Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord on the Mount of Olives. (cont.) Gospel of John, Chapter 8

- Chapter 156 -
About life in a monastery and hermits. The purpose of temptations.

he Pharisees: "Lord and Master. We have heard now from Your divine mouth of the difficulties in obtaining the inner life perfection, but also of the endless advantages of it. The difficulties did not discourage us to do whatever You may prescribe us to do. Even if we physically have to mutilate ourselves under the greatest pain, then in full earnest we are prepared for it."
I said: "Oh that would be the greatest foolishness, because whoever wants truly to conquer an enemy must line up himself in the open field in front of him, and should not hide behind all kinds of defensive works. Because when the enemy will see the entrenchment, he will indeed desist for a certain time from an open attack because he realizes that with his power he is not a match for the well-defended opponent. But he surrounds the well-defended opponent, and then he will call for fortifications from all sides. After that, when the enemy feels strong enough, he attacks the still well-defended opponent and overpowers him without difficulty.
I consider the case when the enemy was not able to do anything against the well-defended opponent as long as he stayed behind his entrenchment. But the opponent can out of fear for the stronger enemy not stay forever behind his strong entrenchment. He will have to leave it once and will have to come in the open field. How will he then fare when the enemy, who secretly is lying in wait somewhere, will attack him? I tell you: this second open battle will then be much more difficult for him than if he had attacked the enemy immediately in the open the first time.
Man can indeed withdraw himself completely from the world like the hermits of the Carmel and Zion, who do not look at a woman and whose scanty food consists of roots and all kinds of berries, wild honey and carob beans. Also they castrate themselves for the sake of the Kingdom of God, because in this way they cannot fall into temptation to transgress against a law of Moses. Therefore, they do not have any possessions, no parents, no wives and no children, even no manhood. They life in wild canyons, so that they would not be tempted by the beauty of the luxuriant fields of the Earth. They do not talk with one another to prevent that someone would say something that would offend him or his neighbors.
Under such foolish life conditions, by which they are disconnecting themselves from the reality and protect themselves against the possibility to sin, they surely are keeping the laws of Moses, but for whose benefit? I am telling you: that does not help them in the least, nor other people. Because God did not give man different powers, abilities and talents to let them slumber as a hermit in a little hut or cave, but to, according to God's revealed will, be active, and thereby be of benefit for himself as well as for his fellowman.
That is why God has never said to man: 'Mutilate and castrate yourself, so that your body will not be tempted by the body of a woman and will abstain from harlotry and adultery'. But when God gave the woman to Adam He only said: 'Go, multiply and replenish the Earth'. And with Moses it is stated: 'You shall not commit fornication and harlotry, you shall not covet the woman of your fellowman and not commit adultery.'
So man should be active in the world and voluntarily resist the temptations of the world. In this way, his soul will become strong and the power of God's Spirit will penetrate him. But by going through life as a sluggard no one will ever come to the true eternal life, because this requires the greatest possible full activity on the countless levels and spheres of life.
It is true that such people are sinning as little as a stone, but is that perhaps a merit for the stone? One day the soul will however have to leave his mutilated body, then what will he do in the beyond in his complete weakness and total inactivity?
There, all kinds of trials will be coming upon him that must urge him to true activity. And these trials will for the soul - with his talents that he already possessed here on Earth - be precisely the same as here. However, they will be for the soul surely much stronger than here, because whatever a soul thinks and wills on the other side, will also be as a reality.
Here he is only confronted with his invisible thoughts and ideas that he can easily fight and of which he also can easily get rid of, but there, where thoughts and ideas are becoming a visible reality, do tell Me, how will the weak soul fight against his self-created world? If for instance already here someone is filled with burning passion by the thought of the beautiful young woman of the neighbor, how will he then fare when his thought will, according to his wish and will, stand completely as a - although apparent - reality before him?
Therefore, the temptations on the other side are much stronger than here. And what will the soul be able to do to free himself from the hard imprisonment of his own evil passions? There he will have to work much more on his own to free himself from the confusion of his own thoughts, ideas and imaginations. Because if he will not start to work himself, he will not be helped immediately by the mercy of God or any other spirit, just like that is already for the greater part the case here on Earth.
Because, whoever does not seek God seriously, but only pursues the lusts of the world, is losing God, and God will give him no sign from which he could perceive how deep and how far he already went astray from God. Only when he will start again to seek God out of his own effort and necessity, will God then again draw nearer to him and will let Himself be found by the seeker in the same measure as it has become truly serious for the seeker to find God and to know Him.
Therefore, the pious laziness is good for nothing, because it has no value of life for Me."