The Words of the Falck Family
It was a hot afternoon in August, the type of day on which normally nothing much happens, either internally or externally. People were occupied with all kinds of little things, shopping, winding lazily through the streets. This state of idleness was especially welcome to me -- I had a year of strain behind me, a year full of doubt and questioning. These feelings had come again and again to me and didn't allow me any peace.
I had everything I could wish for: happiness through my studies, a beautiful room, nice acquaintances. How was it possible that at certain times I couldn't appreciate all of this? That I woke up in the morning with a feeling of not needing to get up since I knew nothing would happen anyway? That I didn't find any joy in what I did? My acquaintances couldn't really understand my situation. They advised me to try to live more modestly and humbly. I spent a lot of time trying to figure things out on my own, but in the end I came to the conclusion that these basic questions of life couldn't be solved in a short time and definitely not through my own effort.
As I was riding my bicycle through the Stuttgart pedestrian area, a young man suddenly stood in my way and asked me: "Do you believe in God?" "Oh, God!" I thought, "not another one...," and was just about to move on. But because I didn't have the heart to just leave this young man standing, I stopped. Fortunately. This first meeting with a member of the Unification Church hung by a thread. But then we got quickly into a conversation about God and the world and anthroposophy and Christianity. I don't remember much of what we talked about, only his endearing Austrian dialect and his urgent way of speaking with me. It seemed deeply meaningful to him to tell me something important about Christ.
The "Christ" was not a completely new concept to me at that time. Even though I do not come from a particularly religious family, I regularly visited the "Dedication of Man" ceremonies and had read some lectures of Rudolf Steiner about "The Apparition of Christ in the Ethereal Sphere It was my opinion that Christ would not return in the spirit but appear within each human being. And I knew that Rudolf Steiner believed that Jesus already lived as a man and fulfilled his mission on the physical level through the crucifixion and resurrection.
But this young man before me had completely different views: "Why," he asked, "shouldn't Jesus return as a man since his mission has not been fulfilled?"
'And why wasn't his mission fulfilled?" I asked.
"Do you believe it to be right that Jesus was nailed to the cross?" he said. "Wasn't it his will to establish the Heavenly Kingdom not only spiritually but physically on earth?"
His words started to awaken my interest. Even though I got a bit suspicious that I was being confronted with a real "cult': my curiosity prevailed over all my skepticism. I said to myself: "Knowledge is the best weapon," and I decided on the same day to visit a weekend seminar in Camberg.
In Camberg I experienced one of the most exciting weekends of my life. I was totally engrossed in examining the Principle thoroughly. I let the new concepts pass through all the filters of my experiences of life, at first critically, then with increasing enthusiasm.
The truth is always simple, uncomplicated, and clear. One fog of error after another cleared up. I gave up more and more of my prejudices and was delighted to be able to agree more and more with the Principle -- out of understanding and conviction.
Besides this, I liked being in Cam- berg very much; the people were so heartistic, sensitive, and not at all fanatical, which was what I had suspected at first.
As I returned to Stuttgart I couldn't forget all of my impressions. Since the Unification Church center was not far from my apartment, I visited it quite frequently. On the following evenings sermons were given there. They were for me the highlights of this time. Not only did the New Hope Band perform with much skill and enthusiasm, but the sermons made such an intense impact on everyone that the discussions following them were completely inspired.
I remember precisely the moment when the "Parallels of History" were first shown to me on a board. The thought struck me like lightning: "If the time calculations are correct, there could be nothing greater and more important than this -- but if they are incorrect...?" I wanted to be sure of it, but who could really give me an answer?
I frankly asked the lecturer, "Do you believe this?" His answer shocked me. A big fight started to roar in my heart -- a fight between the doubts and the joy, but now finally it is as I always hoped it would be in my innermost heart. I cannot doubt anymore, and the fight has ended in favor of the joy.