Saturday, March 17, 2018

A communication received by Countess Keyserlingk after Rudolf Steiner's death

Rudolf Steiner

“It was on the morning of Rudolf Steiner’s cremation, which I did not attend. The earthly body of the great Teacher was still laid out near to where I stood in the room of the carpentry shop, when close to me the aura of the beloved Teacher appeared. From this aura the instruction came that I should write. I took paper and pencil and from his presence came the following words – Often I could not write quickly enough, then he stopped and waited until I had caught up with writing, as Rudolf Steiner had done on earlier occasions when he was dictating something to me: 
‘My mission is ended. What I was able to give human beings at their present level of maturity, I have given them.
I go away, because I found no ears able to hear the spirit-word behind the word.
I go away, because I found no eyes able to behold the spirit-pictures behind the earthly pictures –
I go away, because I found no human beings able to bring my will to realization.
The Mysteries remain veiled or hidden until I come again.
I will come again and unveil the Mysteries when I have succeeded in establishing in spirit-worlds an altar, a place of worship, for human souls. Then I will come again, then I will continue to reveal the Mysteries. Responsibility for my death is borne by those who have suppressed the culture of the heart.
If human beings had gone through their hearts and penetrated into the depths they would have found the strength to fulfill the tasks of the present age.’"

Tarjei Straume comments:
"This is nonsensical delusional spiritualism. The rhythmic rhetorical tone (I go away, because…) is typical of that and totally our of character for RS. The notion that “The Mysteries remain veiled or hidden until I come again” looks like something the opponents would say, like the Jesuits. They’ll say Steiner didn’y teach you anything, wait instead until we’ve built the altar you’ll be looking for. The tone is hostile and dismissive. The dead don’t use earthly language and especially not sentences containing nouns. Auras don’t dictate “instructions.” Incredible and discouraging to see that anthroposophists who obviously haven’t done their spiritual-scientific homework are falling for this hook, line and sinker, but it’s not surprising."

Tarjei Straume comments further:
This is the kind of “spiritual” practice that Steiner opposed vehemently, but it’s very common in spiritualistically oriented theosophical literature; it’s nothing less than unadulterated materialistic hogwash. It’s understandable that some people might go for it in 1925 when in mourning and not thinking straight, and perhaps it’s not so strange today either when considering all the cockamamie conspiracy tales they subscribe to – yet another example of dragging spiritual teachings into the sticky mud of ahrimanic materialism."

13 ways of looking at my guru. #3: The Comforter : The Spirit of Truth

Rudolf Steiner

John 14:15-27, 15:26-27, 16:5-14 
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
* * * * *

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
* * * * *

But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

How Drinking Works

"First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you."  —F. Scott Fitzgerald

T-shirt of the day: "One Tequila ... Two Tequila ... Three Tequila ... Floor!"

Rudolf Steiner:  "Alcohol only arose after the Atlantean epoch to help man to become individualized. It closes man off from his higher capacities and encloses him in himself. But now all civilized people have reached that stage, so that alcohol is an unnecessary evil today. Through its use one loses the ability to get along with others and to understand them. Alcohol is especially harmful for esotericists since its use changes all developed higher forces into forces of the personal ego, repeatedly locks it into itself.  By consuming alcohol one prepares a fertile soil for hosts of spiritual beings, just as a dirty room gets filled with flies."

Friday, March 16, 2018

They tried to tell us we're too Jung

"Keep my mother out of this!"

Spirit as Sculptor of the Human Organism. Lecture 2.

Lecture 2 of 3
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, October 22, 1922:

