Saturday, April 29, 2017

Proper Conduct of a Group & on Anthroposophical Lecturing- Rudolf Steiner

THE following appeared in the November, 1949 issue of the Anthroposophical Movement, issued by the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain. In it Adelheid Peterson speaks of some questions of “universal and fundamental importance”.

Adelheid Peterson writes: —

On the 28th August, 1919, I traveled from Munich to Stuttgart to lay before Rudolf Steiner a plan for a fresh beginning of our work in Munich. Since Sophie Stinde’s death things had stagnated there, in both Groups there were internal dissensions....

In contrast to his reception of me on former occasions, Dr. Steiner received me somewhat coldly; his attitude was one of reserve, and he said straightaway, in severe and chilly tones, “What have you to say to me?”

I replied that, since a house with a large reception room had been placed at the disposal of the movement, I wanted to take the initiative in inaugurating fresh work in Munich. Thereupon, in the same tone of voice, came the second question, “And how do you envisage this work?”

Now the whole plan in concrete detail was already fully alive in my mind. So I was able to expound it quickly and clearly. There were to be Introductory Courses, Continuation Courses, Courses for Young People; lectures from various anthroposophical speakers, and Afternoon Classes for the working-class children in the neighborhood, as to whose lack of supervision during the afternoon hours when the schools were closed the teachers had been much concerned.

When I had finished, Rudolf Steiner’s voice and manner changed. “That gives me great happiness,” he said warmly, “and I will do everything I can to help you.”

But he added a warning as to the heavy burden, the spiritual and physical fatigue, which such an undertaking involved; he warned me that we should actually have to face hostility and “stabs-in-the-back” from the ranks of “our own beloved members”. After he had spoken of this in some detail, he sent me away “to sleep over it all another night”, and made an appointment to see me again early the next morning, when I was to tell him what I had decided— as to which he was as little in doubt as I was myself.

So when I came back again, he smiled. And now a unique privilege fell to my lot an experience which worked an inward transformation in me. During this and other interviews arranged by him he put me through a thorough training in how to lecture and how to conduct a Group.

I pass over what he said that was purely personal and summarize here what was of universal and fundamental importance.

He started with what can be read in his lecture of June 15, 1915, given at Düsseldorf. Published in German as “Gemeinsamkeit über uns,Christus in uns”.

Preparing for the Sixth Epoch GA 159 

This lecture was given at the opening of Group II, on June 15, 1915. It was originally published in English with the title How Anthroposophical Groups Prepare for the Sixth Epoch, or Three Fundamental Characteristics of the Future Civilization of Mankind.

Some pertinent excerpts:

"we must realize that we make a distinction, even if only in thought, between the work we do in a group like this and our other work in the world. Those who are unwilling to enter deeply into more intimate truths connected with the spiritual progress of humanity, might ask if we could not cultivate Spiritual Science without forming ourselves into groups, but simply by finding lecturers and providing opportunities for people who may not know each other to come together and have access to the spiritual treasure of which we speak. 

"We could, of course, proceed in this way. But as long as it is at all possible to establish, in the wider and narrower senses, associations of human beings who are known to one another and who come together in friendship and brotherliness within these working groups, we will continue to found them in full consciousness of the attitude of soul
that is part and parcel of Spiritual Science.

"It is not without meaning that among us there are human beings who want to cultivate the more intimate side of spiritual knowledge and who sincerely intend to work together in brotherliness and harmony.

"Not only are relationships and intercourse affected by the fact that we can speak quite differently among ourselves, knowing that we are speaking to souls consciously associated with us — not only is this so, but something else is also to be remembered. The establishment of individual groups is connected with the whole conception that we hold of our Movement if we understand its inmost nature. We must all be conscious that our Movement is significant not only for the existence known to the senses and for the existence that is grasped by the outward turned mind of man, but that through this Movement our souls are seeking a real and genuine link with the spiritual worlds.

"Again and again, in full consciousness, we should say to ourselves that by the cultivation of Spiritual Science we transfer our souls as it were into spheres that are peopled not only by beings of earth but also by the beings of the higher hierarchies, the beings of the invisible worlds. We must realize that our work is of significance for these invisible worlds, that we are actually within these worlds. In the spiritual world, the work performed by those who know one another within such groups is quite different from work carried on outside such a group and dispersed about the world. The work carried out in brotherly harmony within our groups has quite a different significance for the spiritual world than other work we may undertake. To understand this fully we must remind ourselves of truths we have studied in many aspects during recent years.....

"The nature of Spirit Self is that it must pre-suppose the existence in human souls of the three characteristics of which I have spoken:

  • social life in which brotherliness prevails,
  • freedom of thought, 
  • and pneumatology. 

