Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The profound need for profound tolerance

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner: 

"One must educate oneself to listen with profound inner calm even to things one cannot in the least agree with, listen not in a spirit of supercilious endurance, but with the most positive inner tolerance as one would to well-founded utterances on the other person's part.

In the higher worlds there is little sense in making objections to anything. A person with experience in that realm knows that the most opposite views about the same fact can be expressed there by, let us say, oneself and someone else. When he has made himself capable of listening to the other's opposite view with exactly the same tolerance he feels toward his own — and please notice this! — then and then only does he have the social attitude required for experiencing what was formerly merely theoretical knowledge of the higher worlds."

The Angel of Gautama Buddha: The Successor to Michael in the Archangelic Realm. Michael and the Dragon of Materialism.

Rudolf Steiner, Stuttgart, May 20, 1913:

We have tried to throw some light upon the character of our present age as it shows itself in relation to the working of cosmic law. This is a matter that should not be lightly passed over. For when we speak of the spiritual forces, the spiritual influences, of a particular age, these are likewise the forces and impulses which are working in the soul of each one of us. We cannot understand our own souls unless we are able to place ourselves in right relation to these forces and influences of our age, which are at the same time the spiritual forces and impulses of our own souls. In whatever way individuals among you may account for your belief in something that is given in Spiritual Science, it is absolutely true that in the souls of all those who fairly and honestly come to Spiritual Science there lives, perhaps unconsciously, an urge that comes from the genuine spiritual impulses of our time.
In the last lecture I endeavored to show you that at the present time we are living in what one may call the Michael Age. An understanding for spiritual things is now becoming possible for an increasing number of souls. Whereas during the course of previous centuries it was possible to acquire an understanding above all for the things of external natural science, for physical, chemical, and physiological laws, for everything related to external space and time, whereas during the Gabriel Age understanding was awakened for all that went from triumph to triumph in the natural sciences and inclined men to a scientific conception of the world, we are now entering upon an age in which it will be just as possible to understand the things of the spirit.
At no time in human evolution have two successive epochs been so radically different from one another as that which has just run its course and the epoch upon which we are now entering. And never before have souls been more alien to one another than will be the souls of those who incline to what is spiritual and the souls who still adhere to what past centuries have brought. Nor will it be long before those who believe they stand firmly in materialistic Monism will be quite out of date in comparison with those who are earnestly seeking an understanding of supersensible worlds. For since the last third of the nineteenth century a spiritual ‘tidal wave’ from higher worlds has been flowing into our world, and making it possible for man to understand the way in which human and world evolution are spiritually guided.
My dear friends, nearly two thousand years ago the event took place which you all know under the name of the Mystery of Golgotha. Of this Mystery of Golgotha we have often spoken here. We have approached it from many different sides, and have seen it to be the great center of gravity of all human evolution. It has been possible to show quite clearly that without reference to any religious views or creed, but purely out of spiritual science itself, an understanding of this event is possible, and in such a way that one may expect understanding from every shade of current religious belief. We have also spoken at some length about the reasons why certain people are not prepared to accept the Christ Event as the great center of gravity of human evolution. But now we must turn our minds to something else which was mentioned yesterday in the public lecture. (see Note 1)
It might well be that out of prejudice a person wished to know nothing of what took place in a certain small country at the beginning of our era, did not want to trouble himself about what we call the Mystery of Golgotha. Very well, let us even assume that it would be natural for him to imagine the whole course of history in such a way that what happened on Golgotha could be struck out. Let us make that hypothesis. In the course of his study of the evolution of mankind, such a person will nevertheless discover a special characteristic of that age. We spoke of this yesterday. The epoch immediately preceding the Mystery of Golgotha was a time of transition in the attitude and direction of the human soul. From having been directed more to the surrounding world in an external way, man's soul began to be turned within to its own inner nature — and this, quite apart from the Mystery of Golgotha. At the time into which the Mystery of Golgotha was placed, the great transition was occurring from a life in outward surroundings to a more inward life. And anyone can feel this, even if he ignores the Mystery of Golgotha altogether. Mankind was in that time at a turning-point. It is not necessary even to speak of the Mystery of Golgotha, one can point to quite other events to show that formerly man's life had an outward direction, but that afterwards those who are animated by the impulse of the age, by the true genius of the age, begin to make their life more inward.
When anything of this kind happens, it does not happen without being prepared beforehand. I have no desire to quote the trite saying: "Nature, or history, does not proceed by leaps." The expression holds good only within certain limits. Even the blossom is already prepared in the green leaves — although here we have, have we not, a clear case of a ‘leap’ in development? Similarly there was a preparation beforehand for what appears as a sudden incision in human history at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. When we go deeply into what we can find of the teaching and outlook of the last centuries of ancient Hebraism, we find a spirit — of a Hebrew kind, of course — a spirit of preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha; and not in Hebraism alone, for in other regions of the Earth too we can find such a spirit of preparation.
In Hebraism new features began to show themselves of quite a different order from those that were there formerly. In the sixth century before the Mystery of Golgotha we find an altogether new mode of regarding the world, compared with what we find earlier in the spiritual life of the Hebrews; it marks a new epoch. This reveals itself clearly enough to the careful observer. And if it shows itself here in a different manner — since the old Hebrew people were differently constituted — yet it is the same spirit, expressing itself differently, which prevails in Greek philosophy and even in the Greek art of poetry, in the last centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha. We find it everywhere. One has only to make a serious study of spirits like Plato and Aristotle — yes, and even Socrates — to see that this turning point is everywhere being prepared.
Now, events that happen here on Earth are guided and controlled from the supersensible world. Before the incision entered into the physical life of the Earth which we call the Event of Golgotha, the earlier guidance of evolution sent out a Messenger — at that time still a Messenger of Jehovah — to guide this event. He was the Spirit who prepared the period of civilization up to the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, the same Spirit who is the Leader of our own culture epoch just beginning, the Spirit we have called Michael. Just as Michael gives its character to our age, so did he give its character to the whole civilization which prepared the way for the Mystery of Golgotha. The Power, however, who sent forth Michael from the higher worlds was at that time Jahve or Jehovah.