Today I would like to indicate how everything which can be comprehended about man can serve as a basis which can enable us to take greater connections of history into consideration. So that tomorrow we can go onto understand something in this direction about our present time. The day before yesterday, as you know, I spoke about man himself in his constitution. I would like to do this today from a different point of view.
Let us look at man simply, as he stands in life from day to day and From the very ordinary side this time. Man needs nourishment to sustain himself. He has to take up into his own organism what we call substances from nature, from the animal, plant, and also partly from the mineral kingdom. But what man takes into himself from the outer environment undergoes a very powerful change inside his organism. The first one is that when we take up food we receive it ordinarily — at best prepared by cooking — as it is outside in nature, maybe just made ready in some way. Besides that we receive the air through breathing again 'in that state as it exists in our environment. Let us look at first other things, which basically are still more important, as for example light, which we also receive from our surroundings, as it is as light. But also the foodstuff and the air must undergo powerful changes inside our organism, so that they can satisfy and become human, so to say, inside our organism.
Described externally the process is very well known today. We take up the food — staying with this now next — perhaps somewhat prepared already, as said before. Next we inwardly digest particularly through the excretion of the glands, through the other digestive apparatus. We take it into us, wash it, saturated with a substance called ptyalin, which is excreted by the salivary glands of the mouth. We then bring the food farther into our digestive apparatus. I don't have to characterise here the way the whole process is taking place. By taking articles of food into ourselves and assimilating them, they will already be somewhat changed in regard to what they are in our surrounding outside. The foodstuffs never could become through outer proceedings what they become inside our organism. We can work at the substances, that present our food in the most different ways inside chemical laboratories — but never can occur there, what happens to the food when we bring it into our stomach and from there into our digestive apparatus. There the foodstuffs change over into something entirely different from what they were outside.
First every trace of life is extinguished, so to say. People eat meat. This is taken from the outer surrounding, from the animal kingdom. But by eating it man drives out right away just through the first stage of digestion (varverdauung) I would like to say — and through further digestion all that what these substances present in the body of the animal. Also, all what the vegetable foods — since they were part of a living being in the plant — have as life in themselves, has to be driven out. Only the real mineral particles we take up as outer material substances. Where we add to our meals salt, which is already of an outer mineral substance, if we add sugar, which through outer preparations — though originally it might come out of the organic has been driven so Far, that it has become dead, we have taken up something already dead. These underlie the least transformations in us; they really undergo only a transformation, which one could accomplish already also in an exterior way inside a laboratory. But everything that gets into our organism from the animal or plant kingdom, has to be thoroughly killed, if I want to express myself that way.
In our cooking we accomplish also a sort of advance killing by subjecting the food to heat and so on. This is done more thoroughly through our digestion, so that — where our foods have undergone a certain inner development until they get into the bowels, where they have approached these lower digestive organs — essentially all has been driven out what they are externally by being, for example subjected to the etheric body of the plants, by being subjected to the astral body of the animal etc. Consequently it must first be achieved on the way from the mouth to the bowels, that all foodstuffs are dead.

 Diagram 1
Diagram 1
Because, when now the foodstuff gets to the glandular organs, which transmit the articles of food from the bowel into the lymphatic glands and then into the vessels of the blood, on this way back a reviving of the food must take place. The food at first must become dead in us and then must be revived again. We cannot tolerate in our human organism a continuation of that kind of life, which exists in the animal or the plant from which we take the food. We can at most take up the inorganic nature so that it presents us our own laws. We cannot, let us say, eat cabbage, cannot let it arrive during the digestive process at our villous intestines so that the same etheric forces would be present there, which the cabbage has, because it is a plant. The etheric, the astral, what the foods have, these must be first removed. Then, what we receive this way must be taken hold of by our own etheric body, so that it can be revived again. Life of the nourishment inside us, must come from us. And this happens on the way from the intestinal organisation through the vessels toward the heart. So that you can have the picture: where the foodstuffs coming from the mouth reach the intestines, the last traces of the outside world gradually have been lost (see drawing 1, red) but here they will be revived anew on the way to the heart. Being enlivened anew means, that they are taken up by our own etheric body. But now they would have too little of a character of the earthly, if only would happen what I have described to you up to now. Namely we would have to be beings who have a mouth — and a digestive apparatus only up to the heart, and then we would have to begin to be angels, because our ether body would take up the foodstuffs and completely dissolve them. We would not be able to be earthly beings. We would be a kind of mouth flying about with an esophagus attached to it. We would still have a stomach, intestines and heart and then you see, all that would be taken up by our ether body. But then we would be just an ether body and in the ether body the food would then dissipate. We would be able to be earthly beings. That we can be earthly beings is brought about by oxygen which is taken up now from the air. Thus, into what has been permeated by the ether body as foodstuffs oxygen of the air is taken up. Therefore, the possibility stays with us to be earthlike (flesh-like) beings here on earth between birth and death (diagram 1, white). It is oxygen that makes us again into an earthly substance that otherwise would dissipate in our ether body. Oxygen is that kind of substance which brings into the earthly state, what other wise by itself would form only as something etheric. The heart would not yet make us into an earthly human being but would bring us only far enough that we would unite our heart with the ether body and fly around on earth as such angels. But since the heart is connected with the lung and takes up oxygen the food that is taken up is not only etherised but also made earthly.
Now the necessity arises that what is taken up by our ether body and is saturated by oxygen, so that we can be earthly human beings, has to be inserted into the astral body. So far, it was not taken up by the astral body, only by the ether body. Now an activity has to be developed that everything that had been formed up to the heart-lung activity, will be taken up by the whole organism; but in such a way that also the astral organism has something to do with it. This is mediated by the human kidney system, which excretes now, what cannot he used of the matter that had been taken up, but leads the remaining into the whole organism on paths which today's physiology does not really describe at all, but which do exist.
And now the whole pulp — if I may express myself that way which now already stays alive — it was only completely killed inside the intestinal canal and has now been revived, and saturated by oxygen — is forwarded into the astral body through the activity of the kidney system which extends over the whole organism and radiates everywhere, so that this' astral body can cooperate in the further configuration of all that, what is effected in us through the food. (see diagram 1, yellow)
This astral organism in so far as it receives its impulses from the kidney system is in turn connected with the head-sense-system, which, so to say, is like a ceiling above. Kidney-system and head-system together work continuously, so that all which is liquid and dissolving through the activity of the heart, will be formed now into the special organs. We would not have firm organs if only mouth, stomach, intestines, heart and lung were there. But the stomach itself would have to be a dissolving organ movable in itself, the same with the heart, the lung. All that could not be firm. These organs get their configuration through the kidneys, and the kidneys are helped by what comes forth from the head.
These organs have not only to be formed during childhood, but continuously because our organs are continuously destroyed. Such an organ as the stomach is completely destroyed in the course of 7–8 years. Its substance is completely demolished, altogether removed, and is always renewed again. There have to be always form — giving forces existent, which renew these organs. Still much more has to be worked on this in childhood. But later on these form — giving forces are also there.