These three characteristics are essential in a community of human beings within which the Spirit Self is to develop as the Consciousness Soul develops in the souls of the Fifth Epoch. We may therefore picture to ourselves that by uniting in brotherliness in working groups, something hovers invisibly over our work, something that is like the child of the forces of the Spirit Self — the Spirit Self that is nurtured by the beings of the higher hierarchies in order that it may stream down into our souls when they are again on earth in the Sixth Epoch of civilization. 

"In our groups we perform work that streams upward to those forces that are being prepared for the Spirit Self. The thought that we do this work nor only for the sake of our own egos, but in order that it may stream upward into the spiritual worlds, the thought that this work is connected with the spiritual worlds, this is the true consecration of a working group. To cherish such a thought is to permeate ourselves with the consciousness of the consecration that is the foundation of a working group within the Movement. It is therefore of great importance to grasp this fact in its true spiritual sense. We find ourselves together in working groups which, besides cultivating Spiritual Science, are based on freedom of thought. They will have nothing to do with dogma or coercion of belief, and their work should be of the nature of cooperation among brothers. What matters most of all is to become conscious of the true meaning of the idea of community, saying to ourselves: Apart from the fact that as modern souls we belong to the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch of culture and develop as individuals, raising individual life more and more out of community life, we must in turn become conscious of a higher form of community, founded in the freedom of love among brothers, as a breath of magic that we breathe in our working groups."


“Anthroposophical study is a reality in the spiritual worlds. It enters into the spiritual worlds, into the life of the Higher Hierarchies. Through right anthroposophical work much of the evil which happens in this world can be counteracted for the spiritual worlds, which are unceasingly influencing everything.”

Then, coming to the case in point, he began: —

“At the outset of your work you will give your first lecture. But I want to say this to you.” And he leaned forward a little and spoke very emphatically. “Even if only three people are present — if only one is there — you must give your lecture as if five hundred people were sitting before you. The one who is there may be the one that matters- the same with the children’s classes. If only two children join as a result of your announcement, begin with those two.”

At that time a wave of propagandism was passing through the Society. Members hoped to counteract the tendencies of the time by a widespread publicity. Many Group Leaders took a pride in increasing the membership of the Group to the greatest possible extent. Rudolf Steiner disapproved of this. “Of course the movement must grow,” he said, “but it must come about in the proper way, in a healthy way. The methods which are being employed at present only drive the membership into superficiality. That does the Society great harm.”

He spoke, as frequently before, of lack of discernment, of tact, of complete conscientiousness. Then he went on:

“The essential thing for all right anthroposophical work is to give out only as much of the content of anthroposophy as has become inward life to you, as much as has become your life’s joy, your life’s necessity, as much as you have made your own. Only that enters into the other man. Only that can really mediate anthroposophy.

“Lectures that people deliver out of their head-knowledge are abstract and have the same effect upon their hearers as other abstractions. They will form no living substance, awaken no conviction.

“We should already have made far more progress in the world with anthroposophy if our lecturers did not speak so much from the head. To absorb something of anthroposophy through the head today and tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or in a few weeks or months, to give it out again from the head — that is an impossibility. What is so given out may be perfectly correct in its content, its reproduction may even have a certain beauty. But it does not live. Of course everything of a conceptual nature must first be worked out abstractly. But then it has to he transmuted, it has to become life, it has to become form.

“And this life, this form, must be behind what is conceptual in a lecture. Out of the whole man must the lecturer speak, out of the forces of his heart permeated with will. Then will he reach the deeper nature of his listener, even of one who still feels distaste or opposition to what he hears.

“One thing above all you must inscribe in your soul; not what you say is the decisive thing — of course it must be correct but how you say it! How what you say lives in you, how you yourself are behind it in all inner sincerity, what is your own inmost bearing, your disposition, how conscientious you are, that is what the spiritual world looks at!”

His solemnity became still more marked:

“And further you must know, and must never again forget, that when you give lectures or when people come to you with their questions — no matter what kind of question- if you stand there bursting with satisfaction that you are able, out of what you hear within you, out of what you yourself have attained, to answer their questions, or to teach them — if you stand before the other man with the feeling of inner riches, of spiritual superiority, then you might as well leave things alone. For then you only do harm to yourself and are of no use at all to the other man. For what you say remains only on the surface.

“If you would serve the spiritual world in the sense of anthroposophy you may never deliver an address or answer questions feeling full of the subject. You must, on the contrary, have a sense of inadequacy, of poverty, in face of what you have to do, in face of what is expected of you — a feeling of failure before men and before the spiritual world. You must actually ask for help. Then you will be in the right mood of soul. Then you will find the right thing to say. Then your words will find their way into the inner being of your hearer. Then you will speak out of the truth.

“Every lecture you give, all the anthroposophical work you undertake, you should feel as a heavy responsibility. It is right that you should have this sense of burden, but it is not so pleasant as to enjoy yourself in the work!”