In those days it was not as it is in our time, when, as soon as one speaks of spiritual things the objection is so easily raised: You often speak of the Folk Spirit or Time Spirit, and of other spiritual facts, but you rarely speak of God. — People do not notice why one does not speak of God — for the reason, namely, that no human concept can embrace that in which we live and move and have our being. Here one also meets with points of view which are, from a certain aspect, very interesting. When I gave a public lecture recently in a certain town, and as the practice often is, questions were sent up to be answered, one man put a very clever question. He asked: “If logically one recognizes an object through the fact that one looks at it as an object and can stand before it, if we cannot have an objective picture of an object which we have in ourselves — like the pupil of the eye, for example — because we cannot look at it, then how does this fit in with the opinion of many mystics that one must remove oneself from God in order to be able to contemplate Him?”
Certainly many mystics have maintained that one must withdraw from God in order to contemplate Him. It was a clever question, but the only answer that can be given is: “You may withdraw from God as much as you please, but you still remain in Him, you cannot get out of God.” Logic may often be very logical but fall short of reality.
In times when men stood nearer to the spiritual they had a feeling of reverence for the Divinity in which we live and move and have our being, the Divinity which it was not even always right to call by name; and for that reason the ancient Hebrews, in order not to pronounce the name, used the expression the ‘Countenance of Jehovah.’ In man, the countenance is what he turns outwards, that by which he reveals himself. It is not the whole of man. One knows a man as he is in his inner being by the features of his countenance, but one does not on that account presume to speak of the whole man when one means his face or countenance.
At that time therefore Michael was called the ‘Countenance of Jehovah’; men preferred to speak of the representative through whom Jahve revealed Himself to mankind as in an external countenance. Even in intimate circles they would rather name the representative than speak of Jahve Himself. Michael was in fact at that time looked upon as the spiritual Regent of the age, as the Messenger of Jahve, as the member of the hierarchies from whom streamed forth the impulse that was to come for the understanding of the Event of Golgotha.
In the intervening centuries other beings from the rank of the archangels have had the guidance of mankind's spiritual evolution, but the being who had the guidance when preparation had to be made for the Mystery of Golgotha is the same being as is now again sending the floods of supersensible life down into the world of the senses. There was a Michael Age then, and a Michael Age is the one that is now beginning. There is, however, a vast difference between that Michael Age and ours which has just begun.
It would take us too far today to describe what kind of understanding men have been able to bring to the Mystery of Golgotha during the period which has elapsed between that Michael Age and ours. There have been deeply fervent souls who out of a more or less intense need for belief have gained a relation to the Mystery of Golgotha and its Bearer; there have been deeply religious natures all through the centuries since the Mystery of Golgotha down to our own time. But the Mystery of Golgotha is a Mystery which, notwithstanding that it took place as a real fact at the beginning of modern times, is yet of such a nature that human souls cannot presume to understand it fully without preparation. New epochs will continually arise which will bring a greater deepening to human souls, and which will have an increasing understanding for what happened in the Mystery of Golgotha. The Event itself stands there as the great turning-point in human evolution; the understanding of the Event will continuously grow and ripen in the spiritual evolution of the Earth. This fact cannot be engraved deeply enough into our minds and hearts.
Let us grasp in a certain metaphysical abstraction what actually took place at that time. We have described it from various points of view; let us now choose a more abstract point of view, but one which, if we allow it to work upon us, can call forth a deep feeling in our souls.
When with ordinary powers of observation and even with scientific observation we study the things around us, we learn to know by means of ordinary thinking and ordinary science the laws of existence in the mineral, plant, animal, and human kingdoms. These laws all culminate in an ideal: to understand life. But life is not to be understood here on Earth. Occultism alone can give knowledge of life; external science can never fathom it. It would be the wildest fantasy to believe that one could ever penetrate the laws of life as one can physical or chemical laws. To do so remains an ideal; it can never be reached. On the physical plane there is never any possibility of giving a knowledge of life. This knowledge of life must remain the preserve of supersensible knowledge.
But now, impossible as is a sense knowledge of life, equally impossible is a supersensible knowledge of death. There are conditions of terrible isolation of consciousness in the spiritual worlds, there is such a thing as a temporary immersion as though into a condition of sleep, but there is no death in the higher worlds. Death is impossible in the higher worlds. All the beings we have learned to know as beings of the higher hierarchies have this distinguishing characteristic: they do not know death, they never pass through death. Just as we are told in the Bible that the angels covered their faces before the secret of birth, the secret of Man's becoming, so must they and all other higher beings cover their faces before death. For death is an event that is only possible in the sense world, not in the supersensible.
Among all the beings of the higher worlds there was One and One alone Who had to go through death — we may also say, Who willed to go through death; that is, the Christ. To that end He had to come down to Earth. In order that a being of the higher worlds might be able to accomplish what was necessary for Earth evolution, the Christ had to descend from a world in which there is no death to the world in which there is death.
If such ideas are at first abstract, it is for us to change them into feeling and experience. The full understanding of what I have now described in an abstract way will become a concern of the evolution of humanity. With a certain reverence, together with humility and delicacy, let us approach today the secret of the Mystery of Golgotha.
For what was it that really happened then? It has often been described. The Christ descended from the supersensible worlds into the world in which He has since lived as a hidden Force — a Force however which will make itself manifest from this century onwards. He descended out of a world in which there is no death, into the world of death, and He — this Force — has united Himself with the Earth; from being a cosmic Force He has become a Force of the Earth. He went through death in order to come to life in Earth existence, in order to be within the Earth world. And all through the centuries there has come to expression in souls which were filled with this Impulse the striving of mankind to understand Him. But the nearer evolution approached the close of the Gabriel Age, the more this understanding receded, until today just where there should be understanding, it is sadly lacking, and materialism prevails not only in modern science but consequently in theology too. The real understanding of the Christ Impulse has grown less and less. Materialism has seized upon men's souls and deeply ensconced itself in them. Materialism became in many respects the fundamental impulse of the epoch which has just elapsed. Countless souls died during that epoch who went through the gate of death with a materialistic outlook. For such numbers of souls to go through the gate of death with a materialistic outlook would have been impossible in earlier ages. These souls then lived in the spiritual world between death and a new birth without knowing anything of the world in which they lived. A being came towards them; they perceived Him in that world. They had to perceive Him because this being had united Himself with the Earth, although for the present He rules invisibly in physical Earth existence. And the exertions of these souls who had gone through the gate of death succeeded — we cannot express it otherwise — in driving the Christ out of the spiritual world. The Christ has had to experience a renewal of the Mystery of Golgotha, although not in the same magnitude as before. At that time He went through death; now He had to undergo banishment from His existence in the spiritual world. And thus there was fulfilled in Him the eternal law of the spiritual world: that what disappears for the higher spiritual world arises anew in the lower world.
