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Chapter 1 Beyond the Threshold

Scene 1 - A famous man (28 July 1847)

[BTT 1.1] Let us go to the sickbed of a great, very famous man of the world – some hours prior to his transition to eternity and look at his behavior here and his entrance into the beyond and how the two worlds meet and merge with one glance, and you will immediately and clearly see that the aforementioned cardinal rule describes the full truth.

[BTT 1.2] You see, this man’s deeds and actions in the world were of such a kind and carried out on such a soil – the resounding echo of which traverses the whole earth like a hissing meteor, so that they drew the eyes of all people to them and, on account of the strong ground echo, were heard on all points of the earth and thoroughly described and discussed pro and contra on so much paper as to cover all Europe with it. Now this great man, this philanthropist, this ardent pseudo fighter for the political and religious interests of his nation, is lying stretched out full length on his bed, full of despair and fear because of the approaching last hour, which he can no longer hope to escape.

[BTT 1.3] In a sort of numb, painful confusion he, an atheist in secret, alternately sees the eternal destruction of his existence and feels the presumed pains of decay, for which reason he stipulates for embalmment. Expecting not ever to wake up in the grave, his heart and bowels must be separated from the body and, to prevent these severed parts from boredom, they must be buried in such a spot which is not too infrequently visited by people.

[BTT 1.4] In the midst of such devastating thoughts, Catholicism intrudes with its painful threats of hell, at which the man had laughed while expecting to live for a hundred years. But like quickly fleeing furies, they return and plague the heart of the dying man horribly, which is conscious of many a great sin. And so neither communion nor extreme unction, or the many Masses and the loud ringing of the bells can set his heart at rest. In the sight of his soul the flames of hell burn all the more horribly and eternally.

[BTT 1.5] Now all his former manly vigor and all his philosophy are at an end and his breaking heart is sinking already into the growing night of death. And the soul, threatened by the greatest fear from all sides, looks with the last gasps for a little spark in the already dying furrows of the heart, which once had so much worldly courage. But everywhere there is emptiness and, instead of consolation, it is faced with eternal destruction or with hell and all its pain.

[BTT 1.6] Thus it looks on this side; now let us also take a glance into the beyond.

[BTT 1.7] Look, three veiled angels are standing by the identical bedside of our man gazing at him.

[BTT 1.8] Now A says to B: “Brother, I think for this one it is over. On this thornbush no earthly grapes will appear. Look how his soul is twisting and wriggling without finding a way out and how stunted the poor spirit in it looks! So reach with your hand into the already rigid intestines and snatch this miserable soul from its night, and I shall breathe at it in the name of the Lord and awaken it for this world. And you, Brother C, lead it then on the Lord’s paths toward its destination according to the freedom of its love. So be it!”

[BTT 1.9] Now the Angel B reaches into the bowels of our man and speaks: “In the name of the Lord, awake and become liberated, brother, according to your love. So be it!”

[BTT 1.10] On this side, the mortal remains now sink into the dust, but in the beyond a blind soul is rising!

[BTT 1.11] But the angel steps up to him and says: “Brother, why are you blind?” And the newly awakened one says: “I am blind. If you can, make me seeing, so that I may learn what has happened to me, for all of a sudden all my pains have left me!”

[BTT 1.12] Thereupon A breathes into the eyes of the awakened and he opens them and looks around in amazement. Seeing no one except angel C, he asks him: “Who are you? And where am I? And what has happened to me?"

[BTT 1.13] Answers the angel: “I am a messenger of God, of the Lord Jesus Christ, destined to lead you on the Lord’s paths, if you desire it. You, however, are now bodily forever dead for the outer, material world and are now in the spirit world.

[BTT 1.14] Two paths are open to you: the path to the Lord in the heavens or the path to the realm of hell. Now, it is completely up to you as to what you will do. For you see, you are here completely free and can do what you like. You will fare well if you let yourself be guided by me. However, if you prefer to be your own master, you are also free to do so. But this much know, namely, that here there is only one God, one Lord and one judge, Who is Jesus, the One Whom they crucified in the world! Adhere to Him alone, and you will attain to the true light and to life. Everything else will be deception and illusion of your own fantasy, in which you are now living hearing this from me.”

[BTT 1.15] Thereupon says the awakened one: “This is a new doctrine and in contrast to the doctrine of Rome and therefore a heresy! And you, who are trying to impose it on me in this remote spot, seem to be rather an emissary of hell than of heaven; so leave me alone and do not tempt me any longer.”

[BTT 1.16] And the angel C says: “Good, in the name of the Lord Jesus your freedom relieves me of my care for you. Therefore, the light be given to you; so be it!”

[BTT 1.17] Then the angel C disappears and the newly awakened one enters his natural-material sphere and is among his acquaintances in the world and hardly remembers what has happened to him. And so he continues to live in the world like before, doing what he used to do and caring little about heaven or hell and even less about Me, the Lord. For all these are for him three vague things held up to ridicule, like a dream, and whosoever should remind him of these things is told to leave him alone.

[BTT 1.18] You see, from this first example you can already gather into what kind of “water” our great, famous man has fallen. The following examples will elucidate this matter even further.

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