i) The names used in this translation are, of course, those known to the English-speaking peoples. - Translators' note.
ii) Michael Agerskov uses the Danish word "udgiver" which means either "publishing house" or "the person on whose initiative a work is published." In the case of "Toward the Light" and the related works, it is the latter meaning that applies. - Translators' note.
5) Because Jesus often spoke in images, the above expression must be understood as a metaphor describing the painful and gnawing memories of sin. The Evil Place that Jesus describes here is the ravaged Kingdom, the home of the Eldest. During his earthly life, Jesus kept many of his remembrances from his transcendental existence, though not all of them were equally clear and comprehensible to him.
8) Many of the apostles and followers of Jesus thought that baptism not only cleansed one of sins already committed, but also of future sins. Jesus tried to remove this misconception, for which reason he always explained that baptism was merely a symbol. See chapter 20.
11) The Feast of the Passover was observed in strict accordance with Jewish custom. Only those words and actions of Jesus which have general interest are included here, in order to show that Jesus took leave of his apostles at the Feast of the Passover without using the words which have since been ascribed to him. See chapter 33 and Commentary, p. 232.
14) Originally, without any later distortions, the explanation which Paul gave his disciples after having thought out the matter in the above fashion was the following: "As Jesus gave the apostles of his bread and wine, so he gave his body and his blood to his followers as spiritual food and drink; yea, he gave himself as a sacrifice for sin, a sign of a new covenant between the Lord and us."
17) Many Christians prayed directly to the virgin Mary and to the holy men and women, rather than asking them to intercede with God on their behalf. Saint-worshipping thus became idolatry. And since the mother of Jesus, and all "saints" - despite their good deeds - are subject to the Law of Reincarnation, any prayer to them is in vain, and is, indeed, often senseless; for the worshipped saints live on Earth from time to time as human beings, and consequently are unable to hear any calls for intercession or help from their fellow human beings.
20) The Youngest who, tempted by the Elder, committed misdeeds during their lives on Earth were often, because of their consciousness of sin, bound to an existence without rest among the earthbound human spirits, after their earthly lives had ended.
24) These words were spoken by Jesus not only to the Apostles, but to all the disciples who were present on that occasion, and thus apply in a wider sense to all the followers of Jesus. He is only present in person when this is necessary for one reason or another; in all other circumstances in which he is called upon, Jesus answers through his thought. Those who apply to him in spirit, in truth and with their whole heart feel his help as a deep spiritual peace and repose.
32) This is how Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer to his disciples. The prayer for the dead was omitted by Paul because of the consideration that the dead, who were resurrected and saved through faith in the death of atonement of Jesus, were not in need of intercession, and they who died without such faith could in any case not be saved by intercession.
35) When human beings make God their highest war-lord, every loss of life in battle becomes a blood sacrifice to His honour; and when the clergy consecrate soldiers prior to combat they become participants in, and accessories to, the human sacrifice of war.
37) Anyone employed by the state, the municipality or any private employer is entitled to a suitable yearly compensation from the state or the municipality, once their years of service have ended, thereby enabling them to face old age without financial worries. Society must also fully care for all who become crippled while performing their work or who become unfit for work through illness. Likewise is it the duty of society to maintain homes for the aged and the sick who are alone, and for employees and servants who are unable to work, etc. The state or the municipality must also, when help is needed, provide sufficient support for widows with children under age until these have reached the age of majority.
38) It is the duty of every employer to ensure that the employees and assistants under his supervision are not faced with any work that is too strenuous for them to manage; likewise must every employer reward employees or assistants with such wages as fully cover the work that is done, and which allow them such conditions of life as befit their place in society. (The above pertains to states and municipalities as well as to companies and to private employers).
39) People who because of their own discontent with the prevailing conditions seek to invoke similar feelings among their fellow workers, that through joint action they may enforce compliance with their own requests and demands in various areas, are therefore acting against the words of Christ and are likewise acting against the divine laws of order, forbearance and justice. Whatever is gained in any one incarnation by such improper conduct must be given back in full in the following incarnations. Anything of material value that is destroyed, each individual must compensate for with interest and compound interest, just as these individuals must endure the same spiritual suffering which by their actions they have brought upon their fellow human beings.