If it is possible in the 20th century for souls to evolve to an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, then it is due to this Event — that Christ, through a conspiracy of materialistic souls, has been driven out of the spiritual worlds, and transferred into the sense world, into the world of man, so that even in this world of the senses a new understanding for the Christ can begin. Hence, too, Christ is still more nearly and intimately united with the destiny of men on Earth. And while in the past man could look up to Jahve or Jehovah and know that He was the being who sent out Michael to prepare the way for the transition from the Jahve Age to the Christ Age — while in earlier ages it was Jehovah who sent Michael, it is now the Christ who sends us Michael.
This is the new and important fact which we must transform into a feeling. As formerly man could speak of Jahve-Michael, the Leader of the age, so now we can speak the Christ-Michael. Michael has been exalted to a higher stage — from Folk Spirit to Time Spirit, inasmuch as from being the Messenger of Jahve he has become the Messenger of Christ. And so when we speak of a right understanding of the Michael Impulse in our age, we are speaking of a right understanding of the Christ Impulse.
An abstract understanding always deals in names, simply in names, and thinks it will arrive somewhere if it asks “What kind of Being is Michael?” and wants to be told that he comes from this or that hierarchy, that he is an archangel, that archangels have such and such qualities. Then it is all defined and people think now they know what such a being is. They do not know it by speaking of Michael in this way. If one wants to understand the evolution of mankind, one must understand that Michael too has evolved: one must understand that it is the same being who paved the way for the preparation of the Mystery of Golgotha, and who now in our day paves the way for the understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha. Then, however, he was a Folk Spirit, now he is a Time Spirit; then he was the Messenger of Jahve, now he is the Messenger of Christ. We speak of the Christ in the right way when we speak of Michael and his mission, knowing that Michael, who was formerly the bearer of the Jehovah-mission, is now the bearer of the Mission of the Christ.
My dear friends, we have been able to follow the path of Michael, a Spirit who has, so to say, ascended in order to communicate a new impulse to mankind; who has ascended, or rather is ascending, from the rank of the archangels to the rank of the archai. His place will be filled by another being who succeeds him.
I have spoken here on different occasions of the evolution which Buddha passed through. The puerile objections which are now being made against us (see Note 2) are brought also against our understanding of the Christ Impulse in the world — as though we had ever been one-sided in our representation of the Christ Impulse. We turn our gaze to evolution as a whole and describe what different impulses underlie it, giving to each its due value. Again and again we have spoken of the Bodhisattva who was born as Gautama Buddha and have shown that for us it is truth that he became ‘Buddha’. We have followed his evolution until the time when he received his mission on Mars. And of that mission we have also spoken here.
As long as man dwells on Earth, there is always for each human being, however high he may stand, an individuality who guides him from incarnation to incarnation. The individual guidance of human beings is made subject to the angeloi, the angel beings. When a man from being a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, then his angel is, as it were, set free. And it is such angel beings who, after the fulfillment of their mission, ascend into the realm of the archangel beings.
Thus if we really understand how to penetrate ever more deeply into the supersensible evolution which lies behind our sense evolution, we are actually able to perceive at some point how an archangel ascends to the nature of the archai, and an angel being to an archangel being.
My dear friends, what I have said to you about the spiritual background of the world in which we live and in which we wish to take our stand as Anthroposophists — I have not said it in order that you may merely theorize over these things, but that you may transform into feeling and experience what has been expressed in words and ideas. Yes — to be an Anthroposophist in our age means to know the nature of the supersensible world which underlies the sense world of human evolution, to feel oneself in the spiritual world, as physical man feels himself physically in the atmosphere. But we do not feel ourselves in the spiritual world by merely repeating: Spirit, Spirit, Spirit is in us! Just as one has to gauge in a practical concrete way — from the formation of the clouds, from the humidity and other phenomena — the state of the atmosphere of the Earth, so we must ‘feel’ in quite a concrete way the spiritual world into which we are submerged every night when we fall asleep; we must feel and know how there lives in this spiritual world what is now happening as a result of the mission entrusted by Christ to Michael — that is, to the same Spirit of the hierarchy of archangels who in earlier times had been used by the impulse of Jahve for the preparation of the Mystery of Golgotha. That is what is happening behind our physical sense evolution. And to feel ourselves within such happenings in the spiritual world in the same way as we feel ourselves physically within the atmosphere which we breathe in and out, means to have the right consciousness today in relation to the spiritual world.
Try to receive into your whole heart and soul these results of occultism which I have now endeavored to lay before you; try to have a sensitive understanding of them, and to consider what it means now in this age to live consciously in the spiritual events that are taking place around us, to live consciously in that world whither our soul goes every night when we fall asleep and whence we come every morning when we awake. Try to lead the soul into the direct and concrete experience of what is so often abstractly called Divine Providence. For it lies in the true character of our age to do this. Try now in this present time to know and experience as individual beings what men in past ages could only feel in an undefined way as a Providence moving through the world.
Place as a picture before your souls that the task of the previous epoch was to find natural science. At that time the laws of nature were good if they were rightly used by man to build up external world conceptions. But there is nothing absolutely good or bad in this external world of maya. In our time the laws of Nature would be bad and evil were they still to be used to build up a world conception at a time when spiritual life is flowing into the sense world. These words are not to be taken as directed against what past ages have done; they are directed against what wants to remain as it was in earlier ages and will not put itself at the service of the new revelation.
Michael did not fight this Dragon in the ages that are past, for then the Dragon which is now meant was not yet a Dragon; it will become a Dragon if those concepts and ideas which belong only to natural science were to be used to construct the world conception of the coming age. For the monster that will then rear its head among mankind will be rightly seen in the picture of the Dragon that must be vanquished by Michael, whose Age begins in our own time.
That is an important Imagination, — Michael overcoming the Dragon. To receive the inflow of spiritual life into the sense world — from now on, that is the service of Michael. We serve Michael by overcoming the Dragon that is trying to grow to his full height and strength in ideas which during the past epoch produced materialism and which now threaten to prolong their life on into the future. To defeat this means to stand in the service of Michael. That is the victory of Michael over the Dragon. It is the old picture over again, which for earlier times had another meaning and which must now acquire the right meaning for our age. When we are conscious of the part we have to play as men of a new age, then our task can stand before us in the picture of Michael conquering the Dragon.
Let us take this picture and make of it an Imagination. Let us try to understand our times through knowing ourselves to be in a spiritual guidance that is the true spiritual guidance of our age, and that can be the spiritual guidance of every human soul who is sincerely and honestly seeking evolution on the path of spiritual life.


