, no intoxication, no illicit sexuality and no gambling) and try to keep my material demands to a minimum. As a bonus the remarkable philosophy of the Bengalese Vaishnavas in the succession of the mystic Chaitanya help me to better understand higher spiritual things.

Since then I've put up some websites and projects to further the cause of Jesus Christ. I still look for news or revelations from the spiritual world and keep an eye on it, because there is always progress and further development in the spiritual as well. But I don't do this any more with the kind of despair that drives a person who is either searching for truth or who has been stunned by the conditions in the world and who has received either none, bad or only false answers to the fundamental questions of life. When I read the New Revelation, it is like a direct contact with God who speaks to me in my heart. In general, this work has such a power that within a short time one is literally taken out of the clutches of the world and transferred into the kingdom of God, provided that one reads it in the right attitude, in that of true humility, and takes the readings to one's heart. I hope that universal Christianity, or indeed humanity in general, will one day give up the distorted, man-made teachings of the churches and will come to appreciate the spiritual richness that God has generously given away - the teaching of Jesus as it is, again set forth in the New Revelation.

Thank you for reading.