He then began to speak of Group work and Group Leadership. “Here the problems are quite different from those we encounter in work in the outside world. Here the essential thing is community, a community of men of the most varied characteristics -so-called educated and uneducated, of all classes and all callings, old and young, both in years as well as in membership and in the character of their souls. This community tries to be and ought to be, a living conscious entity through the anthroposophical substance at which it works during the Group meetings. The activity of the Group is a process of continuously developing consciousness. For this development through common work the Group Leader is responsible. The welding together of this community turns upon the personality of the Group Leader. It must be so. But in this respect two things are taken far too lightly. How a Group is constituted, how its work is carried out, depends upon the Group Leader.

“The purport of the Group and hence its task is to deepen the esoteric life of the members. Work carried out in common by the Group is a training for the impulses of the Sixth Culture-Epoch. A certain contribution towards the spirit-life of the Sixth Culture-Epoch can actually only be carried out in Group study, in the working out of the esoteric, in the development of esoteric substance such as is given in the cycles and lectures for members.

“And here too, of course, what I have already said holds good. As Group Leader you can only work aright if what you are treating of has become your own inmost life. It does not matter whether you read a lecture and then speak about it or whether you speak about something that you have studied and worked out for yourself’. In Group work more than ever the important thing is how! Every thing depends on inner conviction, inner truthfulness, upon reverence for anthroposophy.

“When you read a lecture you must have fully mastered it inwardly, and in reading it aloud you must really bring it forth anew. And let there be no ‘cycle-cramming’. It is frightful to hear people saying how many cycles they have read in the shortest possible time. They never stop stuffing their heads! If you succeed in making a single anthroposophical idea living in human beings you have achieved something.

“You must learn to work from out of your members. You must listen attentively for what comes to meet you from them, you must be alive to their need. When you can do that, when you really speak or read out of an inward living esotericism, then you will speak to everybody, then each will find his own, be he old or be he young, be he educated or uneducated, each will take from you what he needs and what he can live and work with.”

Discussions Dr. Steiner did not want. “They are not suitable in Group meetings. The substance or the aura which can be formed by a lecture is destroyed by discussion, is frittered away.” He advised against allowing even questions after lectures in the open meeting. He used to allow them in earlier years of his activity, but later he discontinued the practice. “Often there is no real seriousness behind such questions, which are also for the most part wrongly formulated, and serve no good purpose. It is better to give out that one is willing to answer private questions after the lecture.

“The theory of knowledge is not suitable for Group meetings, nor the books written for the public, such as ‘Theosophy’ or ‘Occult Science’. Group meetings should he the occasion for deepening the inner life, for filling out and making more concrete what is heard there.”

He dwelt at length on the subject of the structure of lectures, both for the Group and for the public. Content and form cannot he separated. A shapelessly, badly constructed lecture is bad, even if its content is correct in all its details. “It makes no impression.”

“You will do well to work out with precision the commencement of your lecture. But then you must allow yourself to speak freely. To read your lecture is unthinkable. Unfortunately, in the matter of the formation of their lectures our lecturers leave much to be desired. The content is mastered without any care for its form. A lecture must he treated in its whole structure as a work of art. Its inner proportions must be harmonious. Its beginning and end must correspond, must, so-to-say, dovetail into one another. A lecture must have a firm axis around which one circles, but from which one may only deviate within proper limits.”

And then Rudolf Steiner showed me how he built up his own lectures, both the single lectures and the cycle as a whole. He drew an axis, encircled by a rising spiral, “With more and more practice you will at length only find it necessary to fix the beginning and the end. In between you will be able to move freely within the given form. It is painful to hear a lecturer lose himself in side-issues, become confused, return again and again to his peroration, and thereby spoil everything that went before it.”

As he ended his gaze took on that earnestness, that unfathomable beaming kindliness, in the light of which the personal man withers away, whilst at the same time he sees before him all the forces and possibilities of his own being.

“Be ever conscious of the sacredness and solemnity of the task that you have set yourself” he said. “Anthroposophy is a dangerous thing when undertaken lightly. Never forget that. The future of humanity is involved. The human beings who sit before you are involved. You must see these human beings. You must love the man, the hidden man within the man who sits before you, as you love anthroposophy.”

And again he repeated his earlier words as to the need for feeling a sense of inner poverty in face of one’s task. “Then you will feel the help of the spiritual world.”

Two more things Dr. Steiner said on another occasion- indeed he said these things more than once about that time:

“It is possible that one day anthroposophy will have to free itself from the Anthroposophical Society. That need not happen, but the possibility exists. When I am no longer here an intellectualisation of spiritual science will come about. That is a great danger for it will mean the stagnation of the whole movement. That is why the proper cultivation of esotericism within the Groups is so important.