Rudolf Steiner:  "Anthroposophy...requires each of us to say earnestly to ourself: 'I can indeed reach something higher, and I will. Always it is only a certain stage and standpoint that I have attained. I must forever go on striving on, and on, without end."

"Is this not love?"

Rabindranath Tagore and Helen Keller

Helen Keller, The Story of My Life, chapter six:

I remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word "love." This was before I knew many words. I had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my teacher. She tried to kiss me; but at that time I did not like to have any one kiss me except my mother. Miss Sullivan put her arm gently round me and spelled into my hand, "I love Helen."

"What is love?" I asked.

She drew me closer to her and said, "It is here," pointing to my heart, whose beats I was conscious of for the first time. Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then understand anything unless I touched it.

I smelt the violets in her hand and asked, half in words, half in signs, a question which meant, "Is love the sweeetness of flowers?"

"No," said my teacher.

Again I thought. The warm sun was shining on us.

"Is this not love?" I asked, pointing in the direction from which the heat came. "Is this not love?"

It seemed to me that there could be nothing more beautiful than the sun, whose warmth makes all things grow. But Miss Sullivan shook her head, and I was greatly puzzled and disappointed. I thought it strange that my teacher could not show me love.

A day or two afterward I was stringing beads of different sizes in symmetrical groups--two large beads, three small ones, and so on. I had made many mistakes, and Miss Sullivan had pointed them out again and again with gentle patience. Finally I noticed a very obvious error in the sequence and for an instant I concentrated my attention on the lesson and tried to think how I should have arranged the beads. Miss Sullivan touched my forehead and spelled with decided emphasis, "Think."

In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head. This was my first conscious perception of an abstract idea.

For a long time I was still--I was not thinking of the beads in my lap, but trying to find a meaning for "love" in the light of this new idea. The sun had been under a cloud all day, and there had been brief showers; but suddenly the sun broke forth in all its southern splendour.

Again I asked my teacher, "Is this not love?"

"Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out," she replied. Then in simpler words than these, which at that tiime I could not have understood, she explained: "You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to play."

The beautiful truth burst upon my mind — I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity

You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Twining Eternally
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
Radiant Calvary
Ultimate Mystery

Monday, November 20, 2017

Above All

Not I, but Christ in me

Rudolf Steiner:  "Above everything we should seek through Anthroposophy self-knowledge, humbleness of self, and in this way endeavor to erect a structure founded upon truth, because truth blossoms only when self-knowledge in full earnestness puts its roots deep down in the human soul."

Jesus: Krishna, redeemed by Christ

The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita. Lecture 9 of 9.
Rudolf Steiner, June 5, 1913:

The latter part of the Bhagavad Gita is permeated by feelings and shades of meaning saturated with ideas of sattva, rajas, and tamas. In these last chapters our whole mode of thinking and feeling must be attuned so as to understand what is said in the sense of those three conditions. In the last lecture I sought to give an idea of those important concepts by making use of present-day experiences. Certainly anyone who enters deeply into this poem must perceive that since the time when it arose those concepts have shifted to some extent. Nevertheless, it would not have been correct to describe them simply by verbal quotations from the poem because our mode of feeling is different from what is contained there and we are unable to make those very different feelings our own. If we tried to we would only be describing the unknown by the unknown.

So in the Bhagavad Gita you will find with regard to food that the concepts we developed last time have shifted a little. What is true for man today about plant food was true for the ancient Indian of that food Krishna calls mild, gentle food, whereas rajas food, which we described correctly for man today as mineral food (salt, for instance), would have been designated at that time as sour or sharp. For our constitution meat is essentially a tamas food, but the Indian meant by this something that could hardly be considered food at present, which gives us an idea of how different men were then. They called tamas food what had become rotten, had stood too long, and had a foul smell. For our present incarnation we could not properly call that tamas food because man's organism has changed, even as far as his physical body.

Thus, in order to understand these feelings of sattva, rajas, and tamas, so fundamental in the Gita, it is well for us to apply them to our own conditions. Now, if we would consider what sattva really is, it is best to begin by taking the most striking conception of it. In our time the man who can give himself up to knowledge as penetrating as our present knowledge of the mineral kingdom is a sattva man. For the Indian he was not one who had such knowledge, but was one who went through the world with intelligent understanding as we would say, with heart and head in the right place — a man who takes without prejudice and bias the phenomena the world offers; who always perceives the world with sympathy and conceives it with intelligence; who receives the light of ideas, of feelings, and sentiments streaming out from all the beauty and loveliness of the world; who avoids all that is ugly, developing himself rightly. He who does all this in the physical world is a sattva man. In the inorganic world a sattva impression is that of a surface not too brilliant, illuminated in such a way that its details of color can be seen in their right luster yet bright also.

A rajas impression is one where a man is in a certain way prevented by his own emotions, his impulses and reactions, or by the thing itself from fully penetrating what lies around him, so that he does not give himself up to it but meets it with what he himself is. For example, he becomes acquainted with the plant kingdom. He can admire it, but he brings his own emotions to bear on it and therefore cannot penetrate it to its depths.

Tamas is where a man is altogether given up to his bodily life, so that he is blunt and apathetic toward his environment, as we are toward a consciousness different from our own. While we dwell on the physical plane we know nothing of the consciousness of a dog or a horse, not even of another human being. In this respect man, as a rule, is blunt and dull. He withdraws into his own bodily life. He lives in impressions of tamas. But man must gradually become apathetic to the physical world in order to have access to the spiritual worlds in clairvoyance. In this way we can best read the ideas of sattva, rajas, and tamas. In external nature a rajas impression would be that of a moderately bright surface, say of green, a uniform green shade; a dark-colored surface would represent a tamas impression. Where man looks out into the darkness of universal space, when the beautiful spectacle of the free heavens appears to him, the impression he gains is none other than that blue color that is almost a tamas color.

If we saturate ourselves with the feeling these ideas give we can apply them to everything that surrounds us. These ideas are really comprehensive. For the ancient Indian, to know well about this threefold nature of his surroundings meant not only a certain understanding of the outer world, it also meant bringing to life his own inner being. He felt it somewhat as follows. Imagine a primitive country man who sees the glory of nature around him — the early morning sky, the sun and stars, everything he can see. He does not think about it, however. He does not build up concepts and ideas about the world but just lives on in utmost harmony with it. If he begins to feel himself an individual person, distinguishing his soul from his environment, he has to do so by learning to understand his surroundings through ideas about them.

