I would like to open this season of lectures with a lecture I have entitled "On the Royal Road of Life". This title could actually be used for all my Sunday lectures because they will all be held on subjects whose sole aim is to shed light on this road, the road of life of all living beings.
The Royal Road of Life is a road that leads through two great eternal terrains or epochs of life, which can be called "involution" and "evolution". Of these two terrains of life, the terrestrial life forms such as the mineral, plant and animal forms, right up to the human state of life experience, are found in the first epoch. So human beings are also beginning to know a little about it. They are beginning to understand that beings change from one state to another, from a lower, primitive state to a more perfect one. But for the small group who are beginning to understand this, their understanding is still only theoretical, and for the remaining large body of humans it is still almost totally unreal, something they do not believe, something they regard as being the product of an abnormal imagination.
The Royal Road of Life is in fact the living beings' state of life experience and is experienced in the form of what we call fate. All living beings are thus inextricably linked to this road. To be able to break away from it would be the same as to break away from the experience of life. It would be the same as being able to cause oneself to become absolutely nothing. But that cannot be done, it is just as impossible for "something" to turn into "nothing" as it is for "something" to come out of "nothing". That is why the living beings' experience of life is eternal. So the Royal Road of Life is the same thing as the process of change that all things living are subject to. Since, to the advanced researcher, this process of change reveals itself as the very opposite of what we call chance or chaos, it can be described as being "logical". That it is logical means in turn that it is ultimately without exception a joy and a blessing for living beings. Just think what this means to the person who has at present an unhappy fate with all its suffering, sorrow and anxiety and who believes that they are the plaything of random inanimate forces in which there is no plan, logical purpose or ruling providence. It is this total lack of knowledge of the Royal Road of Life, of the meaning of life, that causes the human being to reach the extremes of depression and commit suicide. So depression and suicide are absolutely exclusively due to the human being's lack of knowledge of the logical purpose, the divine intention, that is the Godhead's or Providence's unwavering plan for the living beings, namely to create a "man in his own image". It is impossible for a being to follow something it has no knowledge of. This is the reason that it ends up releasing thoughts and actions through its behaviour that are not in harmony with the plan that God has for the human being. And because the human being is not in harmony with the plan or the intention that God has for its life, it is opposing or in conflict with it. It is not proceeding in the right direction along the Royal Road of Life, which means it is not going forwards, it is going backwards along this divine road. But because going backwards leads to the opposite of what is the divine will, namely to unhappiness and suffering, depression and suicide, the human being eventually gains through this state of suffering an understanding that this is not the right direction along the Royal Road of Life. It has to go forwards, because only this direction leads to the culmination of happiness, joy and blessing for the living being. And in all cases where the being travels forwards, it goes towards the light, whereas travelling backwards is always towards darkness. But is not this also what we learnt as children about Christian teaching? Is it not written that God said to Cain, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door."? Is it not precisely the case that the joyful person is accepted? But Cain did not do good; he slew his brother. Because of this he became fearful and thought that he could save himself by running away. How many people are there today going around afraid of life and believing that they can run away from it? How many people are there today sick in hospitals all over the world, with their bodies more or less worn out? How many people are there each day that actually commit suicide? How many people are there today that murder or kill their neighbour? How many are there who suffer from jealousy and envy towards their neighbour? How many people are there today who harbour feelings of dislike towards their neighbour and release this dislike in slander as untrue and derogatory remarks or bring about other phenomena that are destructive to their neighbour? Are not all of these people murderers? Are they not all people who instigate a sabotage of their neighbour's life experience?
It is impossible, through hatred and persecution or slander and bitterness, to create in one's neighbour joy, inspiration or zest for life. But to curb one's neighbour's zest for life is tantamount to paralysing or killing to a corresponding degree some of one's neighbour's vitality. There is one and only one infringement of the law of life and that is to break the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill". It is true we have learnt that there are ten commandments, but out of the ten, nine deal with different variations of how one can break the sixth one. Every person who in some way or other takes part in undermining his neighbour's zest for life, leading this person into sorrow, depression and weariness with life, is to a corresponding degree destroying this neighbour's zest for life and thereby his life experience. But destroying life experience is murder or killing. In as much as someone persecutes or slanders, that person is also a murderer. Is not a murderer exactly what the Bible describes in the story of Cain? And of all the people on the Earth how many could deny today that they are a murderer, that is to say deny being in a state where they have in one way or another broken the law of neighbourly love, where they have annoyed their neighbour by being bitter and angry or in some other way irritated this neighbour through their dislike of them? Is it not a very, very small group of people? It certainly is, in fact it is so small that it consists only of absolutely perfect human beings, Christ beings or beings that have become finished human beings in the image of God. And does not the whole of this immense variety of the Earth's human beings live permanently in fear? Do they not try to escape from actual reality with new murderous actions, lying and deceit? In fact, is it not the case that the basis of life for the whole of mankind is precisely the perfecting of their ability to kill? Why do people create atom and hydrogen bombs and develop all the many other processes aimed at killing, as well as compulsory military service and enforced militarism?