“People do not know it and do not want to hear it, but when a man sits quietly in his room, and with real inward seriousness, with the complete devotion of his heart, reads, let us say, the Gospel of John or some anthroposophical book or lecture, and lives fully in what he is reading, he does more for the healing of the world and of men than many a one who makes himself important to himself and others in the external affairs of the Society.”

And he added, “But for that one must be aware of the reality of the Higher Beings.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

Anthroposophy & Religious Feeling

At the present time, Anthroposophy does not want to reject religious feeling, religious reverence, but deepen it. This is not sectarian or the foundation of a dogmatic religion.

For example:
"Another exercise we need to do is to intensify our feeling of devotion — devotion felt in everyday life and in life's special moments as religious reverence.....

"Spiritual science does not want to usurp the place of Christianity; on the contrary it would like to be instrumental in making Christianity understood. Thus it becomes clear to us through spiritual science that the being whom we call Christ is to be recognized as the center of life on earth, that the Christian religion is the ultimate religion for the earth's whole future. Spiritual science shows us particularly that the pre-Christian religions outgrow their one-sidedness and come together in the Christian faith. It is not the desire of spiritual science to set something else in the place of Christianity; rather it wants to contribute to a deeper, more heartfelt understanding of Christianity.

"Anthroposophy is further reproached for making Christ a cosmic being; however, it only widens our earthly way of looking at things beyond merely terrestrial concerns into the far reaches of the universe. Thus our knowledge can embrace the universe spiritually, just as Copernicus, with his knowledge, embraced the external world. The need spiritual science feels to encompass what is most holy to it is simply due to a feeling that is religious and deeply scientific at the same time. Before Copernicus, people determined the movements of the stars on the basis of what they saw. Since Copernicus, they have learned to draw conclusions independent of their sensory perception. Is spiritual science to be blamed for doing the same with respect to the spiritual concerns of mankind? Up until now, people regarded Christianity and the life of Christ Jesus in the only way open to them. Spiritual science would like to widen their view to include cosmic spiritual reality as well. It adds what it has researched to what was known before about the Christ. It recognizes in Christ an eternal Being Who, unlike other human beings, entered once only into a physical body and is henceforth united with all human souls.

"May I be allowed to draw attention once again to the fact that spiritual science has no desire to found a religion of any kind; rather does it want to set a more religious mood of soul-life and to lead us to the Christ as the Being at the center of religious life. It brings about a deepened religious awareness. Anyone who fears that spiritual science could destroy his religious awareness resembles a person — if I may use this analogy — who might have approached Columbus before he set sail for America and asked, “What do you want to discover America for? The sun comes up so beautifully here in our good old Europe. How do we know if the sun also rises in America, warming people and shining on the earth?” Anyone familiar with the laws of physical reality would have known that the sun shines on all continents. But anyone fearing for Christianity is like the person described as fearing the discovery of a new continent because he thinks the sun might not shine there.

"He who truly bears the Christ-Sun in his soul knows that the Christ-Sun shines on every continent. And regardless of what may still be discovered, either in realms of nature or in realms of spirit, the “America of the spirit” will never be discovered unless truly religious life turns with a sense of belonging toward the Christ-Sun as the center of our existence on the earth, unless that Sun shines — warming, illumining, and enkindling our human souls. Only a person whose religious feeling is weak would fear that it could die or waste away because of some new discovery. But a person strong in his genuine feeling for the Christ will not be afraid that knowledge might undermine his faith.

"Spiritual science lives in this conviction. It speaks out of this conviction to contemporary culture. It knows that truly religious thinking and feeling cannot be endangered by research of any kind, but that only weak religious sentiment has anything to fear. Spiritual science knows that we can trust our sense for truth. Through the shattering events in his soul life which he has experienced objectively, the spiritual researcher knows what lives in the depths of the human soul. Through his investigations he has come to have confidence in the human soul and has seen that it is most intimately related to the truth. As a result, he believes — signs of the times to the contrary — in the ultimate victory of spiritual science. And he counts on the truth-loving and genuinely religious life of the human soul to bring about this victory."

-Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophy & Christianity, Norrköping, July 13, 1914

"Anthroposophy has set itself the task of sweeping human souls clean of those strong doubts that have been placed in them by external science. In a true scientific spirit, anthroposophical science has the task of overcoming what external science has the task of overcoming what external science cannot overcome. It will be able to reintroduce genuine religious life into human souls. It will not contribute to the slaying of religious feeling but will reintroduce into human evolution a religious sense for everything. Human beings will gain a new understanding of Christianity when they turn towards the Mystery of Golgotha which anthroposophy alone can help people to understand and accept fully.