To set up one's environment objectively before one is always a certain way of grasping the reality of one's own being. The Indian of the time of the Bhagavad Gita said: “So long as one does not penetrate and perceive the sattva, rajas, and tamas conditions in one's environment, one continues merely to live in it. A person is not yet there, independently in his own being, but is bound up with his surroundings. However, when the world about him becomes so objective that one can pursue it everywhere with the awareness that this is a sattva condition, this a rajas, that a tamas, then one becomes more and more free of the world, more independent in himself.” This therefore is one way of bringing about consciousness of self. At bottom this is Krishna's concern — to free Arjuna's soul from all those things that surround him and are characteristic of the time in which he lives. So Krishna explains: “Behold all the life there on the bloody field of battle where brothers confront brothers, with all that thou feelest thyself bound to, dissolved in, a part of. Learn to know that all that is there outside you runs its course in conditions of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Then wilt thou contrast thyself with it; know that in thine own highest self thou dost not belong to it, and wilt experience thy separate being within thyself, the spirit in thee.”

Here we have another of the beautiful elements in the dramatic composition of the Bhagavad Gita. At first we are gradually made acquainted with its ideas as abstract concepts, but afterward these become more and more vivid. The concepts of sattva, rajas, and tamas take on living shape and form in the most varied spheres of life. Then at length the separation of Arjuna's soul from it all is accomplished, so to say, before our spiritual gaze. Krishna explains to him how we must free ourselves from all that is bound up with these three conditions, from that in which men are ordinarily interwoven.

There are sattva men who are so bound up with existence as to be attached to all the happiness and joy they can draw from their environment. They speed through the world, drinking in their blissfulness from all that can give it to them. Rajas men are diligent, men of action; but they act because actions have such and such consequences to which they are attached. They depend on the joy of action, on the impression action makes upon them. Tamas men are attached to laziness, they want to be comfortable. They really do not want to act at all. Thus are men to be distinguished. Those whose souls and spirits are bound into external conditions belong to one or other of these three groups.

“But thine eyes shall see the daybreak of the age of self-consciousness. Thou shalt learn to hold thy soul apart. Thou shalt be neither sattva, rajas, nor tamas man.” Thus is Krishna the great educator of the human ego. He shows its separation from its environment. He explains soul activities according to how they partake of sattva, rajas, or tamas. If a man raises his belief to the divine creators of the world he is a sattva man. Just in that time of the Gita, however, there were men who in a certain sense knew nothing of the divine beings guiding the universe. They were completely attached to the so-called nature spirits, those behind the immediate beings of nature. Such men are rajas men. The tamas men are those who in viewing the world get only so far as what we may call the ghost-like, which in its spiritual nature is nearest to the material. So, in regard to religious feeling also these three groups may be distinguished.

If we wished to apply these concepts to religious feeling in our time we should say (but without flattery) that those who strive after anthroposophy are sattva men; those attached to external faith are rajas men; those who, in a material or spiritual sense, will only believe in what has bodily shape and form — the materialists and spiritualists — are the tamas men. The spiritualist does not ask for spiritual beings in whom he may believe; he is quite prepared to believe in them, but he does not want to lift himself up to them. He wants them to come down to him. They must rap, because he can hear rapping with physical ears. They must appear in clouds of light because such are visible to his eyes. Such are tamas men in a certain conscious sense, and quite in the sense too of the tamas men of Krishna's time.

There are also unconscious tamas men; the materialistic thinkers of our time who deny all that is spiritual. When materialists meet in conference today they persuade themselves that they adhere to materialism on logical grounds, but this is an illusion. Materialists are people who remain so not on the basis of logic but for fear of the spiritual. They deny the spirit because they are afraid of it. They are in effect compelled to deny it by the logic of their own unconscious soul, which does indeed penetrate to the door of the spiritual but cannot pass through. One who can see reality can see in a materialistic congress how each person in the depths of his soul is afraid of the spirit. Materialism is not logic, it is cowardice before the spiritual. All its arguments are nothing but an opiate to damp down this fear. Actually, Ahriman — the giver of fear — has every materialist by the neck. This is a grotesque but an austere and fundamental truth that one may recognize if one goes into any materialistic meeting. Why is such a meeting called? The illusion is that people there discuss views of the universe, but in reality it is a meeting to conjure up the devil Ahriman, to beckon him into their chambers.

Krishna, then, indicates to Arjuna how the different religious beliefs may be classified, and he also speaks to him of the different ways men may approach the gods in actual prayer. In all cases the temper of man's soul can be described in terms of these three conditions. Sattva, rajas, and tamas men are different in the way they relate to their Gods. Tamas men are such as priests, but whose priesthood depends on a kind of habit. They have their office but no living connection with the spiritual world. So they repeat Aum, Aum, Aum, which proceeds from the dullness, the tamas condition of their spirit. They pour forth their subjective nature in the Aum.

Rajas men look out on the surrounding world and begin to feel that it has something in it akin to themselves, that it is related to them and therefore worthy to be worshipped. They are the men of “Tat” who worship the “That,” the cosmos, as being akin to themselves. Sattva men perceive that what lives within us is one with all that surrounds us in the universe outside. In their prayer they have a sense for “Sat,” the All-being, the unity without and within, unity of the objective and the subjective. Krishna says that he who would truly become free in his soul, who does not wish to be merely a sattva, rajas, or tamas man in any one respect or another, must attain to a transformation of these conditions in himself so that he wears them like a garment, while in his real self he grows out beyond them.

This is the impulse that Krishna as the creator of self-consciousness must give. Thus he stands before Arjuna and teaches him: “Look upon all the conditions of the world, with all that is to man highest and deepest, but free thyself from the highest and deepest of the three conditions and in thine own self become as one who lays hold of himself. Learn and know that thou canst live without feeling thyself bound up with rajas, or tamas, or sattva.” One had to learn this at that time because it was the beginning of the dawn of self-liberation, but here again, what then required the greatest effort can today be found right at hand. This is the tragedy of present life. There are too many today who stand in the world and burrow down into their own soul, finding no connection with the outer world; who in their feelings and all their inner experiences are lonely souls. They neither feel themselves bound up with the conditions of sattva, rajas, or tamas, nor are they free from them, but are cast out into the world like an endlessly, aimlessly revolving wheel. Such men who live only in themselves and cannot understand the world, who are unhappy because in their soul-life they are separated from all external existence — these represent the shadow side of the fruit that it was Krishna's task to develop in Arjuna and in all his contemporaries and successors. What had to be Arjuna's highest endeavor has become the greatest suffering for many men today.

