Everyone must face and deal with the three temptations. However, if one approaches the spiritual world across the ‘threshold’ that is guarded by the ‘Guardian’, then one has the task of recognising the forces of the three temptations in one’s own being and of ridding oneself of them.
This means leaving them on this side of the threshold while one’s consciousness is still on the other side. For this, one must become free of the body in one’s thinking (thinking must become ‘body-free’); feeling must become free of the influence of chance; and willing must be cleansed of the lust for power.
If, for example, one were to carry lusting after power across the threshold into the spiritual world, one could thereby bring about tremendously destructive effects. For the will is strengthened to such a degree in the spiritual world, that it manifests in ways of which a person in the state of consciousness on this side of the threshold has no inkling.
Therefore the Guardian of the Threshold stands on the threshold and shows us our double. That is, the Guardian shows us our subconscious, reveals it to us so that we have before us an unerring and true picture of the extent and inner constitution of all the powers that we carry within us – powers that entangle us in the three temptations of existence.
if we are brave enough to withstand this sight without despairing over our own nature, without losing all courage so that we become, as it were, living ashes – if we have the courage to endure this truth – then we can cross over the threshold. Transformations then occur within our thinking, feeling and willing.
Indeed, one’s thinking becomes something quite different from what it was before. Until then, if we reflected upon something in order to draw logical conclusions, our thinking flowed onward from one thought to the next.
Now it becomes transformed into a stream directed upward. A thought becomes a question that ascends to the hierarchies and with persons who have died – then we return with the answer and recall it upon awakening in ordinary consciousness. Thought becomes an answer. The power of thinking becomes the power of vertial memory.
Feeling, for its part, is transformed. It becomes no longer the expression of what one feels with regard to oneself. Instead, it becomes an ever-widening circle that takes up not only what one has in one’s soul as impressions and sensations from without, but also what lives as missions and tasks within other beings.