"Since anthroposophy gives human beings not only a reawakening of old religious understanding but also a new religious sense through knowledge, it can most certainly not be said to be aiming for anything sectarian. It has as little intention in this direction as any other science. Anthroposophy does not strive to form sects. It wants to serve the religions that already exist, and in this sense it wants to bring new life into Christianity. It does not want to preserve old religious feelings and help religion press forward in the old way. It wants to contribute to a resurrection of religious life, for this religious life has suffered too much at the hands of modern civilisation. Therefore anthroposophy wants to be a messenger of love. It does not want merely to bring new life to religion in the old sense; it wants to regenerate and reawaken the inner religious life of humanity."

-Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of Christ through Anthroposophy, London 15th of April, 1922

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fathomed by the Elder Brothers of Humanity

Dr. Steiner hinted that his most popular book was inspired by the Masters:

"By applying certain methods one can recognise whether something is true or not. For instance, in my book "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds" it would have been an easy thing to write: ´These teachings were given through higher inspiration, etc., they come from the masters and so forth...´ But the principle of the theosophical movement is violated if the writer does not bear the responsibility for what is written. If it is ever claimed that an author is not responsible for the book that has been written, you can be sure that the book does not contain truth but lucifer-ahrimanic deception. Nowadays the masters do not allow a writer to disclaim responsibility; therefore one is obliged to measure things against the yardstick of reason, and not simply take things on authority. Of course it is far easier to depend entirely on a personality cult, for reason and logic are harder taskmasters. Only those who examine and test what is given from the world of spirit can keep faith with Christian Rosenkreutz. "

-Rudolf Steiner, at the Christian Rosenkreutz group, Hamburg 17th June 1912

He was asked by Walter Johannes Stein: "What's the source of knowledge of the higher worlds?" He said, "Basil Valentine," [Stefan Rautter] an alchemist.

"Those who are unacquainted with the principles of occult investigation may believe that it would be better if such facts had not previously been made known. But in the spiritual world there is a definite law, the significance of which we will make clear by example. Suppose that in a certain year some properly trained clairvoyant had perceived this or that in the spiritual world. Now imagine that ten or twenty years later, another equally trained clairvoyant could see the same thing even if he had known nothing whatsoever about the result obtained by the first clairvoyant. If you were to believe that this could happen, you would be making a great mistake, for the truth is that a fact of the spiritual world that has once been discovered by a clairvoyant or by an occult school, cannot be investigated a second time if the would-be investigator has not first been informed that it has already been discovered.

"If therefore, in the year 1900 a certain fact had been investigated and in the year 1950 another clairvoyant reaches the stage of being able to perceive the same thing, he can succeed only if he has realized that someone has already investigated and fathomed it. Therefore already known facts in the spiritual world can be perceived only when their import has been consciously grasped as communications already made.

"This is the law that establishes for all epochs the foundation of universal brotherliness. It is impossible to penetrate into any domain of the spiritual world without a link having first been made with what has already been fathomed by the Elder Brothers of Humanity. The spiritual world sees to it that nobody can become a law unto himself, saying, `I am not concerned with what is already there. I shall investigate only for myself.' None of the facts communicated in spiritual science today could be perceived by individuals, however highly developed and advanced, if they had not been previously known.

"Because a link must be there with what has already been discovered, the theosophical movement had also to be founded on this basis.

"In a comparatively short time from now, many individuals will become clairvoyant, but they would be able to see only unreality, not the truth, in the spiritual world if they had not heard of what had already been investigated. First one must have knowledge of these truths, such as given by theosophy, or the science of the spirit, and only then can they be actually perceived. Even a clairvoyant must get to know what has already been discovered, and then, after conscientious training, he can perceive the facts himself.

"It may be said that the divine beings fertilize a faculty of seership only once in a human soul and if the single, virginal fertilization has been achieved, then other human beings must pay attention to what this first soul has discovered in order to have the right to see it themselves. This law lays the foundations of an inner, universal brotherliness, a true brotherhood of men. From epoch to epoch wisdom has passed through the occult schools and been faithfully harbored by the Masters, and we, too, must help to preserve this treasure and maintain brotherliness with those who have already achieved something if we wish to make our way into the higher regions of the spiritual world. What is striven for on the physical plane as moral law is natural law in the spiritual world."

-Rosicrucian Occultism,
Rudolf Steiner, Budapest, 4th June 1909 

Fourth Seal

Boaz was the great-grandfather of King David - his name
meaning "strength, or it is in strength". Jachin was the high priest who assisted the dedication of Solomon's Temple - his name meaning "to establish" and united "stability".

"He cast two bronze pillars... he made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. The pillar to the south he named Jakin [Jachin] and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies."

-1 Kings 7:15,18, 21,22

The head Mason, Hiram Abif, made the brass pillars.
In Qabalah, Jachin and Boaz are the names of the pillars of Mercy (J) and Severity(B). They appear in the Tarot deck on the High Priestess card.

"The Two Pillars. In these pillars is indicated the mystery of the part played in human evolution by red oxygenated blood and blue, or carbonated blood."