Thus do successive ages change. Today we must say that we are at the end of the age that began with the time of the Bhagavad Gita. This may penetrate our feelings with deep significance. It may also tell us that just as in that ancient time those seeking self-consciousness had to hear what Krishna told Arjuna, those seeking their soul's salvation today, in whom self-consciousness is developed to a morbid degree, these too should listen. They should listen to what can lead them once more to an understanding of the three external conditions. What can do this?

Let us put forward some more preliminary ideas before we set out to answer this question. Let us ask again: What is it that Krishna really wants for Arjuna, whose relation to external conditions was a right one for his time? What is it that he says with divine simplicity and naïveté? He reveals what he wishes to be even to our present time. We have described how a kind of picture-consciousness, a living imagery, lighted up man's soul; how there was hovering above it, so to say, what today is self-consciousness, which men at that time had to strive for with all their might but which today is right at hand. Try to live into the soul condition of that time before Krishna introduced the new age. The world around men did not call forth clear concepts and ideas, but pictures like those of our dreams today. Thus the lowest region of soul-life was a picture-like consciousness, and this was illumined from the higher region — of sleep consciousness — through inspiration. In this way they could rise to still higher conditions. This ascent was called “entering into Brahman.” To ask a soul today, living in Western lands, to enter into Brahman would be a senseless anachronism. It would be like requiring a man who is halfway up a mountain to reach the top by the same way as one still down in the valley. With equal right could one ask a Western soul today to do Eastern exercises and “enter into Brahman” because this presupposes that a man is at the stage of picture consciousness — which as a matter of fact certain Easterners still are. What the men of the Gita age found in rising into Brahman the Western man already has in his concepts and ideas. This is really true: that Shankaracharya would today introduce the ideas of Solovieff, Hegel, and Fichte to his revering disciples as the first stage of rising into Brahman. It is not the content, however, it is the pains of the way, that are important.

Krishna indicates a main characteristic of this rising into Brahman, by which we have a beautiful characterization of Krishna himself. At that time the constitution of the soul was all passive. The world of pictures came to you, you gave yourself up to these flowing pictures. Compare this with the altogether different nature of our everyday world. Devotion, giving ourselves up to things, does not help us to understand them, even though there are many who do not wish to advance to what must necessarily take place in our time. Nevertheless, for our age we have to exert ourselves, to be alive and active, in order to get ideas and concepts of our surrounding world. Herein lies all the trouble in our education. We have to educate children so that their minds are awake when their concepts of the surrounding world are being formed. Today the soul must be more active than it was in the age before the origin of the Bhagavad Gita. We can put it so:

Bhagavad Gita Age — rising to Brahman with passive souls.

Intellectual Age (our present age) — actively working our way up into the higher worlds.

What then must Krishna say when he wishes to introduce that new age in which the active way of gaining an understanding of the universe is gradually to begin? He must say: “I have to come; I have to give thee the ego-man, a gift that shall impel thee to activity.” If it had all remained passive as before — a being interwoven with the world, devoted to the world — the new age would never have begun. Everything connected with the entry of the soul into the spiritual world before the time of the Gita Krishna calls devotion: “All is devotion to Brahman.” This he compares to the feminine in man; while what is the self in man, the active working element that is to create self-consciousness, that pushes up from within as the generator of the self-consciousness that is to come, Krishna calls the masculine in man. What man can attain in Brahman must be fertilized by Krishna. So his teaching to Arjuna is: “All men until now were Brahman-men. Brahman is all that is spread out as the mother-womb of the whole world. But I am the father, who came into the world to fertilize the maternal womb.”

Thus the consciousness of self is created, which is to work on all men. This is indicated as clearly as possible. Krishna and Brahman are related to each other as father and mother in the world. Together they produce the self-consciousness man must have in the further course of his evolution — the self-consciousness that makes it possible for him to become ever more perfect as an individual being. The Krishna faith has altogether to do with the single man, the individual person. To follow his teaching exclusively means to strive for the perfection of oneself as an individual. This can be achieved only by liberating the self, loosening it from all that adheres to external conditions. Fix your attention on this backbone of Krishna's teaching, how it directs man to put aside all externals, to become free from the life that takes its course in continually changing conditions of every kind; to comprehend oneself in the self alone, that it may be borne ever onward to higher perfection. See how this perfection depends on man's leaving behind him all the external configuration of things, casting off the whole of outer life like a shell, becoming free and ever more inwardly alive in himself. Man tearing himself away from his environment, no longer asking what goes on in external processes of perfection but asking how shall he perfect himself: this is the teaching of Krishna.

Krishna — that is, the spirit who worked through Krishna — appeared again in the Jesus child of the Nathan line of the House of David, described in St. Luke's Gospel. Thus, fundamentally, this child embodied the impulse, all the forces, that tend to make man independent and loosen him from external reality. What was the intention of this soul that did not enter human evolution but worked in Krishna and again in this Jesus child? At a far distant time this soul had had to go through the experience of remaining outside human evolution because the antagonist Lucifer had come, he who said: “Your eyes will be opened and you will distinguish good and evil, and be as God.” In the ancient Indian sense Lucifer said to man: “You will be as the gods, and will have power to find the sattva, rajas, and tamas conditions in the world.”

Lucifer directed man's attention to the outer world. By his instigation man had to learn to know the external, and therefore had to go through the long course of evolution down to the time of Christ. Then he came who was once withdrawn from Lucifer: he came in Krishna and later in the Luke Jesus child. In two stages he gave that teaching that from another side was to be the antithesis of the teaching of Lucifer in Paradise. “He wanted to open your eyes to the conditions of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Shut your eyes to these conditions and you will find yourselves as men, as self-conscious human beings.” Thus does the Imagination appear before us. On the one side the Imagination of Paradise, where Lucifer opens man's eyes to the three conditions in the external world, when for a while the opponent of Lucifer withdraws. Then men go through their evolution and reach the point where in two stages another teaching is given them, of self-consciousness, which bids them close their eyes to the three external conditions. Both teachings are one-sided. If the Krishna-Jesus influence alone had continued, one one-sidedness would have been added to another. Man would have taken leave of all that surrounds him, would have lost all interest in external evolution. Each person would only have sought his own perfection. Striving for perfection is right; but such striving bought at the price of a lack of interest in the whole of humanity is one-sided, even as the Luciferic influence was one-sided. Hence the all-embracing Christ Impulse entered as the higher synthesis of the two one-sided tendencies.