 Diagram 2
Diagram 2
This happens as follows: (diagram 2). The kidney system, which radiates forth these forces on one side would bring these organs about only in a one-sided way. Or, for example, it would form one lobe of the lung in a way that it would be quite well defined backward, but in the front it would dissipate. Here the force of the head must come and meet, so that the frontal surface will be formed by the head; so that the single different forms of the human being are always formed in a way that the kidney radiates forth the forces and that from the head then the forces come and restrain, in order that the organs get contours, that they are rounded. By the head the surfaces are formed at the exterior. But the kidney delivers a kind of radiation into the organism. It is approximately somewhat as if I wanted to build something plastically. I take mortar, or any soft substance, into the hand and then I teach myself to throw the mortar upward (see diagram 2a, yellow — red)

 Diagram 2a
Diagram 2a
and to smooth it out with the other hand. The one, the throwing upward, corresponds to the activity of the kidneys — above I smooth out and get this way these organs, which really radiate and are formed. It is in such a way that the organs are formed by the kidney-system in connection with the head system and in there the forces of,the astral body are working. This is then something that proceeds under the extraordinarily strong alteration of nitrogen. Here nitrogen is already not any more what it is outward, because the nitrogen that still retains a similarity with the outer nitrogen goes off through the uric acid and the urea. But what radiates forth from the kidneys and is worked through this really is a nitrogen changed in its inner nature right into the effective forces of the astral body, and that is something entirely different than the outer nitrogen.
Here you have what man receives, as nourishment driven to the point where it is taken up into the astral body of the human organism. These processes, as I have described them to you, take place also in the animal, though somewhat differently. The animal also has these processes going even still farther in the higher animal. But only indications take place in the lower animal of what is coming now. The higher animals have it, because they were branched off from the human race, they still have it, but it is deformed and degenerated with them.
Now something else is radiating into all that which is being formed there. First we have the foodstuff driven to the point where they are killed. Then we get approximately so far that we have the pancreatic gland as one of the last glands which bring the foodstuffs far enough that, while being pushed towards the lymph and being revived, they can be taken up by the ether body; so that then through the communication from the heart towards the kidneys the whole can he driven into the astral body. But now the ego also must be engaged. Everything we have in our organism must be occupied by the ego.
I have shown you now how that which unites itself with us is claimed by the etheric and astral organism, how it is taken up by the kidney system, radiating into the astral, and how with the help of nitrogen it is made into an earthly thing. Otherwise we would have to become angels again, if nitrogen were not working in us, which maintains us through the astral body within the earthly realm through the kidney system. But all this would not give us a configuration in which the ego takes part in the whole, if the liver-system would not be there. (see diagram 1)
The absorption through the lymphatic vessels is still something that belongs to the heart. As a rule, the heart is that organ, which together with the lung is driving the outer substances into our own etheric organization. From thereon it is the kidney system, which drives them into our astral organization. And then only the liver system with its gall excretion drives the whole into our very ego. The gall and liver-system is also found only in the higher animal kingdom, not with the lower animals, not even the gallic acid will be found with them in the bodily substances. Thus the liver-system then with its peculiar construction of the portal vein and so on — one can also verify this anatomically in every part — conducts the whole now so, that it is taken hold of by the ego. If only that what is radiated out by the kidney were there inside the body, it would be taken up only by the astral body. Because of the liver being there and the gall being excreted by the liver and mixed already with the chyme inside the intestines and the whole is permeated already by the liver products (diagram 1, blue), all this is driven into the ego organism. This way also our ego organism takes part through the liver, which has as its representative essentially hydrogen, in the whole building of the human organization. Man, in fact, has to take up nothing living, nothing astral from outside. All this he has to transform first inside his own organic system in such a way that it can be taken up into his astral and his own etheric being and into his ego-system.
Here, we have then the whole normal organization of man. Imagine, how all this has to be in time together. For example the activity of the kidneys must not be interrupted. If this should happen through a shrunken kidney, the astral body will not be engaged. In reality, the reverse is the case: if the astral body does not function in the right way, a shrunken kidney will develop. Therefore, if a shrunken kidney exists, we will have an exact picture with a degenerate heart of that which is going on in the ether body. I have told you last time, that there is even a going in accord of the rhythm. There are always 4 thrusts present in the radiation coming from the kidney (diagram 1, yellow) while what happens in the rounding forces, coming from the head only one thrust is there. That is the same relationship as it is expressed in the relation between respiration and pulse. Therefore, I should say if I may use this comparison again, the rounding forces are 4 times slower here than with the hand. That is the way namely, the organism is doing it.
All this must be tuned together in the finest way. Otherwise it will not work. Being ill means, that it is not in tune. Take for example the following: the ether body is completely in order, but the astral body is not strong enough to take up all that is flowing from the heart towards the kidneys and to work it through sufficiently. This can happen through' the etheric body, if it is working too strongly. I had said, the ether body might be all right;, but let us assume now, that it is working too strongly. If this is the case and the astral body is normal, the shrunken kidney can develop with its peculiar consequences. The etheric body being in the right condition and the astral body working too strong the kidney is not engaged enough. What is radiating across, because the astral body is working too strongly, will be claimed by it without the kidney working along in an orderly way in the right regulation. The kidney is put out of use thereby and the shrunken kidney develops. At the same time, because it causes a reaction, this will lead to a generation of the function of the heart and of the heart itself.
You see how one can look this way in a summary on what is going on in the human organism and that one can see by the degeneration of the organs how the members of the human being, physical body, etheric body, astral body and ego are not working together in the right way.
One has to make it clear for oneself how all these things must be in accord with one another and how they have to work in the right way. Let us assume, for example, that any area of the system of the organs is not permeated in the right way, but wrongly, by any member of the human organism, perhaps by the astral body. This can happen in a twofold way. Either what is coming forth from the kidney-system (as mentioned before, the rounding forces go out from the head, while from the kidney-system come the radiations) is stimulated too strongly, so that really everything that is working from the heart towards the kidney-system will be too much of a stimulation for the kidney system. In such a stimulation, which is too strong, you finally discover the original causes for all inflammation and ulcerations in the human organism. One has to find the way in which anywhere in the organism such an inflammation develops. One has to try there to balance the matter by medication in such a manner that one reduces the too strong effect on the kidney activity.