The two pillars represent the Tree of Life (oxygen- Hauschka calls biogen) and the Tree of Knowledge (carbon).

"In the fourth seal we see the Pillars, one of them planted on the sea, the other on dry land. These Pillars indicate the secret of the part played in human evolution by the red blood, rich in oxygen, and the blue of bluish red, rich in carbonic acid. The evolution of the I of man during the Earth epoch finds physical expression in the interaction between the red blood, without which there could be no Life, and the blue, without which there could be no Knowledge.

"Blue blood is the physical expression of those forces which give us Knowledge- forces which, however, taken by themselves and in their human form, are very nearly akin to Death. Red blood is the physical expression of Life- which however in its human form and by itself, could never give us conscious Knowledge. Together and in their mutual interaction they represent the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life or the two pillars on the foundation of which the life and cognition of the I can grow and develop to that degree of maturity where at long last man will be fully united with the universal forces of the Earth.

"The Initiate foresees a future condition of mankind in which the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life .... will be intertwined and united within man himself. At the present stage the aspirant to spiritual development should inscribe the message of the two pillars in his heart. Separated though they still are, they summon us to transcend the present state of mankind and to direct our footsteps to the place where through our widened consciousness the two will be interwoven - a secret that is indicated in the J-B.

"The verses inscribed on either pillar will bring home to us their meaning. Those on the first pillar relate to Knowledge, those on the second to Life itself. Thus at the former stage the formative, creative powers are revealed to man; at the latter he himself reveals them, magically.

"Progression from the mere faculty of cognition to that of magical activity in life is the significance of the transition from the power latent in the first inscription to that which is latent in the second."

- Occult Seals & Columns, Rudolf Steiner

"Men will extend their beings, as it were, in the course of times to come, identifying themselves more and more with the world; thus it will become possible to represent them in the form of the cosmos instead of the human form. This you can see in the fourth seal with its rock, sea and columns. What passes as clouds through the world today will offer its matter so that the body of a man may be formed from it, and the forces that today are with the Sun spirits will in future provide men with what will develop their spiritual forces in a much higher way. It is this sun force to which men are striving.

"Contrary to the plant that sends its head-like roots towards the earth's center, a man turns his head to the sun. He will ultimately unite his head with the sun and receive higher forces. This is to be seen in the fourth seal in the sun's face that rests on the body of clouds, on the rock and columns. In that future time, the human being will have become self-creative.

"As symbol of the perfect creation, the many coloured rainbow surrounds him. In the Apocalypse of St. John you can find a similar seal in which there is a book in the middle of the clouds. St. John says that the initiate must swallow this book. Here is indicated the time when men will receive wisdom not only outwardly, but will be penetrated by it as is the case today with food, when they, themselves, will be an embodiment of wisdom."

-Rudolf Steiner,
Occult Signs & Symbols

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Do we determine our own Fate?

We can acknowledge that there are two streams of thought in relation to those laws which guide a man throughout the courses of his starry travels in and out of time.

As he is drawn to and from various experiences of existence, as he knows both the universal days and the universal slumbers between, when he is swept into much causality, yet effects many events upon himself; as he courses the ages depressed and diffused only to always ever be replenished anew - there are two streams of thought, in philosophical uncertainty, where it is suggested that Man is a being, at this stage of his development, more 'driven' than driving, whilst the other suggests that he is so driven that he drives.

In consideration to the Holy Spirit from which all is empowered to be driven and driving, we must firstly attribute all subsequent furtherance and universal motoring to that. In a second consideration as to whether or not men determine their own fates essentially, remarkably or determinedly - we answer thus: yes and no:

  • Insofar as Father God gives us the essential life
  • Insofar as Christ has characterized us to make this life remarkable
  • Insofar as the Holy Spirit has empowered us to live determinedly
Yes! But without these three, no.


Question from Introducing the Futures- 14th November 1998

Forcibly Bring Another to Morality

One concern here is that it is simply not possible to forcibly bring another to morality. The word morality is not used in the social context or even in the common, but in the principle of inert value that a man may discern through the heart for himself.

A true morality is empathic and giving by nature, open, demonstrative and perhaps even exaggerated in joy. (The true meaning of morale - to keep them high.) Not morality in the depleted sense of restrictive license; rather an internal discernment which corresponds with God.

This form of discernment is acquired by the cooperation of both the ego and soul of the individual (through the means of the Arterial Self) and simply cannot be imposed....
Yet it is with this sense of correctness within, shall the individual come to know whether or not he or she should reclaim their existence and thus begin to heal.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Protection from Overwhelming Sorrow

How does one temper the reality of grief within the world with merriment, which is inhibited within the soul? (Merriment, not to be confused with false merriment – joviality - but true merriment. Ho Ho Ho.)