48) It will be seen that Ardor's Account omits the period of time during which Thought and Will were inert with respect to Light and Darkness. When Ardor related this part of his Account he was unable to give the intermediary a clear understanding of this state. This period was therefore deferred for further explanation in the Commentary.
49) As soon as the particles escape human sense perception, they take the forms of the four-dimensional world. Transitional forms nevertheless exist between the three- and four-dimensional states, in which the particles can be sensed at one moment and escape human sense perception the next, depending on whether a material or an immaterial influence predominates at the given moment. Similarly, there exist forms in which the presence of particles can be recognized but not perceived. The particles are in this case located on the boundary between the three- and four-dimensional worlds, and may manifest themselves on either side of the boundary.
52) It must always be borne in mind that the term "Darkness" should be understood by human beings only as a designation for a power that manifests itself in many different ways in the earthly world. This power can therefore also manifest itself as radiations that are luminous to the human eye.
55) In that system of which the Earth forms a part, not all suns and planets are ejected or erupted parts of their Central Suns; several are globes that through collision with floating accumulations of Darkness have first been expelled from their orbits, and have since been attracted to and held captive by a larger sun. (See Summary, p. 297). In the other three systems there are no drifting accumulations of Darkness; the Darkness there precipitates to the core of the globes and is slowly eliminated through the great circulation of the Light-ether.
57) Upon further inquiry, the following has been stated and confirmed from the transcendental world: all the globes of the galactic system move in their orbits around the mother sun and the invisible, i.e., immaterial, centre of force. As the globes approach the mother sun or the centre, their speed increases, and it decreases proportionately as they recede. The velocity around the immaterial centre, however, is much lower than that around the material mother sun. The same holds true for the comets and the planets; their velocity is likewise much lower around the immaterial centres than it is around the material, i.e., visible, centres. In the cases where the form of the orbit approximates a circle, the increased velocity round the immaterial centre is so low that it can scarcely be detected. - Publisher's note.
69) If leaves, flowers and stems are cut while they are still alive, and then shortly after subjected to dehydration or any similar process, the astral counterparts are not released until the forms, or anything manufactured from them, are destroyed in one way or another. If fresh twigs, shoots or branches are cut and then grafted or planted, the counterparts are not released; the connection that is loosened after the cutting is tightened by the renewed supply of nourishment.
75) Through frequent and very diverse cross-breeding, several of the animal species used in this way degenerated and became extinct. People with the requisite ability and interest can through careful research discover which prehistoric and contemporary animal species are related to some of the known apes.
81) During the time when the sin-bound spirits lived on the astral counterpart of the Earth (the Earth's astral plane) this opposing voice often stemmed from these wicked and evil beings, and in many cases it also stemmed from the Elder, who in that way tried to lead human beings astray. See also Ardor's Account, p. 29, Commentary, pp. 203-04, and Summary, pp. 307-09.
85) All of the spheres abound in flowering and fruit-bearing trees and plants that are unknown on Earth. According to laws given by God, the fruits and flowers develop without pollination and have a flavour and fragrance far superior to those of the fruits on Earth.
88) As stated earlier, the astral counterparts of the first human beings could not dissolve, because they were held together by the faint spiritual Light that had been brought to them from the Eldest. These counterparts - "shadows" - retained to some extent the outer form of the human body, but without any real firmness. Thus, at one moment they would dissolve into a mass of mist, and the next they would again assume a human form. In his Account, Ardor states that the shadows "wandered about", but undulated or floated would more aptly describe the movements of these counterparts.
90) Ardor describes the cord as life-giving, because the spirit is connected by this cord to the brain of its physical body, thereby giving "spiritual life", i.e., thought and will to the human being. See also Summary, pp. 278-79.
102) The apostrophe in "Lukna ..." denotes a sound almost like the vowel "e". The word 'Lukna was represented by one of the two symbols of Ra: 1) Several triangles, together describing a star, symbolizing the many, all-seeing eyes of Ra; or 2) a ring - the sun disk - symbolizing Ra, the creator. Sometimes these symbols were bordered by flaming tongues or rays.