 Diagram 3
Diagram 3
The simplest means to achieve this is to try to dam the too strong development of radiating inner body warmth, to induce an inner cooling off. Perhaps this might be done with the help of application of substances which are generated in the blossoms (organs) of plants. It is the peculiarity of these substances, which are generated in the blossom organs of plants, that one can counteract inflammations through them and bring about an inner cooling off. Or, it can also be that the plastic activity of the kidney, is working too strongly. Then some tumorous formations will arise. Here the plastic, the rounding off, the crystalising activity — I would like to say — is too great. Then one has to envelop the tumor through warmth from outside (see diagram 3, yellow, red). All tumors are in fact healed from outside. One only has to bring about in the organism, through injections of substances that diffuse in a certain way, the possibility to get the tumor enwrapped by radiation of such substances (diagram, red). If you succeed in getting a radiation into and around the tumor, then it will dissolve, crumble, and stop. If you have an inflammation, you have to bring the remedy into the organ through the digestive apparatus, where the inflammation is located. You have to bring something cooling, by way of the digestive apparatus. An inflammation has to be treated from inside (diagram 3a).
One only has to find the way here. Every substance has a specific way of spreading in the human organism. For example there are substances which, given by mouth to a human being, don't pay heed to the esophagus; it doesn't matter at all to them — all the pepsin, ptyalin and so on — they care, for example, only for the heart. To others the heart does not matter: They are conducted first through the stomach, through the heart, to the kidneys, and become active only there. So every substance has its affinity; one only has to apply the right substance. But there are also those substances which, if you vaccinate them, would not pay heed to a stomach-carcinoma at all, but would take care very much, let us say, of a breast carcinoma.
Therefore one has to find the way to attack an ulcer or an inflammation internally, to take something on from the outside, to besiege it, as it were. The tumors have to be besieged from outside. Things have to be studied this way, and they must be tuned together in a thorough way. Of course, to do this one has to know the higher members of human nature. It is impossible to talk at all about the kidney if one puts man on the dissecting table, simply, and opens him up after he has died. Then the kidney is lying next to the liver, as far as I am concerned; but what does one know more about the kidney and the liver than that both consist of cells, that both are built up, in different ways, of cells! But the kidney has an intimate. relationship to the astral body and the liver to the ego. That alone gives them their character. Without considering this, it is altogether senseless to define or to consider the whole matter.
Now, take an organ like the spleen. Ordinary physiology and medicine don't have much to say about it. You will find in all corresponding textbooks the notation: about the spleen one does not yet have anything to say today. You will find that everywhere, if you look it up. That is not very surprising. You see, the speech genius is really wiser in this respect than science. In this case, — in other cases it is the German speech genius which is extraordinarily wise, — it is the English speech genius who designates the (Milz) as “spleen”. And that is an extraordinarily favorable designation, because the spleen is connected with all those activities of man which go beyond the ego, which approach the spirit-self. The spleen is even directly the organ of the spirit-self. It enters fully into the spiritual realm. Only one must be able to stand. it. Most people cannot take the real spiritual element. Therefore they are not in any way animated through the activity of the spleen to an activity that is spiritual, but become “spleeny”. In reverse, they are tuned down. The “spleen” is nothing other than a spirit which, instead of going into the head, twists itself into the bowels. Therefore “spleen” is an extraordinarily good designation, which points directly towards the spirit, for which the spleen is the corresponding organ.
The spleen is effective in bringing about a balance, as presented in the pamphlet, — which has been worked out in our institute of physiology particularly by Fr. Dr. K., — where the activity of the spleen is presented in relation to the formation of the development of membranes and the whole digestive process.
(Dr. Steiner then expressed his disappointment that this, which was being worked out inside the society, did not reach the outside world. Also that the members did not pay attention ...) This is what I want to say today only in parenthesis.
Indeed we can understand the human organism only if we understand its higher organization. You see how these things have to fit together. There is something out of order in the organism, if something which does not proceed in the right way works into the astral organism, because in that moment the kidney does not work in the right way, then all the phenomena that follow up a kidney which does not work rightly will appear.
