Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mysterious Land of Shamballa

The time will come when men will again see into the spiritual world and there behold the land whence flow the streams of true spiritual nourishment for everything that happens in the physical world. Again and again we have heard that it was once possible for men to look with clairvoyant vision into the spiritual world. Oriental writings also contain the tradition of an ancient spiritual land [See note 1 at end of lecture.] into which men were once able to gaze and whence they could draw the super-sensible influences that were available for the physical world. Many descriptions of this land, that was once within reach of men's vision but has withdrawn, are full of sadness. This land was indeed once accessible to men and will be so again now that Kali Yuga, the Dark Age, is over. Initiation has always led thither, and it was always possible for those who had achieved Initiation to guide their steps into that mysterious land which is said to have disappeared from the sphere of human experience. Deeply moving are the writings which tell of this ancient land, whither the Initiates repair ever and again in order to bring from there the new streams and impulses for everything that is to be imparted to mankind from century to century. Those who are connected with the spiritual world in this way resort again and again to Shamballa — the name of this mysterious land. It is the deep fount into which clairvoyant vision once reached; it withdrew during Kali Yuga and is spoken of as an ancient fairyland that will come again into the realm of man. Shamballa will be there again when Kali Yuga has run its course. Mankind will rise through normal human faculties into the land of Shamballa, the land whence the Initiates draw strength and wisdom for the missions they are to fulfil. Shamballa is a reality, was a reality, will be a reality again for humanity. And when Shamballa reveals itself again, one of the first visions to come to men will be that of Christ in His etheric form. Into the land declared by Oriental writings to have vanished there is no Leader other than Christ. It is Christ who will lead men to Shamballa.

We must inscribe into our souls what can come to pass for humanity if the omen [Halley's Comet] referred to in the lecture yesterday is rightly understood. If men realise that they dare not allow themselves to sink more deeply into matter, that their path must be reversed, that a spiritual life must begin, then, at first for a few and in the course of two thousand five hundred years for a greater and greater number of human beings, there will arise the experience of the land of Shamballa — woven of light, shone through with light, teeming with wisdom. Such is the event which for those who have the will to understand, for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, must be described as denoting the most momentous turning-point in the evolution of humanity at the dawn of the Abraham-epoch in the Christian era. It is the event through which men's understanding of the Christ Impulse will be enhanced and intensified.

Strange as it may seem, wisdom will thereby lose nothing of its value. The more insight men achieve, the greater and mightier will Christ appear to them to be! When once their gaze can penetrate into Shamballa, they will be able to understand much of what is indeed contained in the Gospels but for the recognition of which they will need to experience a kind of event of Damascus. Thus at the time when men are more sceptical of the original records than they have ever been, the new form of belief in Christ Jesus will arise when we grow into the realm where He will first be encountered: the mysterious land of Shamballa.

-Rudolf Steiner

Sunday, May 14, 2023

The Secret of the Madonna

The babe in the womb cannot take nourishment without, and similarly all cords of ours lead to Christ. In reality it was Christ who bore Mary, as with all of us. The mystery of the Madonna is such, that she is quite separate to Mary Mother of Jesus. For the Holy Madonna is His Being also: one of the same, but not of the same. The Christ Child is verily Mankind in infancy. Our aspect of containment and protection is His Face of she: the Holy Mother. He the Creator, is manifest in dual notation.

He too, is compelled to make good what He has done. Within the continuum of time all things may come together. What was, and that which is to be, may manifest concurrently.

The two Aspects of Christ are not in contradiction to the One who is Perfect in Both. Without such polarity there would be complete unraveling...

Is Christ an Individuality? Some would speak of an 'Impulse' alone or a 'Force', or a condition and so forth. He is more of an Individuality than we are as yet - by the bye - individual-duality.