107) Since human beings influence one another through their thoughts, those who utter curses are in danger of inciting by way of thought their fellow human beings to utter similar curses in hate and anger, which will then bring fresh consequences upon the originator. See Summary, pp. 309-10.
110) Since the cord by which the spirit is bound severs at the time of death of the physical body, it is entirely out of the question that the spirit can feel any suffering at all by cremation of the remains. Any accounts to the contrary are due to undeveloped and therefore ignorant spirits, or to imagination on the part of mediums.
134) Mary Magdalene was one of the Eldest. Through Jesus' care for her she was brought under the guidance of God, so that through new incarnations she could atone for her transgressions against humanity.
151) All human beings are receptive to thought-influence, either from Darkness or from the Light, but to a varying degree. However, in a very few people the gift of intuition is so highly developed that the spirits of the Light can employ them as intermediaries to receive extensive and continuous thought-messages.
156) The above communication was received in the months of April and June 1918 and was added to the earlier messages pertaining to the relationship between mediums and the deceased. It was included at the request of the spirit responsible for the Commentary and was received and written down under his guidance. - Publisher's note.
160) The prohibition of public seances does not violate personal free will any more than does the prohibition of assault, burglary, theft and so on. Public seances are a disorder that should not be permitted.
162) In the past, mediums of slight mediumistic talent have often been employed by earthbound spirits and the Eldest. Many genuine connections have been established, but they were under the influence of Darkness, an influence under which most mediums practise and which explains the numerous false and confused mediumistic messages of the past.
163) Mediums are not always required for these purposes. Where it is absolutely necessary for the guardian spirit to act without an intermediary, this is done by the power of the guardian spirit's will.
170) According to the laws that God established by His Thought and Will for the eternal radiation of the Light's energy, the lawless and aimless chaos on Earth is re-directed toward order and purpose, toward greater usefulness, greater beauty and greater perfection.
171) As a result of the overwhelming influence of Darkness at that time, many of the primary prototypes given by God were completely destroyed, for which reason the creatures that evolved from the damaged seeds did not bear the faintest resemblance to the original prototypes.
177) The special refraction that causes the colour-spectrum at sunrise and sunset will become much more difficult for the corona of Light to overcome than ordinary refraction. The time period required will probably exceed the millions of years that in all probability are still allotted to earthly life. However, during the Earth's lifetime, mankind will be able to observe the etherealization of the colour-spectrum produced by this special refraction.
181) By the physical brain is understood both cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla oblongata. It is, of course, not the object here to explain the function of the various centres of the physical brain, but merely to outline the interconnections between the psychic brain of the spirit, the astral brain of the counterpart, and the brain of the physical body.
182) The instinct of self-defence has been acquired by human beings in the course of millions of years of struggle for existence, and must therefore definitely be regarded as an instinct and not as a primal urge.
186) The image that the physical brain cells receive through the eyes can be so faint that they are unable to impress it on the astral cells. In such cases what was seen cannot, of course, be reproduced by the astral brain.
188) A suddenly arising fear can for a moment paralyze a human being's consciousness, so that the physical and astral brain cells are incapable of vibration. What is seen is therefore not recorded so long as the paralysis persists. Voids can also arise in this way and disturb the total impression, even though the eyes were not closed.
189) Since astral Darkness formed an integrated entity with the corona of Light, the Eldest were not able to separate it. The material with which they worked therefore appeared as if it were double, although it was composed of three elements: the corona of Light, the astral and the molecular Darkness.
The ability of the astral brain to retain the values and the impressions that are received through the physical brain is thus determined by the Earth's corona of Light, which fixates the astral Darkness. Even if the astral and physical brain cells are destroyed, the innermost principle of the astral cells cannot be annihilated, since it is created from the indestructible radiations of the corona of Light. Not until the physical body has died will the radiations of the Light withdraw. (See Summary, p. 295). Spirits who are bound to imbecilic people will through the Light-principle of the astral cells receive impressions that are transmitted through the absorption layer; but these impressions only become intelligible to the spirit when it is released from the physical body.
