“Little would it benefit us if we knew of the existence of sunlight only from reading about it in books, and were incapable to see the light and to enjoy the rays of the sun. What would it serve us if we theoretically knew all about the constitution of the terrestrial sun if we were encompassed by darkness? What good would it do us to be informed about all the qualities of the divine powers of God, if we could not recognize anything divine within ourselves?
“No man can show another the light if the latter is incapable of seeing it; but the light is everywhere; there is nothing to hinder a person from seeing it except his love of darkness.” ~Franz Hartmann1
The Sun and the Light
A blind person cannot see the sun, but can still feel the heat from it and can still benefit from it in many ways. A blind person can also experience many of the negative effects of the sun, such as sunburn or heatstroke. On the other hand, a person who has never been under the sun at all, but knows about it only from reading on the subject, cannot experience any benefits at all.
Mr. Hartmann isn’t talking about the physical sun, however, but the spiritual. This is made obvious when he starts talking about Divine Light and those who live in darkness. There are very few people who literally live in darkness all the time and are never exposed to the physical sun, so that isn’t what he means. The Light he speaks of is spiritual Light, and the darkness is likewise spiritual darkness. You could also say those who have true knowledge (Light) and those who live in ignorance (darkness), and be just as correct.
So when Hartmann asks what good it can possibly do to know “all about the constitution of the terrestrial sun” if we still live in darkness, he is saying that it doesn’t matter how deeply we understand the makeup of the physical sun, what I burns, what radiation it gives off, what cycles it goes through, and so on, if we know nothing about the underlying spiritual sun from which it is generated. It is as if you studied only the portion of an iceberg that is above water, and ignore the rest that is below water.
So if you want to see the light, the first step is to stop clinging to the anchor of materialism and accept that behind the physical world is a spiritual one, behind your physical body is a spiritual one, and behind the physical sun is a spiritual one (as with all the stars). And when I say the spiritual is “behind” the physical, I don’t mean it in a literal sense as in standing behind someone in a line. I mean that spirit came first, existed before the physical, and is therefore “behind” the generation of the physical.
God and Divine Light
Mr. Hartmann then adds that it does little good to know about the divine powers of God, if we can’t recognize the divine within ourselves. What he is saying is that in order for us to benefit from such knowledge, we must recognize that a spark of divinity hides within us, and needs to be awakened. Until that happens, knowledge of God, angels, and the spiritual worlds are strictly theoretical and open to interpretation and falsehood. But that divine light he speaks of, that comes to us through the spiritual sun (or Sun of Righteousness,) can awaken that spark within us and “nourish” it so it grows and becomes a fully awakened soul that is no longer in darkness, but is full of Divine Light, and shares that Light with others to help them awaken.
1I have corrected some of the more glaring grammatical errors in the quoted text. I assume this was the result of a poor translation by someone who’s knowledge of English was limited, rather than errors on the part of Mr. Hartmann.