Monday, May 08, 2023

Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Times

The dedications of animals to the altar and the sacrificial killings which have long been offered, have been in former times, utilizing the animal as an intermediary once again. Entrail readings are a demonic practice requiring that the point of death become the unction for the message to be conveyed from entity to person; working in a way not dissimilar to the above inasmuch as the creature involved is impressionable to the wilfulness thus conveyed in its physical being. But the forces released, into and out of the blood, into and out of the astrality of the creature, into and out of the demon and man also - these forces set in play, are without those influences of nurturing love as mentioned earlier - running opposite and contrary to any such regard - and therefore are most dangerous to the man who may be involved. 

Temple sacrifices were usually maintained in ways which strictly controlled the hour and operandum of the slaying. It was believed (with reason, for it was perceived also), that man could communicate with the lesser gods with such dedications of death, transporting a wish or a pledge through to the spiritual worlds. It did in fact, create a definable statement, which once imparted hung with a stern reality of permanence until addressed. 

If a man knew this craft, which was at one time an accepted form of powerful prayer, he could witness manifestations coming out from the expiring ethers surrounding the carcass, with visions unfurling of futuristic events as supplied to him from the attending beings whose presence he had called for. However the actions of clairvoyance have since changed, and although by our standards today we may find procedures such as this, most deplorable and corruptive, we may give respect to the issues of the past when it was moreover an acceptable endeavour to manage thus. 


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Johannine Christianity

"Two directions of Cain and Abel — in John the middle. It is necessary to recognise what comes from the two directions ( Ibid ). For this reason, the mediaeval Rosicrucians called themselves "Johannine Christians" ( GA 112: Lecture of 24th June 1909: "The Gospel of St.John in Relation to the Other Three Gospels" ).

[ Note: The Movement for Religious Renewal or the Christian Community, which was founded out of a purely anthroposophical impulse, represents an important step in the process of the uniting of both streams. One of Rudolf Steiner's pupils gave the following account of what he said during an esoteric Lesson that he gave in Christiania ( Oslo ) in May 1923:

"During the meeting he continued to recount the Temple Legend in a very impressive way. Then he went on to speak of how the sons of Abel found their way to the sons of Cain when the theologians asked him for a New ritual" ( GA 263, p. 419 ). In the sense of these words and the special task of Rudolf Steiner standing behind them ( preparing the way for the uniting of both streams in the consciousness soul epoch ), the fact that Rudolf Steiner gave both groups a cycle of lectures on the Book of Revelation – the anthroposohists in June 1908 ( GA 104 ) and the priests of the Christian Community in September 1924 ( GA 346 ) acquires a special significance.

Moreover, in both cycles — although from different aspects — the need for a spiritual development of the element of will is emphasised. This makes it understandable why Marie Steiner, as she reflected at the end of her life about this important task of Rudolf Steiner, wrote in a letter to a Christian Community priest about the need for combined work between these two streams: 

"In the course of pondering these problems it has occurred to me that the moment might eventually come when both movements will no longer need to compete with one another but the knowledge of anthroposophy will quite naturally be able to unite with a ritual which has become knowledge. Of course, this is an ideal for the future" ( Marie Steiner-von Sievers: "Correspondence and Documents" ).

As we have seen, throughout the whole of his anthroposophical activity Rudolf Steiner constantly worked out of the Johannine-Rosicrucian stream of the middle, to which he himself belonged, towards the union of both tendencies. Thus in speaking about the sources of his supersensible knowledge he used from the outset what are essentially two completely opposite expressions: on the one hand, he used the expression "occult research", referring to the direction from below upwards ( the Cain principle ) and, on the other, he spoke of "spiritual revelation", indicating the direction from above downwards ( the Abel principle ). Especially in the karma lectures of 1924, Rudolf Steiner spoke several times about the results of his own spiritual-scientific research in the realm of karma but also about the spiritual beings who guide the anthroposophical movement in the higher worlds, whose "revelations" became significantly stronger as a result of the Christimas Conference. 

For just as a person needs both hands in order to build an earthly temple, with the right hand being the more active of the two and the left being more concerned with the heart, so for the gradual building of the great spiritual temple of humanity there is a need for the combined activity of both streams, the best representatives of which will gradually unite in the middle stream founded by John, which is represented in our time by anthroposophy. Hence Rudolf Steiner could say with full justice "that through our anthroposophical movement one can penetrate to the very sources of Rosicrucianism" ( GA 131: Lecture of 6th October 1911), that is, to its deepest esoteric tasks.