Self-consciousness provides for the spectator of the participating consciousness. This spectator: the 'I Am Not' (I am knot), as you would have it, comes to feel separate from the world which it views; for as a working perceptive consciousness it is separate - as a man he is not. As an individuality he is different, differently defined, self-defined.

That 'spectator' within all of us can be removed from criticism, and positioned above the general cares and woes - particularly in times of grief it shall remain there. This is not to say that this self-consciousness is not colored with preference or even emotion, but that there is a protection from overwhelming sorrow in this divorce from personality.

One can achieve this by knowing within, that no matter how gruesome, difficult, perilous or cruel conditions may present in the world, they are not permanently real, and nor do they affect us in higher realms after death. Our loved ones will endure, we shall endure, as we have done so all along. And there will be compensatory joys and much renewal, even though we may be 'open' to a seemingly treacherous existence in the here and now.

It is good for men to hear truth such as this. It is wholesome for the soul within, because truths have a way of resonating health. The soul does and will respond.

There is so little true consideration given today. This is why meditations upon 'simple' but potent truths are so lively and helpful. Contemplating truths which are essential to being, assist men with rhythms, development, order, and most importantly, returning to the awareness of that happy being which in truth is inside him.

Historical & Scriptural Facts about Fermented Drinks in the Bible

It is often supposed that in Bible times, grape juice inevitably fermented if kept for any length of time and that therefore whenever the Bible mentions “wine,” it is referring to the alcoholic beverage commonly called “wine” today. However, ancient civilizations had several ways of preventing fruit and fruit juices from fermentation, and thus were able to have non-alcoholic wine (grape juice) throughout the year.

One method involved boiling the juice and reducing it to a syrup that could later be diluted with water. Another was to boil the juice with minimum evaporation and then immediately seal it with beeswax in airtight jars. Drying the fruit in the sun and then reconstituting it with water, adding sulfur to the fruit juice, or filtering the juice to extract the gluten were also methods that would prevent the juice from fermenting. These means of preservation were known to the ancients, who also practiced boiling fermented juice to eliminate the alcohol. Referring to reconstituting grape syrup to make grape juice, Aristotle, who was born around 384 b.c., wrote “The wine of Arcadia was so thick that it was necessary to scrape it from the skin bottles in which it was contained and to dissolve the scrapings in water” (quoted in Nott’s Lectures on Biblical Temperance, p. 80). The poet Horace, born in 65 b.c., wrote, “There is no wine sweeter to drink than that of Lesbos; it was like nectar . . . and would not produce intoxication.”

“The Mishna [a collection of oral Jewish traditions] states that the Jews were in the habit of drinking boiled wine” (Kitto’s Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, vol. 2, p. 447). Naturally, this wine would be entirely free of alcohol as a result of the boiling, if not also from the manner of preservation.

In his commentary on the Gospel of John, Albert Barnes wrote, “The wine of Judea was the pure juice of the grape, without any mixture of alcohol. It was the common drink of the people and did not produce intoxication.” And Adam Clarke, commenting on Genesis 40:11, wrote, “From this we find that wine anciently was the mere expressed juice of the grape without fermentation. The saky, or cupbearer, took the bunch [of grapes], pressed the juice into the cup, and instantly delivered it into the hands of his master. This was anciently the yayin [wine] of the Hebrews, the oinos [wine] of the Greeks, and the mustum [wine] of the ancient Latins.” Clarke’s comments agree with the Scripture that declares “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it’ ”

(Isaiah 65:8, NKJV).


Four Watches of the Night

Goethe knew the secret of the four watches of the night. The second part of Faust opens with Ariel directing the spirits who are to take it in turns to rule them :

Then the chorus of spirits weave together the magical utterances of the four-night watches in the Serenade, Notturno, Mattutino, and Reveil. [Reveille Old French Reviel to again awake]

"Four watches night hath - ere her fading
Pause not-let each with kindly deeds be rife.
And first, lay ye his head on the cool pillow, 

Bathe him in dew from Lethe's water drawn. 
Soon will the cramp-racked limbs be lithe as willow, 
If new refreshed he sleep to meet the dawn.
Fulfil the fairest elfin rite,
Give him again to the holy light."



When soft breezes swell, and vagrant 
Haunt the green-embosomed lawn, 
Twilight sheds its spices fragrant, 
Sinks its mists like curtains drawn, 
Breathes sweet peace, his heart composes 
Like a child's that rests from play, 
On his eyes so weary, closes 
Soft the portals of the day. 

In the Notturno (second watch) the soul of Faust sees in his body the glimmering reflection of the Stars. . . " Glassed within the lake they glimmer Gleam in Night's unclouded round." 


Now the Night more deeply darkles, 
Linketh holy star to star. 
Mighty torches, tiny sparkles, 
Glimmer near and gleam afar. 
Glassed within the lake they glimmer, 
Gleam in Night's unclouded round ; 
Throned aloft the moon's full shimmer 
Seals the bliss of peace profound. 