But this is not so for man in general, instead, this changes from one era to another. The organization of man is an extremely fine one, but it is not always the same. If we go back a few centuries only — a couple of centuries are not much for the whole of evolution, it seems — then we come to a time where our present age, the real epoch of development of the consciousness soul, has begun. We go back from the 15th, 14th, and 13th centuries into the post-Christian time. It has been so, — as grotesque as this might appear to man today, especially in the civilized world, — that approximately during the whole time from the 4th until the 14th century the activity of the kidney was most important. Since then, the activity of the liver has become that which is most important for the entire nature of man. The anatomy and physiology of man really changes in the course of centuries, and especially of millenniums. One cannot study history if one does not enter into the fine structure of man, so that one knows how such transformations regarding outer phenomena in civilization, such as that from the middle ages into recent time, are also connected with a transformation of the whole human organization.
One has to come back again to such matters; otherwise on one side science will always come to a standstill, becoming more and more irreligious and antireligious, since finally it will only grope about with the probe and the dissecting knife, and so on, — and on the other side, there is religious life, which does not have anything to say anymore about the world, but addresses itself only to the egotistic instincts of man for life after death. These things are standing side by side. Our religious attitude of today has simply forgotten that God has created the world, and that one can find everywhere in the things of the world traces of divine creation. But one must not talk of abstract cloudlike changes of civilization in history; one must know how, especially through the delicate human organization, through this tuning in of the infinite fine clockwork of man's organization, the divine, creative forces transform man. As at one time they tighten the strings of the kidney activity somewhat more, then they relax and tighten the strings of the liver-activity, and a completely different music of civilization comes about.
Only if we don't restrict ourselves to looking at a God who is separate, but instead follow God into detailed activity, will we arrive at that which mankind needs in the future. Otherwise mankind will finally care only for the abstract, and arrive at a purely materialistic science. Only and solely if we can penetrate into concrete details, the effectiveness of matter in divine creation, will we get where we can permeate religion with science and lead science back to religion.
You see, around the turn of the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries an attitude comes about in Europe, which I have already characterized from very different sides. It is expressed in the legend of the Grail, in the Parsifal legend, in all that has been written by poets like Wolfram von Eschenbach, Hartman von der Aue, Gottfried von Strassburg, and so on. There the motifs emerge. In the Parsifal epic, in the true Parsifal epic one motif especially arises. It consists in the sudden desire, to now present how man has to develop himself towards something one called at that time “Sälde”. It is the feeling of a certain inner sensation of happiness — Sälde — related to what we would call “bliss” but it is not the same. Sälde means being penetrated by a certain feeling of happiness. This emerges and dominates the whole civilization of the 13th and 14th century. All poetic motifs, but in particular the Parsifal motif, are permeated by it and everything strives towards it. One strives towards this Sälde, towards this inner feeling of bliss, which should not be irreligious, or perhaps a state of blissful comfort, but a state of being ensouled with the divine forces of the Creator.
Why does this arise? It arises because the transition from the kidney activity to the liver activity takes place. You will be able to understand this if you are aided by physiology. The earlier physiologists, of course, were better physiologists in many respects than the materialistic physiologists of today. Those, I mean, were the writers of the Old Testament, where one, for example, said, if one had had bad dreams — I have already drawn attention to this — “the Lord has punished me this night through my kidneys.” The knowledge of certain connections of an abnormal kidney-activity with bad dreams continued, and in the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries, for example, one was still deeply permeated by the conviction, that one becomes heavy through the activity of the kidney. The activity of the kidney had developed into something like heaviness for man. Of course, one spoke outwardly only about something that became heavy for man. One couldn't quite get out of it. One was stuck to the earthly. And then one sensed that one became penetrated by the gall from the physical side — but in a way that was connected with being “inwardly permeated by Sälde” — as a deliverance, an inner redemption — but it was an inner God-filled feeling of bliss, — a striving away from the dullness of the kidney. It is so, that the kidney also develops an activity of thinking. The kidney develops the dull thought-activity in man via the detour of the ganglious system. This is then connected through induction with the system of the spinal cord and the system of the brain. It develops in particular that kind of thinking which has also played a direct role in the middle ages. One called it at that time “dullness”, (Tumpheit). And this development from Tumpheit to illumination, Sälde; this was what became the motif of Parsifal. Parsifal develops from dullness to Sälde.
One must not only look at this in an abstract manner, but one must also look at it with feeling and a sensitivity. In the beginning Parsifal is as one arising out of a culture that has become heavy. One cannot quite get him in movement. Only later, after he has passed through his doubting, does Saelde permeate him. This doubt in him arises through being jolted by the heart-lung system. After he has gone through that, he finds the entry into Sälde.