In the personality of the St. Luke Jesus child the Christ Impulse lived for three years — the Christ who came to mankind to bring together these two extremes. Through each of them mankind would have fallen into weakness and sin. Through Lucifer humanity would have been condemned to live one-sidedly in the external conditions of sattva, rajas, and tamas. Through Krishna they were to be educated for the other extreme, to close their eyes and seek only their own perfection. Christ took the sin upon Himself. He gave to men what reconciles the two one-sided tendencies. He took upon Himself the sin of self-consciousness that would close its eyes to the world outside: He took upon Himself the sin of Krishna, and of all who would commit his sin. And He took upon Himself the sin of Lucifer and of all who would commit the sin of fixing their attention on externalities. By taking both extremes upon Himself he makes it possible for humanity by degrees to find a harmony between the inner and the outer world because in that harmony alone man's salvation is to be found.

An evolution that has once begun, however, cannot end suddenly. The urge to self-consciousness that began with Krishna went on and on, increasing and intensifying self-consciousness more and more, bringing about estrangement from the outer world. In our time too this course is tending to continue. At the time when the Krishna impulse was received by the Luke Jesus child mankind was in the midst of this development, this increase of self-consciousness and estrangement from the outer world. It was this that was brought home to the men who received the baptism of John in the Jordan, so that they understood the Baptist when he said to them: “Change your disposition; walk no longer in the path of Krishna” — though he did not use this word. The path on which mankind had then entered we may call the Jesus-path if we would speak in an occult sense. In effect, the pursuit of this Jesus-path alone went on and on through the following centuries. In many respects human civilization in the centuries following the foundation of Christianity was only related to Jesus, not to the Christ Who lived in Jesus for the three years from the baptism by John until the Mystery of Golgotha.

Every line of evolution, however, works its way onward up to a certain tension. In the course of time this longing for individual perfection was driven to such a pitch that men were in a certain sense brought more and more into the tragedy of estrangement from the divine in nature, from the outer world. Today we are experiencing this in many ways. Many people are going about among us who have little understanding left of our environment. Therefore, it is just in our time that an understanding of the Christ Impulse must break in upon us. The Christ-path must be added to the Jesus-path. The path of one-sided striving for perfection has become too strong. It has gone so far that in many respects men are so remote from their surroundings that certain movements, when they arise, over-reach themselves immediately, and the longing for the opposite is awakened. Many human souls now feel how little they can escape from this enhanced self-consciousness, and this creates an impulse to know the divinity of the outer world. It is such souls as these who in our time will seek the understanding of the Christ Impulse that is opened up by true anthroposophy, the force that does not merely strive for the one-sided perfection of the individual soul but belongs to the whole progress of humanity. To understand the Christ means not merely to strive toward perfection, but to receive in oneself something expressed by St. Paul: “Not I, but Christ in me.” “I” is the Krishna word. “Not I, but Christ in me” is the Christian word.

So we see how every spiritual movement in history has in a certain sphere its justification. No one must imagine that the Krishna impulse could have been dispensed with. No one should ever think either that one human spiritual movement is fully justified in its one-sidedness. The two extremes — the Luciferic and the Krishna impulses — had to find their higher unity in the mission of the Christ.

He who would understand in the true anthroposophic sense the impulse necessary for the further evolution of mankind must realize how anthroposophy has to become a means of shedding light on all religions. He must learn to see how the different streams in evolution all flow into the one main current of development. It would be a dilettante way of beginning to do this if one tried to find again in the Krishna stream what can be found in the stream of Christianity. Only when we regard the matter in this way do we understand what it means to seek a unity in all religions. There is, however, another way of doing so. One may repeat over and over: “In all religions the same fundamental essence is contained.” In effect, the same essence is contained in the root of a plant, in the stem, leaves, flowers, the pollen, and the fruit. That is true, but it is an abstract truth. It is no more profound than if one were to say: “Why make any distinctions? Salt, pepper, vinegar, and milk all have their place on the table; all are one, for all are substance.” Here you can tell how futile such a way of thought can be. But you do not notice it so easily when it comes to comparing religions. It will not do to compare the Chinese, Brahmin, Krishnan, Buddhist, Persian, Muslim, and Christian faiths in this abstract way, saying: “Look: everywhere we find the same principles. In each case there is a Savior.”

Abstractions can indeed be found in countless places and in countless ways, but this is a dilettante method because it leads to nothing. One may form societies to pursue the study of all religions, and do so in the same sense as saying pepper, salt, etc. are one because they are all substance. That has no importance. What is important is to regard things as they really are. To the way of looking at things that goes so far in occult dilettantism as to keep on declaiming the equality of all religions, it is one and the same whether what lived in the Christ is the pivot of the whole of evolution or whether it can be found in the first man you meet in the street. For one who wishes to guide his life by truth it is an atrocity to associate the impulse in the world's history that is bound up with the Mystery of Golgotha and for which the name Christ has been preserved — to associate that impulse with any other impulse in history, because in truth it is the central point of the whole of earthly evolution.

In these lectures I have tried by means of a particular instance to indicate how present-day occultism must try to throw light on the different spiritual movements that have appeared in the course of human history. Though each has its right and proper point of contact, one must distinguish between them as between the stem of a plant and the green leaf, and the green leaf from the colored petal, though all together form a unity. If one tries with this truly modern occultism to penetrate with one's soul into what has flowed into humanity in diverse currents, one recognizes how the different religious faiths lose nothing of their greatness and majesty. How sublime was the greatness that appeared to us in the figure of Krishna even when we simply tried to get a definite view of his place in evolution. All such lines of thought as we can give only in outline are indeed imperfect enough, and you may be assured that no one is more aware of their imperfection than the present speaker. But the endeavor has been to show in what spirit a true consideration of the spiritual movement toward individuality in mankind must be carried out. I purposely tried to derive our thoughts from a spiritual creation remote from us, the Bhagavad Gita, to show how Western minds can perceive and feel what they owe to Krishna; what he, through the continued working of his impulse, still signifies for their own upward striving.