What about the judicial system, which ought to represent justice in society through the rule of law? Is that not also based on attacking the life experience of the "criminal"? What is confinement, imprisonment in a dark cell or being put in jail on bread and water? What is capital punishment and all other forms of torture if not a sabotage or reduction of the imprisoned person's life experience? And is it not to a corresponding degree the same as murder? Murder is therefore a part of the basis of life for both nations and individual human beings. So is not the story in the Bible about Cain a living account of a commonly occurring state among mankind? Who can deny that they are like a Cain? But as long as one cannot deny this it is not surprising that one is not "accepted". It is then inevitable that one is overshadowed by guilty conscience, fear of life, fear of people and animals, fear of not being able to obtain one's daily bread, fear of becoming ill and so on. And where this fear dominates a being's mentality like this, it is impossible for the normal joy in being alive to dwell. And where joy and zest for life is blocked out, only depression and lack of interest in life can flourish. And where dissatisfaction with one's neighbour, life and Nature is raging so strongly within one that it expresses itself in permanent bitterness and anger, there is a disparity between oneself and the Royal Road of Life. In such a situation there is a disparity between oneself and God's plan for human beings. One is then trying, albeit without knowing, to go backwards instead of forwards on the divine road towards the eternal light.
All forms of unhappy fate with sorrow and suffering, depression and lack of interest in life are therefore the effects of that side of the Cain mentality that promotes evil. It is life's own confirmation that he who does evil, which is to say does not love his neighbour, shall not be "accepted". For him "sin lieth at the door". If one has sorrow and anxiety, suffering and difficulty or, to put it more correctly, if one is to some extent in the midst of an unhappy fate is thus an un-shakable symptom or recognizable sign that one is not in harmony with the Royal Road of Life. One has become derailed from it. One is moving away from it. The fact is, the road often goes very steeply upwards and it is always easier to go downwards. It is this reluctance to go upwards that makes people want to avoid following the royal road. Bordering onto the Royal Road of Life there are many small roads that lead not up but out to the sides and in most cases downwards. And if we now have a look at human beings' terrain of life, we see that human beings are moving at great speed away from the royal road, they are out on the byways that do not lead upwards. But these detours, some short, some long, through the mental bogs and marshy terrains of unhappy states that afford no sight of the cosmic light of day, lead eventually back to the royal road. And after these awful byways going through marshes and deathly terrains, people are happy to return to the royal road because they can see that it leads up towards the heights where no light can be hidden. Here there is an open view to all sides. And so what does one see up on these heights where the road of life passes right over the mountain peaks of eternal life? - Here one sees the whole universe as God's radiance, as God's consciousness and way of being. Here one sees one's own immortality and one-self as being in "God's image after His likeness". Here one is at one with the love that is the keynote of the universe, a love that governs the whole universe, its microcosmos, its mesocosmos as well as its macrocosmos. Here one can see that God is not a local being living in a correspondingly local terrain, but that all living beings are God's organs and that through precisely these organs he is able to reveal himself as almightiness, infinite wisdom and universal love. Here one has learnt that to be a joy and a blessing to everything that lives is radiant happiness or a sense of bliss, because that is God's revelation and way of being. And in this mental state, in this cosmic consciousness or Christ mentality, the living being has become at one with God. The son has become reunited with his father. He has become the king of life. His crown is "the Way, the Truth and the Life".
(Original Danish title: "Ad livets kongevej". From a lecture held at the Martinus Institute on Sunday 18th September 1955. Revised by Erik Gerner Larsson. Revision approved by Martinus. Translated by Andrew Brown, 2000.)
© Martinus Institut 1981
Published with permission from Martinus Institute