It is possible to follow up into the members of the human organism what has gone on in the larger history of the world. One can say: leading individualities, like those who have fashioned the Parsifal-motif, they were pioneers, the first precursors of the modern human corporeal organization, which has proceeded from the old kidney-activity to the newer liver activity.
One must not feel contempt for something like that. One must not say: that is only the lower sensual nature. Even God did not despise the creation of lower matter — in fact, He was its Creator! By the same token we are obliged through cognition, to pursue the divine activity of the creator into the outermost ramifications of what is material. One should not be a dignified historian who describes Parsifal and says: If one describes Parsifal, one must not look at the same time at something so low as the physiological activity of man.
The world is a unity, and to understand the great historical connections, one has to be able at the same time to illuminate the different human connections. Men of ancient times, and even up until the Middle Ages, still had traces of such knowledge. You can follow that up in descriptions as that of “Armen Heinrich”, where we see that healings of a moral nature are still occurring, and so on.
These matters discussed today should be a preliminary indication of the fact that all human cognition presents a great unity. One can descend from what has to be conceived as the highest religious ideas to something that people often regard as being so low, that they don't want to look at it. Present-day science is guilty of such an attitude, because it does not at all realize that one must follow the spirit into the outmost ramifications of matter. But only then does one learn to understand the world. Only then does one also learn to strive upwards towards a true religious comprehension of the world. Otherwise one generally has just an egotistic point of view, which speculates on the egotistic motives of man, but does not enter into cognition and will lead us into decadence, instead of a renewal of civilization.
A new arising of civilization is connected with people receiving Light into themselves and contemplating the world in this Light, and not in darkness. Today's physiology and anatomy, just places people on the dissecting table and looks but at those symptoms which can still be observed in sick people by materialistic science. But this never attains to a real understanding of man.
One can say: foodstuff taken up, killed, revived, astralized, transformed into the ego — only then one understands ptyalin, pepsin, in the food that has been taken up and killed, and then transported into the lymphatic glands conveyed to the heart, fired by the heart. The kidneys then radiate through it, and all is astralized, taken up by the liver functioning and conveyed to the Ego. Then the whole can be caught up by the activity of the spleen and then, under certain circumstances the person will be made into an enthusiast, one who receives strength from the spiritual world through the activity of the spleen, — or otherwise he will be made into a “spleeny”, depressive person — one without the will to hold his head upright — through the activity of the spleen — one who only wants to sit on his chair and preFers not to he permeated by the spirit, who does not want to do any thinking. There are many people like — that today. They sit on their chairs, really only a big lump, as if they did not have a head at all. The activity of the spleen, which could be something lofty in man, really has a crushing effect on these people. Instead of enthusiasm, they have “spleen” and the “spleen” appears today already in a variety of forms.
But what one needs today is the kind of work that transforms spleen into enthusiasm, into fire so that men do not have a sleepy, but rather a wakeful civilization. This is what should come forth from Anthroposophy: to be awake, to have enthusiasm, to transform cognition into true activity, into deeds, so man does not only know more but will become something through Anthroposophy. Only then has Anthroposophy a goal and can such a goal be truly attained. But to become sleepy through Anthroposophy means that one gives much too much respect to the physical quality of the spleen and that one does not fructify the high spiritual nature of the spleen. But this points towards something that present-day mankind sorely needs. Men need fire, they need enthusiasm, they need to be inspired about something. As long as we cannot do that, as long as we think only about ourselves, we are placing too much value also on that which is excreted by us as urea, uric acid, which is not meant to be contained in the sphere of a cell, of protein — but should be brought into the state of fluctuating protein, which we are in our whole being. Basically we are something like a living, but large cell-like being, that stays in continuous, vivacious movement. Because we have carbon in us, we receive oxygen through the etherisation of the food, we get nitrogen, because the food substances are radiated through by the activity of the kidneys. We receive hydrogen, because the activity of the liver plays into it, and in connection with the activity of the senses, we do also receive sulphur — either the unsuitable one, which is the one mostly discussed today — or the proper sulphur. We really get what is necessary, so we are a living being who consists of protein — carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and also sulphur — but it must he the proper sulphur. (This is related to a joke about a philosopher in Wurzburg, on whose door students had written “sulphur — shack”.) That I don't mean. But man must be alive through and through, through and through ensouled, through and through permeated by spirit. This is something one also can learn, especially if one observes this in the outermost ramifications of matter. Only then will we get a physiology, then also will we get something which can really approach therapeutically the nature of man.

Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."  — Helen Keller

"Either the spiritual path is difficult or it is no path at all."  — Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner

We are not granted
A rest on any step;
The active man
Must live and strive
From life to life;
As plants renew themselves
From Spring to Spring,
So man must rise
Through error to Truth,
From fetters into Freedom,
Through sickness and through death
To Beauty, Health, and Life.

                   Rudolf Steiner

The Michael-Christ Experience of Man. Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts #115, #116, #117

Rudolf Steiner:

When with deep and earnest feeling a human being takes the inner vision of Michael's being and his deeds into his outlook on life, there will dawn upon him the true understanding of the way in which this world is to be taken by man — this world which is neither the Divine Being, nor the Manifestation, nor Active Working, but the Accomplished Work of the Gods. To look with knowledge into this world is to have before us forms and formations which speak aloud of the Divine; in which, however — if we are under no illusion about it — independent, living, Divine Being cannot be found. Nor must we consider merely our knowledge of the world. It is true that with respect to knowledge this configuration of the world, as it surrounds man at the present day, is revealed most strikingly. But more essential for everyday life is our feeling, our willing and work in a world which — though in its formation we may well feel it to be Divine — cannot really be experienced as actively imbued with Divine life. In order to bring real moral life into such a world, the ethical impulses I have described in my book Philosophy of Freedom are necessary.
For the man who feels truly, Michael's Being and his present world of deeds can shine forth in this world of the Divine accomplished work. Michael does not enter into the physical world as a phenomenal appearance. He keeps himself with all his activity within a supersensible region — albeit one which borders directly upon the physical world of the present phase of world-evolution. Thus it can never happen that men's view of Nature will be led away into the fantastic through the impressions they receive from the Being of Michael; nor will they be inclined thereby to shape their ethical and practical life in this world — Divine as it is in its form, but void of Divine life — as if impulses could be there in it which did not require to be sustained, ethically and spiritually, by man himself. If we transplant ourselves into the Spiritual, be it in thinking or in willing, we shall always be obliged to approach Michael.
We shall thereby live spiritually in the following way. We shall accept both our knowledge and our life in the manner in which we are obliged to accept them since the fifteenth century. But we shall hold fast to Michael's revelation. We shall let this revelation shine like a light into the thoughts we receive from Nature; we shall carry it as warmth in our hearts when we have to live in accordance with a world which is the accomplished work of the Divine. We shall then place before us not only the observation and experience of the present world but also that which Michael makes possible for us, namely a past condition of the world — one which Michael, through his Being and his deeds, brings into the present.
If it were otherwise — if Michael were to work in such a manner that he carried his deeds into the world which at the present time man must know and experience as the physical — man would now learn of the world not that which in reality is in it but that which was in it. This illusory conception of the world, when it takes place, leads the human soul away from the reality that is suited to it and into another — into a Luciferic one.
The manner in which Michael brings the past into activity in present human life is the one which is in accordance with the true spiritual progress of the world and contains nothing Luciferic. It is important that in the human mind there should be a correct idea of the way in which, in Michael's mission, everything Luciferic is avoided.
To have this attitude toward the light of Michael which is dawning in human history means at the same time to be able to find the right way to Christ.
Michael will point out the right road with respect to the world which lies about man, for him to know and be active in it. The way to Christ will have to be found within.
It is quite comprehensible that during the period in which the knowledge of Nature has the form given to it by the last five centuries the knowledge of the supersensible world should also have become such as humanity now experiences.
Nature has to be known and experienced in such a manner that the Gods are nowhere in it. In consequence of this, man in this form of his relation to the world, experiences himself no longer. Inasmuch as he is a supersensible being, the position of his Self with respect to Nature which is in accordance with this age yields him nothing at all regarding his own being. Nor, if he has this position alone in view, can he live ethically in a manner in keeping with his true humanity.