-Sergei Prokofieff

Thursday, March 30, 2023

What is the Arterial Self?

The Arterial Self is not a 'Higher Self' as described by the yogis or mystics, it is rather the preferential deliberating nature which has choice before it, and all choices can be good. The higher attributes could rightly select a poverty that requires a man to serve charity, and when his body deteriorates from hunger and overwork the 'higher' soul could be well satisfied, and yet the Arterial Self may protest this with good reason.

Here then is a distinction therefore between the two. It is not a case of the Arterial Self being immoral because it does not always choose the most righteous course of action, it is moreover because it knows its capabilities and what it can and cannot afford, and its preference.

Here we can see also that the spirit may dismiss the physical world's requirements, almost as unlawfully as the physical world's persistence upon the soul…. and deliberating the two is given to the over-ego, the Arterial Self, as opposed to the developing ego and its experiments into the bargain.

There has always been the question about instantaneous purity as sanctioned by the moralists, as becoming possible. Such a 'perfected' man who has contradicted his Arterial Self and with an immature capability that has forced himself beyond his means, may invoke the very opposite to that he has set out to achieve.

One of the reasons for this lies in the consequence to all actions depending upon their origin rather than their physical set sequence. A 'good' action from an inadequate man is moreover interpreted lastingly from the initial motivation as experienced within the Arterial Self, and if the Arterial Self is out of agreement with this action it shall become null and void. This is because there is a protection afforded the core self of a man, that he is liable moreover within his true nature and not out of it.

Conversely, if he were to suffer the dictates of his acting conscience (social conscience, spiritual guiding, whatever) and abstain from his favorite foods in order to diet, but the purpose was not agreed upon by his Arterial Self, he will not take advantage of any long-lasting health result. Also he will go back to preferring those foods he instinctively hungers for, and seek to satisfy that particular hunger. Here we can also suggest that the hunger and the foods themselves are not the critical issue. We can respect the man in his desires - and yea, the point is in that very respecting.

Goodness is its own reward, however insincere goodness is spiritually impotent. The significator has to remain with the core person and what they may achieve out from there; all else is superficial and of little lasting importance.

It may be that the individual’s Arterial Self comes to want for a complete change in diet, because out from their being comes the recollections of such relationships and interactions to foods, alongside a knowing that maintains what is required and needed for future sustenance. Then we find that the dynamics between that man and his nutrition give pleasures which can be experienced even in the simplest of foods. The first pleasure known is in the honesty of self and the compliance to need. Similarly, if not in the advanced relationship, then one can know this simply in the experience of eating the very foods you want the most. The pleasure comes in pleasing yourself, not so much as the substance of the food.

If taken incorrectly these passages may appear to promote an utterly self-centered and self-fulfilling lifestyle. This is not the reasoning of the meaning, but it is moreover a guide to understand what it feels like to be agreeable to oneself. Overindulgence is actually symptomatic of a soul who is not answering their Arterial Self, their true I Am, but living in compromise to it. So the most effective way to reestablish a pleasing of that self becomes prominent in basic codes, expressed in ways which otherwise would not be so excessive.

The importance of 'expressing oneself', albeit truthfully, has been maintained largely amongst the people who are habitually having to come to choices which seem to present and represent over and over begging their attention. Expression from a man does not have to be indicated by grandstanding or imposing around others, but communicating a genuine aspect that is in line with his true feelings and thoughts coming from the core.

Self-expression is creative, skilful and intuitive. Those who have poor vocabulary quite often improvise with an immediate honesty of gesture and face; and for those who are articulate the meanings implied or given, when genuine, are pleasing to those who receive them. There is a great pleasure in the giving and receiving of true genuineness.

So in this conveyance between souls we find perhaps the greatest vitality - there is no other interaction which moves the ethers so! Here too, amongst the real conjunctures where expression runs freely, there is a promotion of Christ, for literally He lives in those very conjunctures of Man.