191) By the power of their thought and will the Eldest have often assumed the appearance of a living person, and by appearing visibly on the plane of the Earth have "acted" the part of that person's double.
194) These Eldest are scattered throughout the Earth, in many different countries. During their waking hours they usually remember nothing of their nocturnal excursions; but a few can at times remember them as dim, blurred dreams. During sleep release these spirits are able to participate in seances of materialization, dematerialization, levitation, and so forth.
196) This will also happen to all other celestial bodies, also those that only reflect the sunlight (i.e., non-luminous globes). Over the centuries, the "stars" will thus gain in luminosity. Excepted are, of course, those stars so extensively damaged by Darkness that their luminosity is in strong decline.
198) Refers for example to the lives of ants and bees, the ingenious nest building of many species of bird, the migrations of birds, the migrations of fish between oceans and fresh water, etc. Countless examples exist everywhere in the animal worlds of the air, the land and the sea.
204) The Light that is supplied to the Earth in the above manner thus takes part, together with the Earth's ethereal corona of Light, in the great ordering, adjusting, segregating and harmonizing work in the earthly world of Darkness.
206) Those who have no knowledge of the spring at Lourdes are referred to the book "Lourdes" by the French author Emile Zola and "Lourdes" by the Danish author Johannes JÝrgensen. Reference can also be made to the book "Lourdes" by Dr. Boissarie and to "Les Apparitions de Lourdes" by J. B. Estrade. - Publisher's note.
209) Sufferings of any kind that human beings bring upon themselves, for example by thoughtless or unhygienic ways of life, indifference, carelessness, wantonness, needless overexertion, and so forth, are not counterbalanced; in such cases human beings must suffer the consequences.
222) None of the great religious founders prior to Jesus is directly mentioned in Ardor's Account, because they were only to prepare the way, i.e., to make mankind more receptive to what was to come, and because the Account was intended to emphasize the work of the eldest of the Youngest on behalf of humanity. The Youngest who was incarnated as Zarathustra was later reborn as Mani; Buddha was reborn as Mohammed.
232) Even the ancient myth of Adam and Eve imparts some of the truth despite its purely human form. During an earthly existence one of the Youngest tried through this myth to furnish human beings with an explanation of their origin: Adam and Eve are thus symbols of the Elder and his female dual. The serpent symbolizes the alluring, attracting and binding power of Darkness. The apple on the branch of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes the lifeprinciple of Darkness, surrounded by and held fast by the Light. The serpent represents Darkness which tempted the woman to sin; the woman tempted the man to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, i.e., to gain knowledge so as to master the life-principle of Darkness. Removing the apple from the tree symbolizes the separation of Darkness and the Light. By their Fall, Adam and Eve - the fallen Eldest - were banished from the Garden of Eden, i.e., God's Kingdom. Cain and Abel symbolize the various types of human beings, who owe their existence to God's fallen children. Cain's murder of his brother is a symbol of sin and death, which through the birth, or creation, of Cain and Abel - humanity - was brought into reality in the earthly world.
233) In the ancient heroic legends and religious myths of many peoples, parallels can also be found that are due to the influence of the Elder - for example, gods that are also human beings, trinities, virgin births, and so forth.
251) If mediums nevertheless often experience fatigue during this kind of sťance, it stems from the exertion that is always required to keep their own thoughts from interfering with those of the communicating spirit; this fatigue is only passing, whereas the fatigue that stems from loss of psychic strength is felt as a prolonged depression.
253) The many questions that were asked by the members of the circle while receiving Ardor's Account, and which could not be included in the Account, were deferred for later answer by the medium's spiritual guide.
254) If a medium employs the method of automatic writing during trance, the spirit has greater control of the medium. But the spirits of the Light never employ mediums when they are in trance, i.e., the spirits of the Light do not coerce their mediums.
255) All the members of the circle, also those who withdrew, have contributed to making the questions so plentiful. At a number of meetings, the answers were read aloud, which usually gave rise to new questions - and new answers.
256) This can of course be said with some justification with regard to Ardor, but it should be remembered that Ardor was not the representative of evil when he rendered his Account, and furthermore that it was at God's request that he communicated with human beings.