However, the spiritual movement we here represent necessarily demands that we enter concretely, and with real love, into the special nature of every current in man's spiritual history. This is a bit inconvenient because it brings us all too near to the humble thought of how little after all we really penetrate into their depths. Another idea follows upon this: that we must go on striving further and ever further. Both of these ideas are inconvenient. It is the sad fate of that movement we call anthroposophy that it produces inconvenient results for many souls. It requires that we actively lay hold of the definite, separate facts of the world's development. At the same time it requires each of us to say earnestly to himself: “I can indeed reach something higher, and I will. Always it is only a certain stage and standpoint that I have attained. I must forever go on striving — on — and on — without end.”

Thus, all along it has been not quite comfortable to belong to that spiritual movement that by our efforts is endeavoring to take its place in what is called the Theosophical Movement. [Dr. Steiner is referring here, and in the following passages, to his break with the Theosophical Society and to the formation of the Anthroposophical Society. A full account of these events can be found in G. Wachsmuth, The Life and Work of Rudolf Steiner, pp. 186–189.] It has not been easy, because we demand that people shall learn to strive ever more deeply to penetrate the sacred mysteries. We could not supply you with anything so easy as introducing some person's son or even daughter, saying: “You need only wait; the Savior of mankind will appear physically embodied in this boy or girl.” We could not do this because we must be true. Yet, one who perceives what is happening cannot but regard these latest proceedings as the final grotesque outcome of the dilettante comparison of religions that can also be put forward so easily, and that continually repeats what should be taken as a matter of course, the tritest of all sayings: “All religions contain the same essence.”

The last weeks and months have shown — and my speaking here on this significant subject has shown it again — that a circle of people can be found at the present time who are ready to seek spiritual truths. We have no other concern than to put these truths forward, though many, or even everyone, may leave us. If so, it will make no difference in the way the spiritual truths are here proclaimed. The sacred obligation to truth will guide that movement that underlies this cycle of lectures. Whoever would go with us must do so under the conditions that have now become necessary. It is certainly more convenient to proceed otherwise, not entering into another side of the matter as we do by pointing out the reality in all things. But that also is part of our obligation to truth. It is simpler to inform people of the equality and unity of religions, or tell them they are to wait for the incarnation of a Savior who is predestined, whom they are to recognize not by themselves but on someone's authority.

Human souls today will themselves have to decide how far a spiritual movement can be carried on and upheld by pure devotion to the ideal of truthfulness. In our time it had to come to that sharp cleavage, whose climax was reached when those who had no other desire than to set forth what is true and genuine in evolution were described as Jesuits. This was a convenient way of separating, but the external evidence was the work of objective falsehood. This cycle of lectures may once more have shown you that we have been working out of no one-sided tendency, since it comprises the present, the past, and the primal past in order to reveal the unique, fundamental impulse of human evolution. So I too may say that it fills me with the deepest satisfaction to have been able to give these lectures here before you. This shows me there is hope because there are souls here who have the impulse, the urge, toward that which works also in the supersensible with nothing but simple honest truthfulness.

I was forced to add this final word to these lectures, for it is necessary in view of all that has happened to us in the course of time down to the point of being excluded from the Theosophical Society. Considering all we have suffered, and all that is now being falsely asserted in numerous pamphlets, it was necessary to say something, although a discussion of these matters is always painful to me.

Those who desire to work with us must know that we have taken for our banner the humble, yet unconditional, honest striving for truth — striving ever upward into the higher worlds.

Source: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19130605p01.html

Image: from The Isenheim Altar by Gottfried Richter

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Every Sunday morning at 9 o'clock

"No one comes unto the Father except through Me."  ~ John 14:6

Rudolf Steiner:

Why is it that you're here? From where does your urge for esoteric development come? About 4000 years ago, and so before the Event of Golgotha, the etheric body enlivened the physical body in such a way that not all of the etheric body's forces were used to permeate the physical body, and it was to these forces that an esotericist turned, with these he turned to spiritual worlds. Then about 3000 years ago, all etheric bodies had sunk into the physical bodies, especially in Greece, and those who developed the greatest things in the physical realm felt that the spiritual world was a realm of shades. But now the physical body no longer absorbs all of the etheric body's forces, it rejects them, it is withering, for we are past the middle of Earth evolution, and it's only through these forces, which the physical body can no longer take in, that we can live in the spiritual world. And you who felt this urge for esoteric development, who were not satisfied with mere physical life and knowledge, you sensed these unused forces in you; they drove you to seek an esoteric life.
What's the difference between esoteric and exoteric? In exoteric life we get communications that are taken from esoteric life as food for our souls. In esoteric life we ourselves try to look into the worlds from which esoteric communications are taken.
What's given here is not just communications — it's advice that flows from spiritual inspiration. It's not just words, concepts, ideals — it's words, concepts, and ideals that are permeated with life, life germs that are sunk into our etheric forces and that should blossom there — they're realities. They've been tested repeatedly by those whom we call the masters of wisdom and of the harmony of feelings.
Esotericism is a source of life and of forces that flow through the world and that should also stream through us. And so every Sunday morning at 9 o'clock you should meditate on: In the Spirit of Mankind I feel united with all esotericists. When we begin our exercises it's of great importance that we first create inner quiet. It can be attained through patience. The only thing we have to combat is the thought: I won't attain it. We should reject this as a temptation. And even if it takes ever so long, the time will come when our thought horizon will become clear, if we just push away the sense impressions and thought that distract us with all the willpower that we muster. We should let the formulas and symbols live in us vigorously and energizingly, shouldn't form thoughts about them but should experience them and feel them to be like an inner light. They must take hold of us strongly, for they are drawn from the unspeakable word that has creative power. This is the Indians' mahavach; it's inspirations from words that sound through spiritual worlds; it's supposed to radiate in us like an inner sun.
Then we must create an inner void by erasing and suppressing everything that arises from memory, including theosophical contents, and just wait for what can rise in our soul — either something entirely new that we've never heard or had a inkling of, or a lively vision of occult facts that we received in exoteric life. Much more strength is needed for independent discoveries than for an intelligent understanding of the Pythagorean theorem or some other already found fact. What's communicated to us now we can also find ourselves, but probably only after 25 incarnations. We have the duty to work along with the present state of evolution by shortening the path as much as possible.

June 7, 1912


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity

You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Twining Eternally
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
Radiant Calvary
Ultimate Mystery