. . . In the Mattutino, the healing of the body is accomplished "Now the hours are spent and over, Weal and woe are swept away. Dream of health ; thou wilt recover Trust the gleam of new-born day!"


Now the hours are spent and over,
Weal and woe are swept away.
Dream of health ! Thou wilt recover !
Trust the gleam of new-born day !
Vales grow green, and swell like pillows
Hills to shady rest that woo,
And in swaying silver billows
Waves the corn the harvest to.

The future is indicated :
"And in swaying silver billows Waves the corn the harvest to."

When the morning comes, sleep, as the Reveil says, is now a shell that has to be cast away. Sleep has enveloped us like a covering. But the real man, the spiritual individuality, now re-enters the heart- "Who is wise and swift to seize" again his opportunity within the heaven-reflecting earthly body, and casts the shell of sleep away.


Wish on wish wouldst compass crowded,
Lift thine eyes to yon bright steep.
Only softly art thou shrouded,
Cast away the shell of sleep ! Falter not !
Thine heart embolden
When the throng faint-hearted flees.
Naught is from the brave withholden
Who is wise and swift to seize.

Ariel commands the spirits of the night to disappear; the waking man may not know nor hear them in the watches of the day, lest he should become deaf to the call of his earthly tasks.

"The twenty-four hours were once divided into the so-called Four Watches : four of the night and four of the day, each watch consisting of three hours. The first watch of the night - 6-9, the second 9-12, the third 12-3, and the fourth, 3-6.

"Probably between 12 and 3 (midnight), the Earth's inhalation of the chemical ether is complete and the Sun has quite withdrawn its warmth and light. During this third watch of the night one could say that man's physical body is most deeply asleep, the life-forces contracted into the inner organs ; while the soul is " expanded " into its heavenly consciousness.

"Freed from its entanglement in the senses it becomes aware of the fundamentally spiritual quality of the bodily organs and processes. They are like mirrors, reflecting their spiritual archetypes, - in the words of St. Paul, " as in a glass darkly,"- so that in sleep all the disharmonies that are there as a consequence of human error, are seen in relation to their original purity.

"During the gradual return of consciousness, which may occur in the fourth watch, the future glimmers into the past, - (which has been remembered and re-lived unconsciously in the second watch of the night) - and from this union of the past and future, the present once more asserts its existence.

Consciousness returns at first through the limbs, then rises slowly through the body. One is not completely awake until the whole process is finished, about the third watch of the day. Then the waking man has reached the end of his daily "in-breathing."

"A process is taking place in the Earth's environment in day and night which is similar. It is well known that then atmospheric currents cause a kind of reversal of temperature levels. The work of Dr. Wachsmuth gives calculations, diagrams, etc., showing that these processes are due to the respective suctional. and centrifugal movements of the ether, which constitute the breathing of the Earth's organism, and the interplay of terrestrial and cosmic influences upon one another.

"Although the descending and ascending of the chemical ether and the corresponding ascending and descending of the warmth ether, together constitute the Earth's breathing, and its "circulation," yet the former is carried out by the Earth itself, while the latter is under the direct influence of the Sun. Here the life of the Earth and the life of man correspond, because man can control his breathing, but not his circulation.

"But an apparent difference between man and the Earth is that the normal human being is only capable of being either asleep or awake at the same time; while the Earth can "sleep" or "wake" both together. What is outbreathing on one side of the Earth is in-breathing on the other : when it is day in England for instance, it is night in Australia. For the whole round of the Earth-not one part of it alone-possesses what is called heliotropism the "eternal striving towards the Sun." Man possesses this too, and every creature. But in man it can become a conscious spiritual striving."

Reference: The Year & its Festivals, Eleanor C. Merry

The twelve-hour day was divided into four periods of three hours each. The town bell rang at four intervals during the day to signal the time to all who could hear. The first hour, called Prime, rang at 6:00 a.m.; hour three (Terce) rang at 9:00 a.m.; hour six (Sext) rang at 12:00 p.m.; and hour nine (None) rang at 3:00 p.m.

The early Catholic Church adopted these daily patterns in their rituals, and monks recited prayers at the canonical hours of terce, sext and none, every day.

What does this have to do with “noon”? Well, the word for the ninth hour, specifically the ninth hour of daylight, so 3:00, became “non” in Old English. As church traditions changed, the canonical hours of “non” began to happen earlier, closer to 12:00 p.m.

We still don’t know if the time of the midday meal shifted from 3:00 to 12:00 or whether the time of Church prayers shifted, or both, but by the early 1200s, “noon” came to mean midday. In the 1300s, the earliest mechanical clocks showed a 24-hour dial, but by the 1500s, the 12-hour dial, starting at midnight, became standard. (The word afternoon came into common usage around this time as well.)