Naturally, this causes people to prevent the modern way of knowledge and of life from entering into anything that relates to the supersensible nature of man, nay to the supersensible world at all. They separate this latter realm from anything accessible to human knowledge. A sphere of Revelation by Faith, apart from science or above it, is set up in contradistinction to the sphere of what is knowable.
But over against this there stands the purely spiritual activity of Christ, who since the Mystery of Golgotha can be reached by the human soul. The soul's relation to Christ need not remain indefinite or dimly mystical in feeling; it can become one that is quite concrete, humanly deep and clearly experienced.
Then, from the life together with Christ, there flows into the human soul what it ought to know regarding its own supersensible being. The religious revelation must then be felt in such a manner that the living experience of Christ continually streams into it. It will become possible for life to be filled with Christ, through Christ being perceived as the Being who gives to the human soul the knowledge of its own supersensible nature.
Thus the Michael experience and the Christ experience will in the future be able to stand side by side. Through Michael man will find the path into the supersensible world in the right way with respect to the outer world of Nature. Our view of Nature, without being falsified in itself, will then be able to stand by the side of a spiritual view of the world and of man inasmuch as he is a cosmic being.
Through his true attitude to Christ man will be able, in the active intercourse of his soul with Christ, to experience what he could otherwise only receive as a traditional revelation by faith. He will be able to experience the inner world of the soul's life as one that is shone through by the Spirit; and he will also experience the outer world of Nature as one that is upborne by the Spirit.
If man were to gain information about his own supersensible nature without his life in union with Christ, this would lead him out of his own reality and into that of Ahriman. Christ bears within Himself, in a manner true to the whole cosmos, the impulses for the future of humanity. To unite with Christ signifies for the human soul to receive into itself, in a manner true to the cosmos, its own seeds for the future. Other beings who already at the present time manifest forms which will be cosmically right for man only in the future belong to the Ahrimanic sphere. To unite ourselves with Christ in the right way is also to preserve ourselves in the right way from the Ahrimanic.
Those who strictly demand that the revelations of religious faith shall be preserved from the invasions of human knowledge are unconsciously afraid that by such ways as this man might come under Ahrimanic influences. This fact must be appreciated. But it should also be appreciated that it is to the honor and true recognition of Christ when that gift of grace, which is the inflowing of the Spiritual into the human soul, is ascribed to the living experience with Him.
Thus in the future the Michael experience and the Christ experience can stand side by side; man will thereby find his right path of freedom between the Luciferic deviation into illusions in thought and life, and the Ahrimanic allurement into forms of the future which may satisfy his pride but cannot as yet be his present forms.
To fall into Luciferic illusions means not to become fully Man — not to wish to progress to the stage of spiritual freedom but to wish to halt, as God-Man, at a premature stage of evolution. To succumb to Ahrimanic temptations means not to be willing to wait until at a certain stage of human development the right cosmic moment will have come, but to wish to forestall this stage.
Michael-Christ will stand in future as the guiding word at the entrance to the path upon which man may arrive at his world-goal, in a way that is cosmically right, between the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic powers.

Further Leading Thoughts issued from the Goetheanum for the Anthroposophical Society (with reference to the preceding study)

115. Man goes on his way through the cosmos in such manner that his looking back into past ages can be falsified by the impulses of Lucifer, and his thinking into the future deceived by the allurements of Ahriman.
116. To the falsifying influences of Lucifer he finds the right relation when he imbues his attitude to life and knowledge with the Being and the Mission of Michael.
117. Moreover, in so doing he provides against the allurements of Ahriman. For the path of the Spirit into external Nature, which Michael inspires, leads to a right relation to the domain of Ahriman, inasmuch as a true and living experience with Christ is also found thereby.